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NFC Playoff Picture Update: Seahawks now have company in wild card hunt

Enter the Detroit Lions.

Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks remain just outside a wild card berth in the NFC playoff race, but they aren’t far away.

The New York Giants went to Maryland and defeated the Washington Commanders 20-12 to go 1-0-1 against their fierce NFC East rivals. With that head-to-head tiebreaker the Giants effectively have taken a two-game lead over Washington with three weeks left in the regular season.

But behind the Seahawks are a team that frankly deserve postseason play with how they’ve performed. The Detroit Lions rallied late to beat the New York Jets 20-17 and claw their way from 1-6 to 7-7, drawing them level with the Seahawks. Both teams are a 0.5 game behind the Commanders, so the value of that tie looms large. Of course, the Seahawks hold a tiebreaker over the Lions from their Week 4 win.

Updated standings:

Wild Card

6. New York Giants (8-5-1)

7. Washington Commanders (7-6-1)

Mathematically Alive

8. Seattle Seahawks (7-7, win over DET)

9. Detroit Lions (7-7)

10. Green Bay Packers (5-8)

11. Carolina Panthers (5-9, win over NO)

12. New Orleans Saints (5-9, win over ATL 2x)

13. Atlanta Falcons (5-9, 4-6 NFC)

14. Los Angeles Rams (4-9)

Remaining schedules

Commanders: at 49ers, vs. Browns, vs. Cowboys

Giants: at Vikings, vs. Colts, at Eagles

Lions: at Panthers, vs. Bears, at Packers

Seahawks: at Chiefs, vs. Jets, vs. Rams

We obviously want the Commanders, Giants, and Lions all to lose next week. I’d really keep a watchful eye on the Commanders and Giants, because it’s a near certainty that the Eagles and Cowboys will be locked into their respective seedings by Week 18. Seattle’s playoff fate realistically comes down to these next two weeks.

The simplest path to a playoff berth for the Seahawks is to be one game better than the Commanders over the final three weeks, whilst simultaneously matching or bettering the Lions’ record during that span. That’s looking pretty damn tough but it’s not impossible.