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Perhaps the Seahawks’ Week 15 loss to the 49ers was meant to happen

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks’ 10-game winning streak against the San Francisco 49ers came to a disappointing end, as the now 4-10 Niners beat their rivals 26-23 in overtime to deny the Seahawks a playoff berth for at least one week. Yes, there was bad officiating, but also sloppy play, sloppy weather, and other factors that contributed to Seattle’s demise.

But when you look at what has happened around the league this week... maybe it was inevitable?

Week 15 started off with the Kansas City Chiefs losing to the Los Angeles Chargers on the game’s final offensive play, blowing a 28-14 lead and thus the AFC West. As it turns out, a Chiefs win would’ve clinched the #1 seed in addition to the division (more on that later). It was the Chargers’ first win against the Chiefs since Week 17 of the 2013 season, when a first-team Chargers side had to beat a second-string, Chase Daniel-led Kansas City squad in overtime just to make the playoffs. A great time for the Chargers to snap a nine-game losing streak vs. KC, and they could end up as the #1 seed in the AFC if all breaks right for them.

Saturday night, the Cleveland Browns’ feint playoff hopes were kept alive courtesy of a 17-16 win over the Denver Broncos, whose head coach Vance Joseph ought to be fired for this mindlessness. It was Cleveland’s first win over the Broncos since 1990. Two iterations of the Browns have had 11 cracks at Denver over a near-three decade span, but couldn’t beat them. Denver’s fading playoff hopes, which took a hit when they had their own loss to the 49ers last week, are done now.

At the same time as the Seahawks-49ers, the Pittsburgh Steelers held off the New England Patriots for a pivotal 17-10 win, when a loss would’ve momentarily knocked them out of the playoffs. It snapped a five-game losing skid against the Patriots for Mike Tomlin’s bunch, marking his first win over New England since 2011. It’s also the first time since 2002 that the Patriots have lost consecutive December games. New England might very well fail to get a first-round bye, and as alluded to earlier, a Steelers win was what the Chiefs needed to clinch the #1 seed in the AFC... except they didn’t beat the Chargers, so their playoff seeding is still up in the air.

Sometimes “shit happens,” and I think that’s an apt description for Week 15. A lot of long droughts all just ended within a 72-hour span, and you just have to move on and look at the next opponent.