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NFL playoff races: Seahawks take huge advantage after win in Carolina

Seattle Seahawks v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks improved to 6-5 after their win on Sunday, simultaneously dropping the Carolina Panthers to 6-5 while gaining a heads up advantage for a tiebreaker. The win is the Seahawks’ second in a row following a close win over the Green Bay Packers 10 days earlier, while the Panthers have now dropped three in a row.

Seattle remains in 7th place in the NFC because of Washington’s loss last Thursday that dropped them to second in the NFC East while the Dallas Cowboys, a team that the Seahawks also have a tiebreaker advantage over, went into first. Washington holds an advantage over Seattle by way conference record. The Seahawks will now have to monitor that situation as Washington tries to recover from the loss of quarterback Alex Smith for the rest of the season; Washington’s next game is at the Philadelphia Eagles next Monday.

The Seahawks now have four of their five remaining games at home, including next Sunday against the 2-9 San Francisco 49ers. They then host the Minnesota Vikings, a team currently ahead of them in the wild card at 5-4-1. The Vikings host the Packers on Sunday night, then play at the New England Patriots next week.

Prior to Sunday, Seattle was said to have about a 75% chance to make the playoffs if they had beaten the Panthers. Thanks to Graham Gano and Sebastian Janikowksi (and Russell Wilson and so on and so for that) that did happen. A few more things breaking correctly and those odds will shoot up even more by next week.