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NFL Playoff Picture: Seahawks move up standings with win, await weekend outcomes

Further status depends for now on results from Rams, Cowboys, Panthers and the rest of the NFC field

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Pete Carroll celebrates during the fourth quarter of the Seahawks win over Arizona.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night defeated the Arizona Cardinals in another bloodbath in the desert to improve their record to 6-3 on the season. The win, at least for the time being, moves Seattle back into a position where it is on the inside of the playoffs standings, pending the results of the remaining games this weekend.

As it currently stands the Hawks hold the fifth seed in the NFC playoff race, as their 4-2 conference record gives them the early tiebreaker lead over the Carolina Panthers and their identical 6-3 record. However, with both Carolina and Dallas in action this weekend, Seattle could find itself outside looking in once again by this time next week. Dallas travels to Atlanta in the late game Sunday and Carolina hosts the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football: Should either of those two teams lose, Seattle is guaranteed to hold on to at least a Wild Card spot at this point.

The game this weekend that might be most important to the Seahawks playoff positioning at this point is the late Sunday encounter between the Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans. Fresh off a 51-17 whooping of the New York Giants on the road, the Rams host a Deshaun Watson-less Texans team needing a win to stay in first place in the NFC West. Due to the Seattle victory over the Rams back in week 5, the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker over the Rams and an L.A. loss would give the two teams identical 6-3 records, with Seattle in first for now via the tiebreaker.

In any case, this is all extremely early positioning, as there remains a ton of football to be played down the stretch, and the Seahawks playoff seeding at this moment will mean little if the team isn’t able to overcome the recent spate of injuries.