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NFC West standings: Seahawks fall to 3rd place as division struggles continue

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks not only lost to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but DeAndre Hopkins’ all-time great Hail Mary touchdown (or Hail Murray?) beat the Buffalo Bills at the last-second to give Arizona a priceless victory before Seattle plays the Cardinals on Thursday.

Seattle went from the top of the NFC West to 3rd, and 7th in the NFC seeding. As I’ve already written, it’s a damn good thing the NFL expanded the postseason or else we would have to have an honest and serious discussion about the Seahawks missing the playoffs after a 5-0 start.

Anyway, here’s what we have right now.

NFC West standings

1.) Arizona Cardinals (6-3, 2-0 DIV)

2.) Los Angeles Rams (6-3, 2-1 DIV)

3.) Seattle Seahawks (6-3, 1-2 DIV)

4.) San Francisco 49ers (4-6, 1-2 DIV)

This is not even me just taking a rivalry, homer shot at the 49ers, but it’s clear that you can write them off. They have lost far too many good and important players to get back into this. So it’s a three-horse race for the division, and while the Seahawks in theory have the most favorable schedule outside of the divisional games, the divisional games themselves almost certainly will determine who wins the NFC West.

Seahawks schedule

vs. Cardinals
at Eagles
vs. Giants
vs. Jets
at Washington
vs. Rams
at 49ers

Cardinals schedule

at Seahawks
at Patriots
vs. Rams
at Giants
vs. Eagles
vs. 49ers
at Rams

Rams schedule

at Buccaneers
vs. 49ers
at Cardinals
vs. Patriots
vs. Jets
at Seahawks
vs. Cardinals

I don’t see a realistic scenario where the Seahawks can win the NFC West and go 0-4 against the Rams and Cardinals at the same time. You’re asking for Arizona and Los Angeles to both finish no better than 10-6.

The hard truth right now is that the Seahawks haven’t won the NFC West since 2016. Your rival head coaches at the time were Bruce Arians, Jeff Fisher (fired midseason), and Chip Kelly (fired end of season). The current coaches are Kyle Shanahan, Kliff Kingsbury, and Sean McVay. In Shanahan’s only season with a healthy quarterback (and an elite defense), he went to a Super Bowl. McVay turned 7-9 bullshit into a Super Bowl appearance (and 13-3 bullshit). Kingsbury in his second season is a Coach of the Year candidate. All of them are 25+ years younger than Pete Carroll. Their combined records against the Seahawks is 8-9, but five of those wins involved Shanahan trotting out Brian Hoyer, CJ Beathard, and Nick Mullens as starting QBs... and even then the Seahawks actually lost a game to Mullens and needed a 4th quarter comeback to beat Hoyer on a day when the 49ers scored 9 points.

Division games are usually the toughest games to play, and even the height of the Legion of Boom era saw some tough losses to theoretically inferior competition. With that said, the Seahawks are 1-5 in their last six against the NFC West dating back to 2019. If they are to get back on top of what is once again an extremely competitive division, they have no choice but to at least win on Thursday against the Cardinals or else it’s highly likely it’ll be three road games required to go to the Super Bowl.