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Who could the Seahawks host in the first round of the playoffs?


The #Seahawks may face the #Los #Angeles #Rams for a third time, this time in the playoffs. (#Getty)

#Week 17 will be a fun one for the #Seahawks and the rest of the NFL, as playoff berths, first-round byes and seeding are all up for grabs in the last week of the regular season.

#Related: #Seahawks #Playoff #Seeding: #Every way their spot could shake out

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#In the NFC, the #Seahawks have won the NFC #West and will host at least one playoff game. The #Seahawks are one of four teams who have clinched a playoff spot already, but between them, the #Green #Bay #Packers and the #New #Orleans #Saints, it has yet to be decided who will secure the #No. 1, #No. 2 and #No. 3 seeds.

#Entering #Week 17, the #Packers are 12-3 and hold that top spot, which comes with a first-round playoff bye. Then, the #Saints and #Seahawks are 11-4, but due to a conference record tiebreaker, the #Saints hold the #No. 2 seed while the #Seahawks are #No. 3. The winner of the lackluster NFC #East will hold the #No. 4 seed, and then three of four possible teams will be seeds five-seven.

The #Seahawks’ road to the top spot in the conference and a first-round bye is uphill, as they would need to beat the #San #Francisco 49ers this week while the #Packers and #Saints both lose. #That’s not impossible, but at the moment, it seems unlikely that will occur. #More likely than not, the #Seahawks will be the #No. 2 or #No. 3 seed and play in the first week of the playoffs.

#If that’s the case, who could #Seattle host? #Here are the four teams.

#Tampa #Bay #Buccaneers

#Tampa #Bay is the lone team to have clinched a playoff spot without winning the division, and the #Bucs will be at least the #No. 6 seed and possibly the #No. 5 seed.

The 10-5 #Buccaneers would have to lose their #Week 17 contest to the 4-11 #Atlanta #Falcons while the 9-6 #Los #Angeles #Rams would have to lose to the 8-7 #Arizona #Cardinals in order to drop from the #No. 5 seed to the #No. 6 seed in order to come to #Seattle to play the #No. 3 #Seahawks. #If #Seattle clinches the #No. 2 spot or if the #Buccaneers win in #Week 17, it’s impossible for those two teams to meet in the first round.

#Of the four potential #Wild #Card teams, #Tampa #Bay is arguably the most dangerous.

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The #Bucs have been extremely up and down this year, with highs of blowing out the #Packers 38-10 in #Week 6 and lows of getting swept by the #Saints, including a 38-3 #Week 9 loss. #But, with #Tom #Brady at quarterback and a wide array of weapons catching passes like receivers #Mike #Evans, #Chris #Godwin and #Antonio #Brown as well as future #Hall of #Fame tight end #Rob #Gronkowski, it’s clear that #Tampa #Bay has all the tools to make a deep run in the playoffs.

The #Buccaneers are 11th in yards per game, fifth in points per game, and their defense has been solid this year as well. #That group is sixth in yards allowed, first in rushing yards allowed and seventh in scoring defense.

#Los #Angeles #Rams

#If the current playoff standings hold, the #Seahawks and #Rams would face off for the third time this season, as #Los #Angeles sits at the #No. 6 seed. The #Rams won the first matchup 23-17 in #Week 10, but the #Seahawks won 20-9 last week to clinch the NFC #West.

#As noted, the #Buccaneers have clinched a playoff berth already, and the #Rams are one of three teams fighting for the two other #Wild #Card spots. #But unlike those other two teams, the #Rams enter #Week 17 with nine wins.

The #Rams end the season with one of the biggest games of the final week, as they host the 8-7 #Cardinals, who are also fighting for a playoff spot.

#For the #Rams, they need to win or tie in their game or hope the #Chicago #Bears lose or tie their game against the #Packers in order to clinch a playoff spot.

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The #Rams are in an interesting spot as they could get the #No. 5 seed with a #Week 17 win and a #Buccaneers loss, but they can also get the #No. 6 seed, #No. 7 seed or miss the playoffs altogether if they lose and the #Bears win.

#As with the #Buccaneers, the #Rams couldn’t play the #Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs if they get that #No. 5 seed. #But if seeding remains the same or if the #Seahawks get the #No. 2 seed the #Rams wind up with the #No. 7 seed, then #Los #Angeles could come to #Seattle for the first game of the playoffs.

The #Rams will be without starting quarterback #Jarred #Goff in #Week 17 against the #Cardinals as he had surgery on his right thumb. #Head coach #Sean #McVay says it’s possible #Goff returns for the first round of the playoffs, so with the #Rams as the #Seahawks’ most likely first-round opponent, that situation should be monitored going forward.

The #Rams currently have the #No. 1 defense in terms of yards allowed and are third in points against. #On offense, they rank seventh in yards per game and 19th in points per game.

#Chicago #Bears

The #Bears are maybe the most surprising NFL playoff contender outside of the NFC #East as their offense has been up and down with #Mitch #Trubisky and #Nick #Foles playing hot potato with the starting quarterback position.

#For the #Bears to get to the playoffs, it may well be in the hands of the #Rams-Cardinals game as the #Bears host the #Packers in #Week 17.

The #Bears can earn a playoff spot with a win or if the #Cardinals lose. #If the #Bears lose and the #Cardinals win, #Chicago will be out of the playoffs and the NFC #West will have three playoff teams.

The #Bears can earn either the #No. 6 seed or the #No. 7 seed, with the latter seeming more likely at this point. #Either way, it’s possible #Chicago comes to #Seattle for the first round of the playoffs.

#As noted, the #Bears’ offense has struggled, which would be good news for a surging #Seahawks’ defense. #Chicago ranks 25th in yards per game and 18th in points per game. #Like two seasons ago when the #Bears were one of the top teams in the league, the defense is the team’s strength. They rank 11th in yards allowed and ninth in points allowed.

#Arizona #Cardinals

The #Cardinals have the longest shot of making the playoffs as they’re currently on the outside looking in, but facing a #Goff-less #Rams team in #Week 17, #Arizona’s chances have gone up.

#For the #Cardinals, they can earn either the #No. 6 seed, #No. 7 seed or miss the playoffs altogether. #With a win, the #Cardinals clinch a spot and whether the #Bears win or lose would determine whether #Chicago or #Los #Angeles makes the playoffs.

#Like with the #Rams, the #Seahawks and #Cardinals split their season series, with #Arizona winning 37-34 in overtime in #Week 7 and the #Seahawks winning 28-21 in #Week 11.

The #Rams will enter #Week 17 without their starting quarterback, and #Cardinals quarterback #Kyler #Murray is also banged up heading into the contest, but he told reporters he expects to play despite having a lower-leg injury.

#Entering #Week 17, the #Cardinals rank second in yards per game, 10th in points per game, 14th in yards allowed and 15th in points allowed.

#Follow #Brandon #Gustafson on #Twitter

O’#Neil: #Seahawks’ gamble for #Adams gave defense the star it needed





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https://sports.mynorthwest.com/1252780/who-could-the-seahawks-host-in-the-first-round-of-the-playoffs/

##Seahawks #host #playoffs

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