It feels over, but it’s not over.
The Seattle Seahawks have slumped from 6-3 to 7-8 but every other result on Saturday with respect to the NFC wild card race broke in Seattle’s favor. In other words, they lost no ground whatsoever.
Both the New York Giants and Washington Commanders dropped difficult road games. The Giants lost 27-24 on a 61-yard field goal to the Minnesota Vikings, who will only ever win in dramatic fashion. Meanwhile, the Commanders benched Taylor Heinicke for Carson Wentz mid-game and lost 37-20 to the San Francisco 49ers.
By far the biggest result was the Detroit Lions getting bulldozed for 320 yards rushing and losing 37-23 to the Carolina Panthers, keeping the Seahawks at 8th in the NFC standings, as opposed to 9th had the Lions won.
Updated Wild Card Standings
5.) Dallas Cowboys (11-4)
6.) New York Giants (8-6-1)
7.) Washington Commanders (7-7-1)
First three teams out
8.) Seattle Seahawks (7-8)
9.) Detroit Lions (7-8)
10.) Green Bay Packers (6-8)
What does this mean?
If the Seahawks defeat the New York Jets next week, and the Commanders lose to the Cleveland Browns, and the Green Bay Packers lose to either the Miami Dolphins or Minnesota Vikings, the Seahawks have a “win and in” situation for Week 18.
Green Bay has a conference record tiebreaker on Seattle so the Packers still have a tiny bit of hope to make the playoffs. Losing even one game likely is a wrap for them.
tl;dr: Seahawks win + Commanders loss in Week 17 + Packers loss in Week 16 or 17 automatically puts Seattle back into the #7 spot.
We also cannot lose sight of the fact that the Dallas Cowboys did beat the Philadelphia Eagles to stay alive in the NFC East race. If the Cowboys beat the fading Tennessee Titans and the Eagles lose to the New Orleans Saints, that guarantees that both teams will have something to play for in Week 18. That may prove important if it comes down to needing a Commanders or New York Giants loss on the final day.
The Seahawks could’ve been eliminated before the Jets game had the Commanders won in Santa Clara and then defeated the Cleveland Browns in the 10 AM kickoff next Sunday. That didn’t happen, so the Seahawks still have a chance, but they are running out of time and showing little sign of improvement.