We’ve reached the point of the NFL season where we are paying close attention to other games and now they impact the Seattle Seahawks’ postseason positioning. With Week 11 already underway, let’s take a look at the current NFC playoff picture:
NFC Division Leaders
1.) Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
2.) Detroit Lions (7-2)
3.) San Francisco 49ers (6-3)
4.) New Orleans Saints (5-5)
5.) Seattle Seahawks (6-3, 5-1 NFC)
6.) Dallas Cowboys (6-3, 3-3 NFC)
7.) Minnesota Vikings (6-4)
Out of the Playoffs
8.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)
9.) Washington Commanders (4-6, win over ATL)
10.) Atlanta Falcons (4-6, loss to WAS)
11.) Green Bay Packers (3-6, win over LAR)
12.) Los Angeles Rams (3-6, loss to GB)
13.) Chicago Bears (3-7)
14.) New York Giants (2-8, win over ARI)
15.) Arizona Cardinals (2-8, loss to NYG)
16.) Carolina Panthers (1-8)
The Seahawks have to take care of business against the Los Angeles Rams, but it’d be cool if they got some help along the way from other teams. Let’s divide the rooting guide by how they affect each portion of the standings!
The NFC West race
This is the biggest priority. A Seahawks win + 49ers loss gives Seattle the opportunity to open up a multi-game lead on the 49ers on Thanksgiving. Be careful, though, as a Seahawks loss + 49ers loss gives Tampa Bay just a one-game deficit behind the Seahawks in the wild card standings. A 49ers win might be preferable if Seattle loses to the Rams, if only because the Seahawks can get top spot in the NFC West anyway with a win on Thursday.
The top of the NFC
The Seahawks hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions. A Seahawks win + 49ers loss + Lions loss puts Seattle in the No. 2 seed heading into Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t really count on this because the Bears are a bad football team, but division games can get funky and Justin Fields is back from his injury.
Kansas City Chiefs over Philadelphia Eagles
This is only if you think the Seahawks are still gunning for the No. 1 seed. Hey, it takes only one set of results for the Seahawks to be within a game of the NFC’s top spot. The Eagles do play the Seahawks in the penultimate home game of the season.
The Wild Card race
It’s pretty clear that the Packers aren’t a good team, but another loss would just about be the end of their slim playoff hopes when you consider they have the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs still to come.
New York Giants over Washington Commanders
The Giants are still playing Tommy DeVito, so this is all but a write-off. If the Commanders lose, they could be four back in the loss column AND don’t have the head-to-head tiebreaker. Washington has two games against the Dallas Cowboys and a match-up with the Miami Dolphins on the docket, so they’re already on life support. Getting swept by the Giants should be enough to send them out of the hunt.
Carolina Panthers over Dallas Cowboys
There’s almost no way this happens. The only thing you can vouch for is the “Any given Sunday” and the fact that Dallas already has a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. This keeps Dallas behind Seattle in the WC standings.
Denver Broncos over Minnesota Vikings
The Broncos have games against the Vikings and Detroit Lions coming up over the next few weeks. They can have a great impact on Seattle’s season if they pull off wins against both teams. Minnesota has to be careful given they have a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so that’s a tiebreaker not in their favor. The Josh Dobbs story is tremendous but can it truly continue? Denver has slim but still real playoff hopes, so they’ll keep competing. Perhaps another 4- or 5-turnover day from their defense is in the works?
Russell Wilson’s performance in 2022 helped Seattle get a top-5 pick. His improved performance in 2023 can help get the Seahawks some breathing room in the playoff race.
The Saints and Falcons are on byes, so they do not factor this week, but we’ll keep on eye on them in the closing weeks.
Absolute worst case scenario for the Seahawks is a loss, as well as wins by the Vikings, Cowboys, and Buccaneers. Seattle would drop to the No. 7 seed and only a game ahead of the Buccaneers in the WC standings. Best case? Seahawks win and everyone else in the rooting guide ends up winning.