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The one way the Seahawks could be eliminated from the playoffs before the Jets game

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

It was only a couple of weeks ago that the Seattle Seahawks “controlled their own destiny” as far as making the playoffs. That is no longer the case after dropping back to back home games to the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers. With a 7-7 record, they sit alongside the Detroit Lions as the top two teams on the outside looking in at the last two wild card spots.

The most basic way for Seattle to qualify for the postseason is to have at least more win over its final three games than the Commanders, as well as an equal or better record than the Lions. We’ll get into that in another post, but this post deals with the not totally impossible scenario that could see the Seahawks’ playoff hopes crash out before the Week 17 game against the New York Jets kicks off.

The Seahawks are eliminated before the Jets game IF...

Seahawks lose to the Chiefs


Giants defeat one of the Minnesota Vikings or Indianapolis Colts


Commanders defeat both the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns

That would leave the standings at:

New York Giants: 10-5-1 or 9-6-1

Washington Commanders: 9-6-1

Seattle Seahawks: 7-8 and eliminated even if they beat the Jets.

The Lions are not relevant to this story because they’re behind the Seahawks in the playoff chase on a tiebreaker. Even if they win their next two games, Seattle would need to lose to the Chiefs and Jets in order for Detroit to be clear of the Seahawks.

It is not inconceivable that the Giants get at least one win over the Colts or Vikings. The Commanders upsetting the 49ers on the road is the one outcome that doesn’t seem particularly likely, but we’ve seen plenty of upsets and near upsets over the past few weeks to not discount it.

Seattle cannot be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in Week 16, but since the current kickoff times have Colts-Giants and Browns-Commanders at 10 AM and the Jets-Seahawks can’t be any earlier than 1 PM, we may know the Seahawks’ playoff fate a lot sooner than we think.

But not all hope is lost! Coming up in our next column is the scenario in which the Seahawks could clinch a playoff spot in Week 17!