With their thrilling win over the Rams on Saturday night, the San Francisco 49ers have put themselves in prime position to win the NFC West and snag the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC Playoffs. The Seattle Seahawks also have their own claim to the NFC West title and a high seed in the playoffs. The only thing standing between either team is each other. Turns out, they’ll play one another in season-ending showdown next week in Seattle.
So it was a pretty easy choice for the NFL when they announced that the game has been flexed to 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
Both teams are already in the playoffs but the outcome of this game, as well as a few others, will have seismic impacts on seedings. While the Niners have been in the driver’s seat for the division for most of the year, the Seahawks did defeat them earlier in the year. Another win next week would give Seattle the division regardless of what happens this week.
Not winning the division could make a sizable impact as the loser will have to play on the road, potentially against a team with a worse record.
Our own Joe Lucia pretty much called this scenario back in Week 15 when trying to predict which game the NFL would flex in Week 17.
Seattle is one of two teams to beat San Francisco this season, but a shock pounding by the Rams this past Sunday night has put them a game back in the NFC West with three to play. The Seahawks have two much easier games prior to the Week 17 showdown, playing the rudderless Panthers and Cardinals, while the Niners host a Falcons team that hasn’t looked awful over the last month and a Rams team fighting for its playoff life. It’s not hard to imagine these two rolling into Week 17 with 12-3 records and a first-round bye on the line – with the loser getting dumped on the road a week later to either Dallas or Philly.
We’re one Seahawks victory away from that basically being the case. However, they’ll likely have to get past the Arizona Cardinals today if they want a shot at the No. 1 overall seed. Either way, next week is for all the NFC West’s Tostitos.