Seattle's 34-31 loss to the Arizona Cardinals this past Saturday means the NFC West champion Seahawks will need a bit of help if they wish to secure a first-round bye in the 2016 playoffs.
The Dallas Cowboys (13-2) have locked up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the postseason, but the No. 2 seed is still up for grabs in the NFC. Seattle (9-5-1) currently holds the No. 3 seed in the playoff picture after the Detroit Lions' (9-6) loss last night. The Atlanta Falcons (10-5), who have clinched the NFC South division, currently hold the No. 2 seed. But if the Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday and the Falcons fall to or tie the New Orleans Saints, then Seattle will claim the No. 2 seed in the NFC, and the first-round playoff bye that comes with it.
On Tuesday, the NFL shared two ways the Seahawks can clinch a first-round playoff bye in Week 17:
1. SEA win + ATL loss or tie
2. SEA tie + ATL loss + GB/DET tie
The Seahawks-49ers and Falcons-Saints games kick off at the same time on New Year's Day, with both games getting underway at 1:25 p.m. PT, so both teams will go into each game assuming they need to win to get the No. 2 seed.
For a complete look at the NFL playoff picture, head to nfl.com/playoffs/playoffpicture.
Get close to the Seahawks with these sideline photos from the team's Week 16 game against the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.