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NFL Playoff Scenarios: How the Seahawks could reach the Super Bowl without having to face Cowboys, plus 2 home games

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks do not “look” like a Super Bowl team right now, but sometimes that doesn’t matter. Sometimes you just have to get lucky. And despite many fans feeling despondent about a 10-5-1 record with a sputtering offense and a defense struggling sans Earl Thomas, the Seahawks are in a better position than many teams.

With the home game next weekend in the wild card round, Seattle will face the Detroit Lions. That is guaranteed to them: One home game vs the 9-7 Lions.

If they win, the Seahawks will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons. That is also guaranteed: If they win at home, they face the Falcons. Seattle beat Atlanta 26-24 earlier this season, playing great defense for three quarters — and horrible defense in the third. They had Thomas then, as well as Tyler Lockett, but there could be advantages in the rematch that the Seahawks didn’t have then: Kam Chancellor and Thomas Rawls were out, Bradley Sowell was the left tackle. Also, C.J. Prosise could potentially be ready to return in two weeks.

Of course, Atlanta is also home to one of the most heartbreaking losses in franchise history, a 2013 divisional game that sent the Falcons to the NFC Championship and the Seahawks home after blowing a final minute lead. That being said, could Seattle beat Atlanta in the playoffs on the road? It would be an upset, but not a ridiculous one.

If the Seahawks manage to pull those two wins off, then there’s a number of potential options, but here’s what we know: The New York Giants will travel to face the Packers, then the winner will go to Dallas to face the Cowboys. Both of these teams are capable of beating the Cowboys: The Packers have Aaron Rodgers and would be even more on fire at this point. If it’s New York, they’ve already beaten Dallas twice this season.

If either one of them upsets the Cowboys, and Seattle wins the divisional round game, then the Seahawks would host the NFC Championship game for the third time in the last four years.

This is not a crazy scenario. It’s a realistic one. Of course, imagining Seattle even winning the first of these games is a little difficult considering how bad they looked against the 49ers, but I’m just telling you what the road looks like, not necessarily that the Seahawks will travel it. It’s a lot less treacherous than you may have thought.