The NFL has yet to confirm which teams Seattle could face in the wild-card game Jan. 6 or 7. The Seahawks get their information from the NFL, and they do not have confirmation, either. I wrote last night on the blog that Philadelphia or Dallas would visit Seattle. This was based on calculations made in the press box among several reporters and the Seahawks media-relations people.
In retrospect, this might not be correct because, according to the very limited information provided by the league, the Eagles have not yet clinched a playoff berth. So, if the Eagles miss the playoffs, the Cowboys would win the NFC East as the second or third seed. This would send another team to Seattle as the fifth seed in the NFC. The Giants, Packers, Panthers, Falcons and Rams are still in the playoff hunt.
We are confident that Seattle will be the fourth seed in the NFC. This is because division winners comprise the top four seeds, and three division winners will have at least as many victories as Seattle and a better NFC record. Chicago and New Orleans already have more victories than Seattle can achieve. If Dallas beats Philadelphia tonight, the Cowboys would win the NFC East and have more victories than Seattle can achieve. If the Eagles win, they would finish with at least as many victories as Seattle, and a better NFC record.
Special note: A big “thank you” to our desk crew for recognizing that Philly and Dallas are not the only teams in the running for the fifth seed. The story I submitted last night said otherwise. John Wallingford, one of our copy editors, spotted the error. Another editor, Rob Wieman, tried to call me late last night after I had already gone into Santa Claus mode getting gifts together for the kids. I didn’t get his messages until too late, but he took out the reference to the Eagles and Cowboys. It’s always nice to have safety help over the top, as the Seahawks can attest. Thanks again, guys.