Sunday, December 18, 2011
Lions' victory bad for Seahawks, Cardinals
By Mike Sando
The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals kept alive their playoff hopes by improving their records to 7-7 with victories Sunday.
Both teams need help even if one of them wins its final two games, including a Week 17 matchup between the NFC West rivals.
We know this: Four NFC division champions and two wild-card teams will qualify for postseason. Green Bay, San Francisco and New Orleans are headed to the playoffs. Atlanta and Detroit already have nine victories apiece, so if each goes 1-1 or better to finish the season, Arizona and Seattle are out.
Atlanta plays at New Orleans and home against Tampa Bay. It's likely the Falcons will win one of those. Detroit plays at home against San Diego and on the road against Green Bay in a game the Packers might not need to win, particularly now that an unbeaten season is out of the question.
Lots of scenarios come into play if Seattle or Arizona finish 9-7 and get some help. Tie games are another possibility to consider.
I've used the ESPN Playoff Machine to produce a few outcomes of interest in the NFC. This one would send Seattle to the playoffs. This one would send Arizona.