Seahawks vs. Rams; 5th seed on the line


The Seattle Seahawks can wrap up the 5th seed in the NFC wild card race with a win against St. Louis Sunday.

After scuffling through the first half of the season, and looking like a team destined to miss the 2015-16 playoffs altogether this year, the Seahawks have put themselves in position for a best-case scenario outcome if they can take care of business this Sunday.

The stakes are simple; beat the Rams at home and they should clinch the NFC’s 5th seed.

More from Seattle Seahawks News

Once again this is based on the ESPN Playoff Machine, and my picks of each individual game the rest of the way. You can input your picks and look at every possible scenario yourself here. Be warned, you’re daily productivity will decline significantly once you start playing with this new toy.

As you can see in the screen capture below, based on my picks, the Seahawks will be the 5th seed with a win over the Rams, making the week #17 game at Arizona irrelevant.

That’s probably not what Seahawk fans who are travelling to Glendale for the game want to hear, but it’s ideal for the team. By earning the #5 seed, the Hawks are assured of facing the eventual NFC East winner in the wild card round. In this case that will be the Washington Redskins. Facing the specter of going on the road to play an east coast elimination game, the prospect of being able to rest and protect key players is certainly one the Seattle coaching staff would prefer.

Likewise, the Panthers and Cardinals will have locked down the first and second seed after week #16, so the game will be meaningless to them as well. Knowing they have a bye the following week, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians could choose to play some of his starters early in the game, but you won’t likely be seeing much of Carson Palmer, if at all, if this is the way it plays out.

Next: 5 Seahawk Christmas Wishes

Conversely, if the Rams were to upset the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field Sunday, Seattle would head to the desert knowing they need a win to earn the 5th seed in the season’s final week, so facing a Palmer-less Cardinal team with nothing to play for will work to their advantage.

But not as much as if they simply take care of business and beat the Rams. At this time, they’re listed as a consensus 13 point favorite by Las Vegas odds makers.