Seahawks playoff scenarios: What you need to know

Seahawks playoff scenarios: What you need to know

Credit: Otto Greule Jr.

Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs with the ball in the firsy half against the San Francisco 49ers.

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by TRAVIS PITTMAN / KING5.com

NWCN.com

Posted on December 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 27 at 2:12 PM

You’re excited to see that the Seattle Seahawks have qualified for the playoffs, but you still don’t know the difference between a first down and a touchdown.

Here's a look at the Seahawks’ potential playoff opponents ... so you can look like you’ve been following them from day one.

First, you should know the current NFC playoff seedings.

1. Atlanta Falcons (NFC South Champion)
2. Green Bay Packers (NFC North Champion)
3. San Francisco 49ers (Leading NFC West)
4. Washington Redskins (Leading NFC East)
5. Seattle Seahawks (clinched playoff berth)
6. Minnesota Vikings (leading for final playoff berth)

As someone pointed out to me, the potential list of Seahawks opponents in the first round of the playoffs was more limited than I thought when I first published this story Monday. Using ESPN.com's Playoff Machine, I discovered they were right. Here are the updated scenarios.

Scenario 1

Seattle has clinched a wild card berth. If the team doesn’t advance any farther, they will play on the road the weekend of Jan. 5-6. They can't move lower than the 5th seed, so their potential opponents include the Washington Redskins or Dallas Cowboys -- whoever wins the NFC East this Sunday.

Scenario 2

If the Seahawks win this Sunday against St. Louis and the 49ers somehow manage to lose to Arizona (not likely), then the Seahawks would be the NFC West Champions.

If that happens, and the Green Bay Packers don’t lose to Minnesota on Sunday, then the Seahawks would host a wild card game Jan. 5 or 6. Possible opponents could include Washington, Chicago, or the New York Giants.

Scenario 3

If the Packers lose to Minnesota and the Seahawks win the NFC West, then Seattle could vault all the way up to the No. 2 seed. That would mean that they would get a first week playoff bye, with their first post-season game falling on the weekend of Jan. 12-13. Their opponent would be the highest remaining seed from the wild card round.

No matter what happens, Seattle cannot face Atlanta in the first week of the playoffs. The Falcons have clinched home field advantage, which means they will get that first week off and will host the lowest remaining seed from the wild card round.

Will the Seahawks get any home games?

If they remain a wild card, then it’s doubtful. The only way we'll see a post-season game in Seattle is if the Seahawks are the No. 5 seed. Even then, the Seahawks and the other wild card would have to beat all their opponents in the first two weeks of the playoffs. In that case, the Seahawks would get to play the NFC Championship Game at CenturyLink Field.

If the Seahawks win the NFC West, they are guaranteed at least one home game. Again, if they want to play the NFC title game at CenturyLink, they have to be the highest remaining seed after the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Now, you’re ready to go. Memorize this and you'll look like you’ve been a Seahawks fan for 35 years. But if someone you know comes up to you and says Rick Mirer or Dan McGwire was a better Seahawks quarterback than Russell Wilson, change the subject.
 

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