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NFC Playoff Picture: Two elimination scenarios for the Seahawks in Week 17

Seattle Seahawks v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

We’re getting down to the final two weeks of the 2022 NFL regular season, and the Seattle Seahawks find themselves needing help to make the playoffs after cratering from 6-3 to 7-8. FiveThirtyEight has Seattle’s playoff chances at 27%, which means a whole lot’s gotta go right for the Seahawks to see themselves playing deeper into January.

The good news for the Seahawks is that they got enough help via last week’s results that they cannot be mathematically eliminated with just a loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. The bad news is that there are a couple of scenarios that could see the meaningful part of their season end with a week to spare, and one of them doesn’t even involve the Washington Commanders.

The Simplest Scenario

Seahawks lose to Jets


Commanders defeat Cleveland Browns

That’s it. There is no alternate route for Seattle because the Commanders and New York Giants would both be on 8.5 wins—their tie is a half-win, essentially—and Seattle would max out at eight wins.

The Non-Commanders Scenario

Seahawks lose to Jets


Green Bay Packers defeat the Minnesota Vikings


Detroit Lions defeat Chicago Bears

In this scenario, the Seahawks are 7-9 and both the Packers and Lions are 8-8, which means one of them is guaranteed to be no worse than 8-8-1, aka the fatal blow to Seattle’s postseason hopes and dreams.

Seattle is also out if one of the Packers or Lions tie in Week 17 and the other team wins. One would be 7-8-1 and another at 8-8, so since they play each other in Week 18 there is no scenario in which the Seahawks can overtake them both.

We’ll see if Geno Smith can make it a hat trick of wins against his former teams and guarantee the Seahawks will have something at stake against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 18.