The NFL provides updated playoff scenarios each week late in the season. The NFC West race is pretty simple. The Seahawks win the division if they win one more game, or if the 49ers lose one more game. The full playoff picture is below.
One thing we know about the playoff picture: The Seahawks can’t be worse than fourth in the NFC as long as they lead their division. The top six at present (before the Sunday games): Chicago 11-2, New Orleans 9-4, Dallas 9-5, Seattle 8-6, NY Giants 7-6 and Philadelphia 7-6. The top four will not change no matter what happens today.
The NFL’s conference standings show the Seahawks third in the NFC. The league has not yet updated the standings to reflect the Panthers’ loss tonight in Philadelphia. The way I see things, the top four in the NFC at present are: Chicago (10-2), New Orleans (8-4), Seattle (8-4) and Dallas (8-4). The Saints sit in the No. 2 seed for now because they win a three-way tiebreaker with Seattle and Dallas on conference record. Seattle sits ahead of Dallas for the third spot, also thanks to a better conference record. The Giants, Atlanta, Carolina and Philadelphia would be in
The Hawks sure have it tough in the NFC West. They can coast through the division despite missing Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander, Robbie Tobeck, Jerramy Stevens and Bobby Engram for long stretches. They can part ways with Steve Hutchinson, put Marcus Tubbs on injured reserve, lose at home to the Vikings, lose at San Francisco and still cruise toward the playoffs.
The Cardinals’ victory over the Rams today, coupled with the 49ers’ expected loss in New Orleans (down big late), means the Seahawks can lose in Denver tonight and still lead the division by two games with
The Rams restored some order to the NFC West by beating the 49ers today. Seattle’s upset loss at San Francisco put some wind in the 49ers’ sails. A fourth consecutive victory by the 49ers might have made things more interesting down the stretch. Now the Rams and 49ers are both 5-6. Seattle can jump back out to a two-game cushion by beating the Packers on Monday night. The 49ers are improving. They just do not know how to finish games consistently. They had an 11-play, 7-plus-minute drive in the fourth quarter, only to settle for a field goal. That gave
The Seahawks are third in the NFC. Here is why: Chicago is first with a 9-1 record. Five teams are tied at 6-4. To sort them out, first identify the division leaders. Seattle leads the West. The Giants lead the East. Carolina leads the South. We then settle a three-way tiebreaker between those teams. The Giants are the second seed because they have the best conference record. Remember, conference record trumps head-to-head in ties involving more than two teams. That leaves Seattle and Carolina competing for the third spot. Seattle prevails on conference record. New Orleans and Dallas are then
My initial glance at the NFC standings led me to think the Seahawks were fourth in the conference. They are third. This is because New Orleans and Carolina are from the same division, preventing them both from being among the top four in the conference. As a result, the current order is: Chicago, NY Giants, Seattle, Carolina, New Orleans and Dallas. Carolina has the head-to-head edge over New Orleans, making the Panthers first in the NFC South. Then it comes down to Seattle and Carolina for the third seed. The Seahawks prevail on the stronger conference record. That leaves the