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Seahawks can clinch playoffs tonight, more teams can clinch Sunday

Russell Wilson AP

No NFL teams have clinched a playoff berth yet. But one team can do it tonight, and five teams may have done it by this time next week.

Seattle, which hosts New Orleans tonight, is in the playoffs with a win. Obviously, there’s almost no scenario in which the 10-1 Seahawks will miss the playoffs, but it becomes a mathematical certainty if they win tonight.

More teams can reach the playoffs on Sunday. In the NFC, the Saints’ scenario is simple: They clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Seahawks tonight and then beat the Panthers next week.

In the AFC, the Broncos will clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Titans on Sunday. Even if the Broncos lose to the Titans on Sunday, they’ll clinch at least a wild card if the Dolphins lose to the Steelers.

The Broncos beating the Titans would also clinch the AFC South for the Colts. And even if the Titans pull the upset, the Colts will clinch the AFC South if they beat the Bengals.

The Patriots will clinch the AFC East if they beat the Browns and the Dolphins lose at Pittsburgh.

So by the end of the day on Sunday, as many as five of the 12 playoff spots may have been clinched by the Seahawks, Saints, Broncos, Patriots and Colts. Realistically, those five teams have playoff berths all but wrapped up, and so do the Chiefs, Panthers and Bengals, even if they can’t clinch mathematically yet. Throw those eight teams in with the 49ers as an NFC wild card and the Lions as the likely NFC North winners, and we’ve got 10 playoff spots figured out. The two playoff spots that are the toughest to predict are the final AFC wild card (which will probably go to the Ravens or Dolphins) and the NFC East winner (the 7-5 Cowboys own the tiebreaker over the 7-5 Eagles, but those teams still have a Week 17 meeting to settle things). And that’s your NFL playoff picture.

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56 Responses to “Seahawks can clinch playoffs tonight, more teams can clinch Sunday”
  1. bopac says: Dec 2, 2013 9:56 AM

    Nick Foles will have your teams begging for mercy.

  2. osiris33 says: Dec 2, 2013 9:58 AM

    So the Seahawks will officially be in the playoffs by about 8:30 PM Pacific then?

  3. pacificnw7722 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:00 AM

    We got this!

    GO HAWKS!!!

  4. ninersareyesterdaysnews says: Dec 2, 2013 10:03 AM

    “So let it be written…so let it be done.”

  5. seabrawk12 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:05 AM

    Go Hawks!

  6. doubleogator says: Dec 2, 2013 10:07 AM

    Looks like Seahawks will have to wait another week to clinch…

  7. superbowl42champs says: Dec 2, 2013 10:08 AM

    guess what victor contes favorite team is?

  8. 87hollywoodhorn says: Dec 2, 2013 10:08 AM

    shehawks an officially get whooped tonight, how u love DAT!!! #aintdatcold?

  9. abqhawk says: Dec 2, 2013 10:08 AM

    Is the 12th man READY TO RUMBLE? Refuse to lose baby, that’s what it’s all about! Go Hawks!

  10. pooflingingmonkey says: Dec 2, 2013 10:11 AM

    What about the Raiders? Oh yeah, that’s right… they’re inconsequential.

  11. shatho1 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:12 AM

    Dallas will clip the eagles wings

  12. joetoronto says: Dec 2, 2013 10:15 AM

    The great Russell Wilson, averaging 215 yards per game, against Drew Brees.

    SMH.

  13. hpeters77 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:16 AM

    Who dat make some noise

  14. seatownballers says: Dec 2, 2013 10:17 AM

    Its in our house. Only we win In our house
    Go hawks

  15. pfatl says: Dec 2, 2013 10:18 AM

    4 games left, 9ers have what, a 1 game lead over Arizona, Philadelphia and Dallas with games against Arizona and Seahawks left? Sure, its pretty much a foregone conclusion that 9ers make the playoffs. We can assume that every team on top wins out right? right?

  16. pantherlouie says: Dec 2, 2013 10:20 AM

    Let’s go Seahawks!!!!!!!1

  17. dodohead418 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:21 AM

    I’m sorry Seahawk fans, but Drew Brees is coming to town!

  18. 63deuceman says: Dec 2, 2013 10:35 AM

    Don’t count on the Lions. Only team in the NFL capable of beating or losing to ANY TEAM.

  19. kimbo71006 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:37 AM

    I don’t know why the Seahawks fans think the Saints “can’t” beat them in their own house…we’ve done it before.

    And the 12th man is not that big of a deal to the Saints, if you have ever been in the Dome during a game in NO, the noise is comparable…we’re used to it, won’t phase them a bit.

    Sorry Seahawks fans – but while Wilson is a great quarterback, he is, in NO WAY comparable to Brees.

    Sorry guys, you’re going to have to win this one with actual football, not crowd noise.

    I see an upset in Seattle!!

    GEAUX SAINTS…we got this!!

  20. southpaw2k says: Dec 2, 2013 10:40 AM

    If things continue at this pace – and given this season, that probably won’t happen – Week 17 is going to be amazing. At least three games could potentially determine who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t get to play in January.

    Ravens at Bengals
    49ers at Cardinals
    Eagles at Cowboys

    Any one of these three games could potentially be flexed into the Sunday night slot since the NFL loves a “win or go home” game to wrap up the regular season.

  21. thebirdofprey2 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:43 AM

    Saints are a good team but people don’t understand that Seahawks are only behind Denver in scoring in the NFL. They rank one spot ahead NO in scoring, sure they have a excellent passing game but we have a top rushing attack.

    Lots of talk about Browner and Thurmond being out. Browner was injured and already not playing nearly 1/3 the games this year. Last game Pro Bowl LT, All Pro C returned along with the RT so I think tonight is going to be a great game for Seattle & 12th man. Go Hawks!

  22. thinredline69 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:46 AM

    The 2013 Playoff seedings can be determined in 2 simple steps.

    Step 1. Go to the 2013 ESPN playoff machine, and at the the prompt for Select Criteria, click on “Home Team” from the drop-down menu.

    Step 2. Behold: Your 2013 NFL Playoff Seedings….Enjoy!

    Side Note: While it’s nice to see the Steelers in at 8-8, they will likely win out which makes their record 9-7, but they’ll be in regardless.

  23. seatownballers says: Dec 2, 2013 10:47 AM

    I’d like to speak for both teams; we’re not afraid of playing the other team, we’re just terrified of the officials might pull an upset

  24. phrancheyez says: Dec 2, 2013 10:55 AM

    seatownballers says:
    Dec 2, 2013 10:47 AM
    I’d like to speak for both teams; we’re not afraid of playing the other team, we’re just terrified of the officials might pull an upset

    HAH! Couldn’t have said it better myself. Good luck to yours, but GEUX SAINTS!

  25. cornerstone2001 says: Dec 2, 2013 11:05 AM

    seatownballers says:
    Dec 2, 2013 10:47 AM
    I’d like to speak for both teams; we’re not afraid of playing the other team, we’re just terrified of the officials might pull an upset

    —————————–

    Lol…..that’s coming from a team thats got so many bogus calls from officiating…..including the worst of all FAILED MARY.

    You’ll need to pipe in some more phony crowd noise tonite

  26. southpaw2k says: Dec 2, 2013 11:13 AM

    pfatl says:
    Dec 2, 2013 10:18 AM
    4 games left, 9ers have what, a 1 game lead over Arizona, Philadelphia and Dallas with games against Arizona and Seahawks left? Sure, its pretty much a foregone conclusion that 9ers make the playoffs. We can assume that every team on top wins out right? right?

    —————————————————

    Considering the 49ers were drubbed by the Seahawks back in Week 2 and finish the season on the road in Arizona, I’d hardly call it a “forgone conclusion” that the 49ers win out.

  27. the3rdpower says: Dec 2, 2013 11:15 AM

    GO HAWKS!

  28. coolherc says: Dec 2, 2013 11:16 AM

    kimbo71006 says:
    Dec 2, 2013 10:37 AM

    I don’t know why the Seahawks fans think the Saints “can’t” beat them in their own house…we’ve done it before.

    And the 12th man is not that big of a deal to the Saints, if you have ever been in the Dome during a game in NO, the noise is comparable…we’re used to it, won’t phase them a bit.

    *******************************************

    This is actually pretty ignorant. Sure, the Mercedes Dome is loud – and maybe (maybe not) it is comparable.

    The key difference and the flaw in your logic (and I use the term loosely where it applies to your comment) is that it’s only loud when the Saint’s Defense is on the field, not when the Offense has the ball. So, in that regard there is no comparison. None.

    Win or lose, the Saints Offense will absolutely be dealing with noise this evening that doesn’t occur when they play at home.

  29. jackjohnson345 says: Dec 2, 2013 11:23 AM

    Coming from a huge Panthers fan. LETS GO SEAHAWKS

  30. coolherc says: Dec 2, 2013 11:30 AM

    joetoronto says:
    Dec 2, 2013 10:15 AM

    The great Russell Wilson, averaging 215 yards per game, against Drew Brees.

    SMH.

    *******************************************

    Proof positive that ignorance is bliss.

    Geno Smith (a QB with barely a 60 rating, mind you) averages 188 per game and he beat the Saints. Comparing him to a QB that has a +105 rating is just plain dumb.

  31. justintuckrule says: Dec 2, 2013 11:53 AM

    Obviously, there’s almost no scenario in which the 10-1 Seahawks will miss the playoffs, but it becomes a mathematical certainty if they win tonight.
    ———————-
    No scenario huh? Tell that to the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers.

    One wrong hit to Wilson vs. the bounty boys (no less), they become a 10-6 team watching the scoreboard for tiebreakers.

    I don’t want to see this happen b/c I’d like to see the NFC go through that outdoor madhouse. Just commenting on your “no scenario” comment.

  32. trollhammer20 says: Dec 2, 2013 12:09 PM

    87hollywoodhorn says: Dec 2, 2013 10:08 AM

    shehawks an officially get whooped tonight, how u love DAT!!! #aintdatcold?
    __________________________

    That ain’t cold.

    Know what is cold?

    The artic blast of air that will be hitting the Puget Sound tonight.

    Currently 39 degrees, will be 36 by kickoff, 31 by the end of the game.

    Winter is not coming. Winter is here.

    Have fun, dome team.

  33. southpaw79 says: Dec 2, 2013 12:14 PM

    The Niners do not have to win out to get the final wildcard spot. They have a game lead and tie breakers against everyone except the Eagles, but if the Eagles win out then they have also won their division and will not be a threat to the final wildcard spot. Niners can lose to either the Seahawks or Cards and make it to the playoffs, just not both.

  34. sweetnlow44 says: Dec 2, 2013 12:30 PM

    joetoronto says: Dec 2, 2013 10:15 AM

    The great Russell Wilson, averaging 215 yards per game, against Drew Brees.

    SMH.

    Avg points per game…. Seahawks 27.8, Saints 27.7
    Avg points allowed per game… Seahawks 16.3, Saints 17.8

    QB rating…. Wilson 105.1, Brees 107.3

    Looks like they’re pretty evenly matched. The Saints are a pass first team, Seahawks run first. In Seattle, temps in the 30’s with rain/snow possible. Advantage: Seattle. However, against a good team, Seattle won’t have a lot of time to kick off the rust of the bye week.

    Should be a good game. Won’t be surprised if either team wins.

  35. boisestatewhodat says: Dec 2, 2013 12:48 PM

    Trollhammer…you’ll be eating those words come tomorrow morning. Payton and Brees will not be denied and both are more than tired of hearing the ‘dome team’ steriotype.

    The Saints will likely stun the Seahawks tonight, early and often.

    Saints 31
    Seahawks 17

  36. mrlaloosh says: Dec 2, 2013 1:17 PM

    Saint shoulda just stayed in NOLA and forfeit the game. Seahawks fans are out in numbers saying why the Saints can’t possibly win. So why bother.
    The Seattle team should just get awarded the Lombardi Trophy now. It seems inevitable that they are the next Super Bowl champs.
    Winning tonight will make them the #1 seed in the NFC. And Denver in the AFC. Epic clash of number one seeds. Just like last year when Atlanta & Denver were #1 seeds….. Oh, wait…..

  37. stevincinci says: Dec 2, 2013 1:22 PM

    Defense wins championships. Bengals have that defense. Who “Dey” instead of “Dat”

  38. mylionsroaring says: Dec 2, 2013 1:28 PM

    As a Lions fan I hope the Hawks win tonight, Carolina and Saints split and both of those two teams drop one more. Meanwhile the Lions continue to win and sneak into the number two seed with an 11-5 record and the tiebreakers over the Saints and Panthers. Oh how things have changed since last year

  39. oreo51 says: Dec 2, 2013 1:46 PM

    Richard Sherman will cover Jimmy Graham with an extra dose of Kam Chancellor. Game Over! The rest of the NO receivers are not good enough to beat our backup DB’s. Take Graham away and you can put a fork in Drew Brees.

  40. justintuckrule says: Dec 2, 2013 2:15 PM

    mylionsroaring says:
    Dec 2, 2013 1:28 PM
    As a Lions fan I hope the Hawks win tonight, Carolina and Saints split and both of those two teams drop one more. Meanwhile the Lions continue to win and sneak into the number two seed with an 11-5 record and the tiebreakers over the Saints and Panthers. Oh how things have changed since last year
    —————————————–
    Nobody but fans of those teams want to see dome teams with byes. If my team’s not in it, I want all playoff games going through weather cities like Seattle, Denver, New England, etc.

  41. cchicinfan says: Dec 2, 2013 2:29 PM

    Just came in from outside and it is crystal clear out there. That means only one thing in Seattle, Artic Express and very cold weather for this region. It will be a factor tonight.

    The dude calling for the blowout by the Saints, keep in mind that Seattle hasn’t lost a game by more than 7 points since the arrival of Mr. Wilson.

    I grew up a Chargers fan in San Diego, and have been a huge fan of Drew Brees since he entered the league. After 26 years in Seattle, I am a Seahawk fan, first and foremost, but I was rooting for the Saints when they won the Super Bowl a few years back. Sure I want the Hawks to win, but I really want to see a special game we can all remember in the coming years as a game we are glad we got to see. I want it to live up to its expectation. (Kind of like the Auburn -Alabama game a couple days ago.)

    Go Hawks!

  42. justintuckrule says: Dec 2, 2013 2:41 PM

    azarkhan says:
    Dec 2, 2013 12:30 PM
    Why wasn’t this game bumped from Sunday night? Sunday night should only have good teams with a shot at the playoffs. I didn’t bother to watch it, but would have watched Broncos vs. Chiefs, Chargers vs. Bengals or Cardinal vs. Eagles.
    ———–
    Easy….nobody cares about games involving those ho-hum flyover state teams.

  43. ratsfoiledagain says: Dec 2, 2013 2:41 PM

    Lots of junk spewing on both sides of the aisle.

    One thing is for certain. Some of the fans of the winning team will be on here being utterly obnoxious for the next few days screaming I Told You So, when their guess is as good as a seal in a zoo picking which football to touch first to decide the winner. And some will be cool offering congrats.

    Seattle’s toughest game after tonight is @ S.F.
    (including tonight, Seattle has 3 of 5 games at home).

    N.O. toughest games are at home vs Carolina, and at Carolina. (including tonight, N.O. has 3 of 5 games on the road).

    If N.O. wins tonight, they have the inside track for home field advantage but, by no means is it a lock with the way Carolina is playing.

    If Seattle wins they’d hold, essentially, a three game lead over New Orleans for HFA.

    Seattle has a 2.5 game lead over S.F. for HFA as of this afternoon.

    Enjoy the game….I hope it’s a good one that’s injury free!

    Go Hawks!

  44. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 2, 2013 2:42 PM

    If the Seahawks secure home field advantage in the playoffs over the Saints, going to be very difficult to keep them from going to the super bowl.

  45. shyts7 says: Dec 2, 2013 2:43 PM

    Kansas City will also clinch if they win and Baltimore & Miami lose. They would be 10-4 with a win and Baltimore/Miami would fall to 6-7 with 3 games to play.

  46. hazelmn says: Dec 2, 2013 2:48 PM

    Percy Harvin was his name
    The Vikings he sure loved to blame
    So he demanded a trade
    Then by the Seahawks, got paid
    And for that, has played in one whole game

  47. natepalmer1 says: Dec 2, 2013 2:49 PM

    Anyone care to take a bet on the Seahawks-Saints game tonight? Seahawks will win this game, and will beat the 49whiners next week…It would be funny to see the Panthers in Seattle again for the NFC championship game…They would get beat up like in 2006…

  48. sb44champs says: Dec 2, 2013 3:03 PM

    trollhammer20 says:
    Dec 2, 2013 12:09 PM
    87hollywoodhorn says: Dec 2, 2013 10:08 AM

    shehawks an officially get whooped tonight, how u love DAT!!! #aintdatcold?
    __________________________

    That ain’t cold.

    Know what is cold?

    The artic blast of air that will be hitting the Puget Sound tonight.

    Currently 39 degrees, will be 36 by kickoff, 31 by the end of the game.

    Winter is not coming. Winter is here.

    Have fun, dome team.

    ============================

    Yeah, the Saints being a ‘dome team’ seemed to really matter last playoff game there between these two teams (NOT)… It was a shoot out lol

  49. sb44champs says: Dec 2, 2013 3:08 PM

    oreo51 says:
    Dec 2, 2013 1:46 PM
    Richard Sherman will cover Jimmy Graham with an extra dose of Kam Chancellor. Game Over! The rest of the NO receivers are not good enough to beat our backup DB’s. Take Graham away and you can put a fork in Drew Brees.
    ==============================
    He conveniently leaves out probowl RB Darren Sproles and do-it-all Pierre Thomas lol

  50. azjohnny says: Dec 2, 2013 3:12 PM

    Actually it was 2005

  51. boisestatewhodat says: Dec 2, 2013 3:13 PM

    44 is right. Seattle needed an improbable run by Lynch to win that game. Against a Saints team down to their 5th running back and a defense not near as stout as the current one.

    Keep acting like this game is in the bag…lets talk tomorrow when the black ‘n’ gold are the NFCs top seed!

  52. nowillrepeat says: Dec 2, 2013 3:20 PM

    “Were gonna take the ball, and were gonna score!!”

  53. ratsfoiledagain says: Dec 2, 2013 4:06 PM

    sb44champs says: Dec 2, 2013 3:03 PM

    trollhammer20 says:
    Dec 2, 2013 12:09 PM
    87hollywoodhorn says: Dec 2, 2013 10:08 AM

    shehawks an officially get whooped tonight, how u love DAT!!! #aintdatcold?
    __________________________

    That ain’t cold.

    Know what is cold?

    The artic blast of air that will be hitting the Puget Sound tonight.

    Currently 39 degrees, will be 36 by kickoff, 31 by the end of the game.

    Winter is not coming. Winter is here.

    Have fun, dome team.

    ============================

    Yeah, the Saints being a ‘dome team’ seemed to really matter last playoff game there between these two teams (NOT)… It was a shoot out lol
    ___________
    The defending SB champs were in a shoot out with a 7-9 team.

    Just thought I’d mention that.

  54. coolherc says: Dec 2, 2013 4:08 PM

    azjohnny says:
    Dec 2, 2013 3:12 PM

    Actually it was 2005

    *********************************************

    Actually, it was 2006 (Jan 22nd).

  55. coolherc says: Dec 2, 2013 4:17 PM

    boisestatewhodat says:
    Dec 2, 2013 3:13 PM

    44 is right. Seattle needed an improbable run by Lynch to win that game. Against a Saints team down to their 5th running back and a defense not near as stout as the current one.

    *******************************************

    Ahhhhh. Didn’t Seattle dropped 41 on the Saints that night? Are these really the excuses you’re making for having lost to a 7-9 team that, had it not been for winning what was widely considered the weakest division in football back then, wouldn’t have sniffed the playoffs otherwise? Must make you feel so much better.

    Given all that, I’m pretty certain the Saints are the only team in the history of the league to have lost a playoff game to a team with a sub-500 record.

  56. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 2, 2013 5:41 PM

    I am dedicating this sentence from the post to every Steelers and Ravens fan who have trolled on the Bengals all season:

    Realistically, those five teams have playoff berths all but wrapped up, and so do the Chiefs, Panthers and Bengals, even if they can’t clinch mathematically yet.

    Cheers to you all!

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