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NFL Playoff Picture: Seahawks margin for error reduced after Vikings, Eagles wins

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NFL: Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks are guaranteed a playoff berth if they win against either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Arizona Cardinals, but results from Sunday’s 10 AM slate certainly have thrown out a lot of the room for error should Seattle fall to 8-8.

After a slow start, the Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions 27-9 to improve to 8-6-1 on the season, so they are in good position to make the playoffs themselves. If Seattle loses, Minnesota will assume the #5 seed for at least a week.

In the most exciting game of the day, the Philadelphia Eagles squandered a 29-16 lead to the Houston Texans, fell behind 30-29, but won on a Jake Elliott field goal with no time left to keep their season alive. Since the Dallas Cowboys prevailed, the NFC East race is officially over, leaving Washington eliminated from postseason contention, and Philadelphia as the only team that can get a wild card spot over either the Seahawks or Vikings.

What does this all mean? If the Seahawks lose out and the Eagles beat Washington, Seattle will miss the playoffs. There’s no way around it. However, if Washington beats Philadelphia, the Seahawks win a three-way tiebreaker over both teams and get in even if they finish 8-8.

After a prolonged stretch where just about every result went Seattle’s way to get them into this spot, the tables have turned just a bit and the margin for error isn’t as comfortable as it was two weeks ago.

But again, a Seahawks win in either of their final two home games means a playoff berth. Two losses? They’re probably out, so we better be big Washington fans if Sunday night’s game against Kansas City ends in defeat for Seattle.