Here's where Seattle Seahawks stand in playoff picture through 10 games

The Seattle Seahawks climbed back atop the NFC West with a much-needed victory over the Cardinals last Thursday. Then the Packers on Sunday fell in overtime (in dramatic fashion) to the Colts.

So as they enjoyed a few extra days off, the Seahawks got some help in the playoff race without even lifting a finger — just as they approach their easiest stretch of the season.

With its win over Arizona and Green Bay’s loss to Indianapolis, Seattle is now the No. 2 seed in the NFC as it approaches Week 12. The Seahawks and Packers are both 7-3, but Seattle wins the tiebreaker based on strength of victory.

Unlike previous years, it’s just the top seed in both conferences that get the first-round bye. So if the playoffs started now, the Seahawks would be hosting the divisional-rival Cardinals at Lumen Field in the 2-7 matchup during Wild Card Weekend.

Pending the Rams-Buccaneers Monday night game, the Seahawks have a 96% chance of making the playoffs, 53% chance of winning the NFC West and a 20% chance of a first-round bye, according to FiveThirtyEight charting. Seattle trails just New Orleans in NFC postseason odds and has the best chances of winning its division by more than 20 percentage points (Rams are at 31%).

That would change, of course, if the Rams win at Tampa Bay on Monday. LA would improve to 7-3, and since it has the tiebreaker over Seattle in the head-to-head, LA would leap to No. 2 in the NFC. The Seahawks would drop to fifth place in that scenario. The Rams would then have a 45% chance of winning the NFC West, with the Seahawks chances of claiming the division sliding to 42%, per FiveThirtyEight.

But if the Rams fall to the Bucs, the Seahawks’ would move a full game ahead of both the Rams and the Cardinals in the division with six games left in the regular season. That would give Seattle a 60% chance of winning the NFC West, according to FiveThirtyEight, arguably football’s toughest division.

Regardless of what happens in Rams-Bucs, though, Seattle has the most favorable remaining schedule of the NFC West’s top three teams, with their opponents having an average win percentage of .336. The Seahawks’ next four games: at the 3-6-1 Eagles, vs. the 3-7 Giants, vs. the 0-10 Jets and at 3-7 Washington. Then they end the regular season vs. the Rams and at the 49ers. The Rams’ remaining opponents, meanwhile,  have an average win percentage of .485, with the Cardinals’ opponents at .464.

And as long as the Seahawks stay at No. 1 in the NFC West, the top overall seed in the NFC is within grasp, too. The No. 1 Saints (8-2) are without star quarterback Drew Brees for at least the next two games with his recent placement on Injured Reserve. Should New Orleans take a step back, and Seattle takes care of its relatively weak schedule (with some help from the Packers, Rams and Cardinals), the road to the Super Bowl could be through the Seahawks in the NFC.

The playoff race is far from over with several weeks left in the regular season. But the Seahawks are in position to control their destiny.

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