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NFL Playoff Picture: Washington loss means Seahawks can clinch playoff spot with win vs. Chiefs

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NFL: Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans rallied from 13-9 down in the 4th quarter to beat Washington 25-16, keeping their playoff hopes alive and pretty much ending Washington’s barring a series of completely chaotic results.

This result benefits the Seattle Seahawks, as there was a scenario where Washington could’ve overtaken them in a 9-7 tiebreaker, but that is no longer the case now that Washington has dropped to 7-8. Seattle is now in position where a win against the Kansas City Chiefs or Arizona Cardinals automatically clinches them a playoff spot. In other words, the Seahawks have avoided the worst case scenario.

There is still a chance the Seahawks could fall out of the playoffs completely if they finish 8-8. If the Philadelphia Eagles win out and the Minnesota Vikings win at least one of their final two games, Seattle would be eliminated if they do the unthinkable and fall to 8-8. There’s also a scenario where the Seahawks finish 8-8, but Washington beats Philadelphia and the Vikings finish 8-7-1, and Washington would overtake Seattle on the “win percentage in common games” tiebreaker.

What’s the best case scenario? The Vikings lose to the Detroit Lions and the Seahawks win against the Chiefs, thus giving them the #5 seed with a week to spare. In case of a Seahawks loss, defeats by the Vikings and the Eagles (who play at home vs. the Houston Texans) would be beneficial.

In other words, Washington’s loss to Tennessee has made it so that quite a bit more needs to happen for the Seahawks to not be playing January football this season. They cannot miss the playoffs with a 9-7 record.