Washington defeated the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday night to win the NFC East and take a big step toward setting up a game against Seattle in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs on Jan. 9 or Jan. 10.
Washington beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-24 Saturday night to win the NFC East and now looms as the most likely Wild Card playoff round foe for the Seattle Seahawks. By winning Saturday, Washington assured it will be the No. 4 seed and host the No. 5 seed on Jan. 9 or Jan. 10.
If the season ended today, the Seahawks would be the No. 5 seed (and recall that the Seahawks have a playoff spot already clinched so it’s not premature to talk already about who they will play — who and when Seattle plays in the playoffs is the only question left). And while there are scenarios in which Seattle could fall to the No. 6 seed, the odds favor being the No. 5 seed (consider that FootballOutsiders.com this week gave Seattle a 72 percent chance of ending up as the No. 5 seed. In scenarios where the Seahawks fall to the No. 6 seed they could still fave the Vikings, Green Bay or Arizona).
In fact, the Seahawks could clinch the No. 5 seed and set up a trip to Washington by the end of Sunday. The scenario in which that could happen by the end of Sunday is if the Seahawks beat St. Louis while Green Bay gets a win or a tie at Arizona and Minnesota then loses at home to the New York Giants (and remember that Seattle has the head-to-head tiebreaker on the Vikings but does not on Green Bay due to results of games against those teams earlier this season).
Washington and Seattle memorably met in the playoffs in the Wild Card round following the 2012 season, Russell Wilson’s first year as the Seahawks’ quarterback. After falling behind 14-0, Seattle rallied to win 24-14 and advance to the divisional round, where the Seahawks then lost at Atlanta.
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Seattle is 3-0 all-time in the playoffs against Washington, also including a 20-10 win to start the run to the Super Bowl following the 2005 season and a 35-14 win the following season, each at CenturyLink Field.
Washington emerged out of the morass that was the NFC East most of the season by winning four of its last five games led by rapidly improving fourth-year QB Kirk Cousins. Cousins has throw 20 touchdown passes and only three interceptions in Washington’s last nine games, including four each of the past two weeks in wins over Buffalo and Philadelphia.
There are a few interesting connections between the two franchises, most notably that this is the first season for Scot McCloughan as the general manager of Washington. McCloughan was a senior personnel executive for the Seahawks from 2010 through the 2013 season and has received a lot of credit for the drafting of the likes of Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson.