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Seahawks’ path to NFC’s top seed didn’t get easier with Sunday’s results

The Seahawks and Saints are both 8-2, but New Orleans has the tiebreaker advantage. (Getty)

The Seahawks put themselves in a great position to challenge the San Francisco 49ers for the top seed in the NFC with their overtime win in Week 10 over the Niners. But with Seattle on a bye in Week 11, the picture atop the conference only got cloudier, as practically nothing went the way the Hawks may have wanted it to on Sunday.

Why things look good for Seahawks coming out of bye

With its 8-2 record, Seattle remained a full game behind 9-1 San Francisco for first place in both the conference and the NFC West. It looked like the Seahawks were in line to benefit from an upset of the Niners by the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but a 26-23 lead Arizona took with 6:30 to go didn’t stand up as Jimmy Garoppolo led San Francisco on a late touchdown drive, and a fumble recovery for a TD on the final play gave the 49ers a 36-26 victory at home.

There was more bad news for the Seahawks on Sunday than just that result.

The worst would be the 34-17 win for the New Orleans Saints over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints move to 8-2, tying with Seattle for second in the conference. If the Seahawks end the season with the same record as New Orleans, the Saints will get the higher seed by virtue of beating Seattle 33-27 in Week 3.

Also tied with Seattle and New Orleans at 8-2 are the Green Bay Packers, who like the Seahawks had a bye this week.

Just below those three teams are the Minnesota Vikings, who moved within a half-game of second in the conference with a huge comeback against the Denver Broncos. The Vikings scored all of their points in the second half – including 20 unanswered in the fourth quarter – to edge the Denver Broncos 27-23. Minnesota is 8-3 with its bye coming next week.

Next in the NFC’s pecking order are the defending conference champions, the Los Angeles Rams, who improved to 6-4 with a 17-7 win over the Chicago Bears in the Sunday night game. The Rams could easily play their way back into contention, especially with games coming up against the Seahawks (Week 14) and 49ers (Week 16).

The Seahawks return to action in Week 12 with a 10 a.m. game in Philadelphia against the 5-5 Eagles next Sunday, Nov. 24. The game will air on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, beginning at 7 a.m. with the pregame show.

For the full NFC standings, click here.

Follow’s Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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