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NFL Playoff Race: Seahawks all but assured a playoff spot with a win over Vikings

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The results from Week 14 worked out very favorably for the Seattle Seahawks, and mostly favorable for the Minnesota Vikings. Regardless of the outcome on Monday Night Football, both teams will still occupy the two wild card spots, but merely flip places.

According to the trusty New York Times Playoff Machine, a win over the Vikings is as close as you can get to clinching a playoff berth without officially clinching.

With the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, and Washington all sitting at 6-7, while the Green Bay Packers are 5-7-1, the Seahawks are now in a position where beating Minnesota and then suffering an inexplicable collapse to 8-8 more likely than not will get them a wild card berth.

We can ignore Washington at this point, as they are banged up and bad enough to the point where losing out is a distinct possibility. The Eagles are at the Los Angeles Rams and host the Houston Texans, and both could lead to Ls for the defending Super Bowl champs. Carolina has slumped from 6-2 to 6-7 and finish the year with the New Orleans Saints twice in three weeks, and it’d be a surprise if they managed to win out at this point. Lastly, the Packers are at the Chicago Bears, the New York Jets, and then finish up with the Detroit Lions at home. Even if they win out, the Vikings hold the tiebreaker on them so they have to hope the Vikings finish below .500 or that everyone else above them is 8-8 or worse.

Should the Seahawks lose to the Vikings, they’re still at 79% odds. The big story here is that the Seahawks are in tremendous shape to make the playoffs, so there’s no need to freak out if Monday’s result doesn’t go as planned. If they do win, though? You can pretty much start celebrating.