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Falcons shock 49ers, Seahawks retake 1st place in NFC West

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Seattle Seahawks v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks needed a win over the Carolina Panthers and a loss by either the Los Angeles Rams or Minnesota Vikings to clinch their eighth trip to the postseason in ten seasons under Pete Carroll.

Seattle took care of business in Charlotte with a 30-24 win, and while the Vikings crushed the Los Angeles Chargers, the Rams suffered a vicious beatdown at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. It doesn’t eliminate Sean McVay’s side from playoff contention, but it does confirm that the Seahawks will be playing January football once again.

Only twice in the 2010s have the Seahawks failed to make the playoffs — 2011 when they started out 2-6, were in legitimate wild card contention at 7-7 only to finish 7-9, and in 2017 when they collapsed from 8-4 to 9-7. Every other season under Carroll has ended with at least one playoff game, a run that we’ve never seen under any other era of Seahawks football.

It turned into a tremendous day for the Seahawks after the Atlanta Falcons pulled off the shocking upset on the San Francisco 49ers. Down 22-17, Matt Ryan led a remarkable game-winning drive that ended in an agonizingly close touchdown to Julio Jones with :02 left to give them an unlikely 23-22 lead. The 49ers’ desperation kick return razzle-dazzle failed and the Falcons scored again for a 29-22 victory.

With the 49ers losing, the whole dynamic changes for the NFC West. The Seahawks will WIN the NFC West if they beat the Arizona Cardinals, and the 49ers lose at home to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night. Update: Something more accurate!


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