When the Seattle Seahawks travel to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, the game will carry big positioning implications in the NFC West division as the season enters the home stretch. With the Niners currently a game and a half ahead of Seattle, it’s impossible for first place in the division to change hands during the game, however, it is possible for the Hawks to set the table to slide into first place during their Week 11 bye.
Should the Hawks win in Levi’s for the fifth time in six games, they would move to 8-2, while the 49ers would fall to 8-1. Week 11 would then bring the upstart Arizona Cardinals to the Bay Area to take on the 49ers in a game in which a loss would drop San Francisco to 8-2, and into second place in the NFC West as a result of the head-to-head tiebreaker.
On the flip side, if Seattle were to lose the Week 10 game, things are not quite as bright for the team’s playoff picture, according to ESPN’s Playoff Leverage from its FPI model.
Playoff leverage headed into week 10. pic.twitter.com/dSZK00Xa2s— Brian Burke (@bburkeESPN) November 7, 2019
In fact, per ESPN’s model, the game this week is more important to the Seahawks playoff chances than any other team NFC team, with a leverage factor of 26%. In addition, early positioning in the Wild Card race is on the line in the NFC in the matchups between the Green Bay Packers (7-2) and Carolina Panthers (5-3), as well as when the Minnesota Vikings (6-3) and Dallas Cowboys (5-3) face off.
The Seahawks outperformed the expectations of many over the first nine weeks of the season, and now it’s time to see how things pan out over the second half of the year.