There are several games of importance that Seattle Seahawks fans should pay attention to on Sunday, but there’s one that stands out above the rest. Before we get to that, here’s the updated NFC playoff standings:
#1 - Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
#2 - Minnesota Vikings (7-2)
#3 - New Orleans Saints (7-2)
#4 - Los Angeles Rams (7-2)
#5 - Carolina Panthers (7-3)
#6 - Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
#7 - Atlanta Falcons (5-4)
#8 - Detroit Lions (5-4)
#9 - Green Bay Packers (5-4)
#10 - Dallas Cowboys (5-4)
#11 - Washington (4-5)
#12 - Arizona Cardinals (4-5)
#13 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
#14 - Chicago Bears (3-6)
#15 - New York Giants (1-8)
#16 - San Francisco 49ers (1-9)
The Philadelphia Eagles sit atop the NFL with just a single defeat, but they will play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. It’s a little bit of an interesting situation here, as an Eagles loss helps Seattle’s chances of catching up to the #1 seed, while the Cowboys losing puts them in real danger of missing the playoffs outright. No Ezekiel Elliott is one thing, but another game without Tyron Smith is a nightmare scenario, because Byron Bell is a terrible left tackle. With Seattle playing on Monday, it’s really tough to pick a side here. I suppose if you think a first-round bye is still within reach, you pull for Dallas, but if you’re more concerned about just getting into the playoffs, a Dallas loss is preferred. Let’s uh... call it “hope for the Eagles to lose” more than “root for the Cowboys.”
Next up, the Minnesota Vikings hosting the Los Angeles Rams. There’s no way around it, we are massive Vikings fans for a day. The big thing about a Vikings win is that the Seahawks can theoretically afford to lose to Atlanta on Monday night and still can take the NFC West by winning out. Obviously a Seahawks win and a Rams loss means Seattle is back in control of the division, but long story short, skol Vikings!
The #3 New Orleans Saints are red hot, having won seven straight after an 0-2 start, including a really uninspiring defensive display against the Vikes. New Orleans hosts Washington, and frankly speaking Jay Gruden’s team is finished if they drop to 4-6, which makes Seattle’s loss to them that much more annoying. That said, a Washington win would be the desirable outcome.
I already brought up the Rams against the Vikings, Carolina is on a bye, and the Seahawks obviously play the Falcons, so we only have two more games to get through. The Detroit Lions are at the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers host the Baltimore Ravens. It’s a no-brainer to pull for both Chicago and Baltimore, and especially so for the Ravens, as we don’t want any situation in which the Packers stay afloat with Brett Hundley at quarterback, opening the door for Aaron Rodgers to make an end-of-season return. Green Bay has a head-to-head tiebreaker on Seattle, whereas Detroit does not.
Teams to root for this Sunday: not-Philadelphia (keep believing in the first-round bye!), Minnesota, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago.