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Hawks have many playoff possibilities

RENTON, Wash. – Seattle returned from Sunday’s 33-point victory assured of its first winning season since 2007 and one victory away from guaranteeing a playoff berth.

That meant for the first time this year coach Pete Carroll could talk about playoff possibilities without looking down the road.

That doesn’t mean he would, though. While Seattle is one victory away from clinching a playoff berth, Carroll said it’s not something he plans to hold out as a carrot heading into this week’s game against the division-leading San Francisco 49ers.

“We’ve got another game after that one, too,” Carroll said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

And a wide range of postseason possibilities. Seattle has control of its own playoff fate, and still has a long shot chance of winning the NFC West.

Earning a first-round bye isn’t impossible.

And while San Francisco’s victory in New England on Sunday night means the 49ers will remain in first place in the NFC West regardless of the outcome of their game at Seattle, that doesn’t lessen the significance of this game for Carroll.

“There’s two games to play,” he said. “Each of us have to play, and none of that would have mattered anyway if we don’t take care of business and get a win this weekend, and then there’ll be another week.”

With that in mind, here’s how Seattle’s playoff possibilities pan out heading into the final two games of the season.


No. 2 seed

The Seahawks can earn the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs if:

• Seattle goes 2-0, defeating San Francisco and St. Louis.

• And the 49ers (10-3-1) go 0-2 against Seattle and Arizona.

• And the Packers (10-4) lose at least one of their final two games, against the Titans or Vikings.

Likelihood: Remote.

No. 3 seed

The Seahawks can earn the No. 3 seed and home-field advantage in wild-card round against No. 6 seed if:

• Seattle goes 2-0.

• And the 49ers go 0-2.

• And the Packers go 2-0.

Likelihood: Remote.

No. 4 seed

Seattle can’t earn the No. 4 seed in the playoffs. The only way Seattle can possibly win the division is to win its final two games. If the Seahawks do that, they would be assured of having a better record than the team that wins the NFC East.


No. 5 seed

Seattle will earn the No. 5 seed and a road game against the NFC’s No. 4 seed if:

• Seattle goes 2-0.

• And the 49ers go 1-1.


• Seattle goes 1-1.

• The Giants either lose at least once or win the NFC East.

Likelihood: Strong.

No. 6 seed

Seattle will earn the No. 6 seed and a road game against the NFC’s No. 3 seed if:

• Seattle goes 1-1.

• And the Giants go 2-0, but either Dallas or Washington goes 2-0 in the final two weeks to keep Giants from winning the NFC East.

Likelihood: Low.


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