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NFC Playoff Picture: Seahawks confidently holding down No. 5 seed

A playoff picture is starting to materialize.

Washington Commanders v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

While Week 10 of the 2023 NFL season may still be underway, the only remaining teams on this week’s docket are of the AFC variety, so we won’t have to wait any longer to find out how NFC playoff positioning is looking. Fortunately, things worked out pretty well for the Seattle Seahawks this week; following a home victory over the middling Washington Commanders, the Hawks gained a bit of breathing room in the Wild Card hunt, with the division title still in play as well.

Worthy of note, a handful of teams still have yet to reach their bye, which makes things a bit interesting, but otherwise there seems to be some delineation developing between the contenders and the pretenders. There is still a lot of football ahead, so we can obviously expect these rankings to continue to shake up on a weekly basis. As of now, though, this is where things stand in the National Football Conference as of Week 10.

NFC Standings

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
  2. Detroit Lions (7-2)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (6-3) -
  4. New Orleans Saints (5-5)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (6-3, 5-1 NFC)
  6. Dallas Cowboys (6-3, 3-3 NFC)
  7. Minnesota Vikings (6-4)
  8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)
  9. Washington Commanders (4-6, win over ATL)
  10. Atlanta Falcons (4-6, loss to WAS)
  11. Green Bay Packers (3-6, win over LAR)
  12. Los Angeles Rams (3-6, loss to GB)
  13. Chicago Bears (3-7)
  14. New York Giants (2-8, win over ARI)
  15. Arizona Cardinals (2-8, loss to NYG)
  16. Carolina Panthers (1-8)

As you can see above, if the playoffs started today, the Philadelphia Eagles would earn the first round Bye, and the Lions would be taking on the Vikings in Detroit. The 49ers hold first place in the NFC West by virtue of their perfect record in the division, and Seattle holds the tiebreaker over the Cowboys due to win percentage in conference games. This last fact highlights a situation to pay attention to — if the playoff started today, the 49ers would face the Cowboys and the Seahawks would be making a trip to New Orleans.

With the victory over Washington, Seattle helped to create a bit of breathing room between them and the teams that are still in the hunt. After the Vikings — who are the last winning team in the NFC and currently occupy the last Wild Card spot — the next best records are held by the Buccaneers, Commanders, Falcons, and Packers. With the exception of the Bucs, the other three all lost today. Of the remaining teams, only the Rams seem to present a realistic ‘dark horse’ threat to get back into the playoff hunt.

The Seahawks have a brutal schedule coming up, but so do the other contenders in the NFC. The Saints still have to play the Lions, and have a number of divisional games left on the schedule. The Cowboys get to look forward to a stretch of games that goes Eagles, @Bills, @Dolphins, Lions. And then a road date with the Commanders. The Vikings play the Lions twice. You could even make an argument that the Niners have it tough, too, as they have to face the Eagles and Ravens while also taking on the Seahawks twice. Suffice to say... expect things to change, and expect things to get exciting.