Seahawks, Cardinals could make playoffs

The way NFC games fell Sunday, fans began wondering whether the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals had realistic shots at earning a wild-card playoff berth.

Four non-division leaders in the NFC have better records than Seattle and Arizona at present. But ESPN's NFL Playoff Machine does show scenarios whereby Seattle or Arizona could qualify for postseason.

I put together this one showing Arizona earning a No. 5 seed at 9-7. Another one shows Seattle doing the same.

The scenarios I put together show Dallas winning the NFC East at 8-8. The New York Giants, Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons would miss the playoffs at 8-8. Arizona or Seattle would emerge as the fifth seed, with 9-7 Detroit as the sixth seed.

There are other ways to make these playoff dreams come true.

The Cardinals have three of their final four games at home, with a road game against Cincinnati. Arizona and Seattle play in Week 17.

The chart shows remaining schedules for Arizona, Seattle and five other NFC teams in the hunt.

2011 NFC Schedules