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Seahawks can move into No. 1 seed in NFC with a win over Rams

Dec 8, 2019, 2:01 PM
Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny...
The 10-2 Seahawks can clinch the playoffs with a win Sunday night vs. the Rams. (Getty)

The Seahawks knew going into Sunday that, depending on the outcome of an early game between the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers, they would either have a chance to move into the NFC’s top seed or get a clearer path to the NFC West division title and the first-round playoff bye that comes with it.

They have been awarded option A.

Carroll: Seahawks are ready for final stretch of 2019, starting with LA Rams

The 49ers knocked off the Saints 48-46, improving to 11-2 and momentarily taking a half-game lead over Seattle for both the NFC West and conference leads. The Saints, meanwhile, fall to 10-3.

So how do the Seahawks figure into all of this? If they win Sunday night against the Rams, they will join the 49ers with matching 11-2 records but take both the NFC West lead and the conference’s top seed.

Because Seattle lost to New Orleans in Week 3, the Saints hold a tiebreaker for the conference standings, so the Seahawks must have a better overall record than them when the season ends to get a higher seed. But Seattle beat San Francisco in Week 10, meaning if those two teams have the same record, the Seahawks win the tiebreaker and the higher seeding.

Here’s the important part: The Seahawks will play the 49ers in the regular season finale, and if San Francisco had suffered a loss against the Saints, it would have taken pressure off of Seattle to need to win that Week 17 game to ensure both the division title and the conference’s top seed. Instead, the final Seahawks-49ers matchup of the regular season is shaping up to be one where everything will be on the line.

Not only can the Seahawks take the top seed (and avoid falling to the No. 5 spot in the NFC) with a win over the Rams, but they would also clinch the playoffs with a victory in Los Angeles. For more on the playoff scenarios, click here for a story from earlier this weekend.

Follow’s Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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