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The one way the Seahawks could clinch a playoff spot in Week 17

Carolina Panthers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks were atop the NFC West just over a month ago, and now they’re out of the playoffs entirely entering Week 16. Not only do they sit a half game behind the Washington Commanders (7-6-1), but the surging Detroit Lions have pulled level with the Seahawks at 7-7. Good thing Seattle beat Detroit when they were missing several key offensive starters, right?

FiveThirtyEight has Seattle’s playoff odds at just 30%, while the New York Times has them at an even lower 27%. Not promising, is it?

We already went through the scenario in which the Seahawks have all the bad results happen and they’re knocked out of postseason contention before the New York Jets game even kicks off. Well let’s go to the other side and examine the one improbable (but not impossible!) way the Seahawks could defy the odds and clinch a playoff berth before their Week 18 finale against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Seahawks clinch a playoff spot in Week 17 if...

Seattle wins against both the Chiefs and New York Jets


Commanders lose to both San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns


Detroit Lions lose to either Carolina Panthers or Chicago Bears


Green Bay Packers lose to either the Miami Dolphins or Minnesota Vikings

That would leave the standings at:

Seattle Seahawks: 9-7

Washington Commanders: 7-8-1

Detroit Lions: 8-8 or 7-9

Green Bay Packers: 7-9 or 6-10

The New York Giants do not factor into this equation at all and obviously they don’t need to. The Packers have a conference tiebreaker on the Seahawks so that’s why another Green Bay loss would really suit Seattle well.

Is this very unlikely? Yes. Is it impossible? No! If Seattle can shock the Chiefs on Saturday that would go a long way towards reviving the team’s postseason hopes regardless of what happens in the other games.