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November 30, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Seattle Seahawks back in control of own destiny in NFC West

In the aftermath of the loss at Kansas City two weeks ago, a few Seahawks mentioned that the good news was that they still controlled their own destiny.

In terms of the NFC West, though, they didn’t at that time.

But now, thanks to the events of the last eight days, they do.

Arizona lost today at Atlanta 29-18, dropping to 9-3. Seattle, after beating Arizona a week ago and the 49ers on Thursday, is now 8-4. The 49ers, with losses already to Arizona and Seattle, are 7-5.

And thanks to the earlier win over Arizona, if Seattle wins its last four it would take the NFC West since it would have the tiebreaker on the Cardinals by beating Arizona twice — the two teams meet again Dec. 21 in Glendale, Ariz.

That’s a lot to ask, to be sure, as Seattle still has two rugged road games — at Philadelphia Sunday and at Arizona, along with home games against the 49ers on Dec. 14 and a suddenly hot St. Louis team Dec. 28.

Still, the events of the last eight days have dramatically changed the playoff picture for Seattle.

In fact, Seattle is also edging closer to controlling its destiny for a bye in the playoffs — remember that the top two seeds get a bye.

The Seahawks, though, still need some help on that front.

At the moment, Seattle would need one of Green Bay (9-3) or Dallas (8-4) to lose one more game to get one of the top two seeds and a bye, and would need both to lose get the No. 1 seed (again, that’s assuming Seattle wins out which would include one more win over Arizona and a win over Philadelphia. Seattle has already beaten Green Bay so the Seahawks would win a tiebreaker with the Packers, but lost to Dallas, which at the moment has the same record as the Seahawks).

At the conclusion of today’s games, Seattle remains where it was heading into the day — holding the No. 5 seed in the NFC, which would mean a trip to Atlanta, which may only be 5-7 but remains atop the NFC South (holding a head-to-head tiebreaker on the Saints) and as of now would have the No. 4 seed.

Here is the breakdown of the playoff picture right now.

And here are the NFC standings in order of current playoff seed:

1, Arizona, 9-3 (7-2 conference record)

2, Philadelphia, 9-3 (6-2 conference record)

3, Green Bay, 9-3 (5-3)

4, Atlanta, 5-7

5, Seattle, 8-4 (6-2)

6, Detroit, 8-4 (6-2)

Dallas is also 8-4, but at the moment Seattle has the edges on the Lions and Cowboys in a three-team tiebreaker due to a better conference record — the Seahawks and Lions are each 6-2 to the Cowboys’ 5-4. The Seahawks then win a tiebreaker with the Lions based on record in common games (4-0 to 2-2).

While there are still all kinds of scenarios that could unfold, the fact that Seattle still plays Arizona and the Eagles and has beaten Green Bay makes it much clearer for the Seahawks. Win out, and Seattle will be in good shape.

As for whether Seattle can get the one loss out of Green Bay it would need to get home field advantage through the playoffs, the news isn’t necessarily great. The Packers figure to be favored in each of their last four games — home against Atlanta next Monday, at Buffalo, at Tampa Bay and then home to face the Lions on Dec. 28.

As for other contenders, here’s what’s left:

Arizona: Kansas City Dec. 7, at St. Louis Dec. 11, Seattle Dec. 21, at San Francisco Dec. 28.

Philadelphia: Seattle Dec. 7, Dallas Dec. 14, at Washington Dec. 20, at New York Giants, Dec. 28.

Detroit: Tampa Bay Dec. 7, Minnesota, Dec. 14, at Chicago Dec. 21, at Green Bay Dec. 28.

Dallas: At Chicago Dec. 4, at Philadelphia Dec. 14, Indianapolis Dec. 21, at Washington Dec. 28.

And if you’re interested in the tiebreaking procedure, here you go.



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