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Seahawks still in play for the NFC’s number one seed

The path there is simple, but forbidding

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
hey he scored this time
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s easy to explain how the Seahawks can still emerge from the NFC with the 1 seed. (In a year where the top seed matters more than any other, with the single bye!)

However, it’s easier to get Saturn and Jupiter to align — a topical astronomy joke, you’re welcome — than to get the three results necessary. Because the Packers and Saints both have to lose. Stranger things have happened, but the Seahawks definitely need the double upset in their favor; nothing less will do.

Indeed, in the event of:

  • Seattle defeating San Francisco
  • Green Bay losing in Chicago (division rival, the Titans game that is playing right now does not matter)
  • New Orleans losing in Carolina (division rival again)

then Week 17 ends with the Seahawks atop the conference, with the only bye in their pocket. Not only would a top-seeded Seattle avoid the Los Angeles Rams and their legal but annoying vendetta against Russell Wilson in the first round, but they’d put themselves in a position that has historically favored them.

Three times the Seahawks have advanced to the Super Bowl. Each time was on the strength of the 1 seed and every advantage it confers on its owner. In a postseason where crowds will likely not be permitted, Seattle will not be able to draw on the mystical power of the Playoff Atmosphere Twelves, but being the only team that has to win twice for the George Halas trophy instead of thrice — the Seahawks and their fans would take it.

A little proof from ESPN’s playoff machine:

The result from Titans-Packers on Sunday night does not impact the tie-breaker between Seattle and Green Bay. Just pin your hopes on Mitch Trubisky instead of Derrick Henry. Is that not helping?

For context of dubious relevance, the Packers topped the Bears 41-25 in Week 12 and the Saints barely edged the Panthers 27-24 in Week 7.

In the end though, the Seahawks will be the conference’s 1, 2 or 3 seed and with one game left, somehow haven’t been eliminated from any of those three outcomes.