The Seattle Seahawks are NFC West Champions.
Week 16 featured a highly anticipated rematch between the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams. Mainly because the game had a lot on the line. If the Seahawks won, they would clinch the NFC West and still have a chance of getting the number one seed in the NFC.
If the Rams won, they would have moved back into first place and clinched the division with a win in Week 17. But, the former happened and the Seattle Seahawks are NFC West champions for the first time since 2016.
The Seahawks win over the Rams in Week 16 made things a whole lot more interesting for the remainder of the NFC West. On Saturday, December 26, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals. As a result of that loss coupled with a Bears victory over the Jaguars, the Cardinals are now on the outside looking in.
But, the Rams and Cardinals will have a huge showdown this weekend that will ultimately determine who makes the playoffs. Ironically, in what is perhaps the biggest game of the season for both of these teams, both may be without their starting quarterbacks.
Before we highlight the final week of the 2020 NFL regular season, let’s recap what went down in Week 16.
Week 16 Recap:
San Francisco 49ers defeat Arizona Cardinals, 20-12
When these two teams first met in Week 1, the 49ers had no answer for DeAndre Hopkins. At full strength, the Cardinals out-dueled the Niners and picked up their very first win of the year. In Week 16, going up against an injury-riddled San Francisco team, the Cardinals didn’t find the same success.
San Francisco was able to establish their run game and when they do that, they become a very dangerous team regardless of who their quarterback is. Late in the game, with a chance to even things up, the San Francisco defense rose to the occasion and sealed the victory in the battle of Arizona.
Biggest Takeaway: The Cardinals may have cost themselves a playoff spot.
Seattle Seahawks defeat Los Angeles Rams, 20-9
The Seattle Seahawks defense showed up and showed out in this crucial game. They were able to set the edge defensively and prevent the Rams from getting their rhythm. The Seahawks were well prepared and simply just wanted this game more.
Russell Wilson picked up the pace in the second half, leading this Seattle team on two huge scoring drives. The second coming in the fourth to essentially put this game away and clinch the NFC West. The Seahawks defense has shown significant improvement over the last month and made a statement in their Week 16 win.
Biggest Takeaway: Seattle’s defense is proving to be a championship-caliber defense.
JLuppy’s Week 16 Picks — (2-0)
JLuppy’s Record — (26-19)
NFC West Standings
Z– : Clinched Division
E– : Eliminated
Week 17 Preview:
Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) @ San Francisco 49ers
The first time these two teams met, the Seattle Seahawks defense showed flashes of potential. Since Week 9, they rank near the top of every defensive category. With a lot on the line for the Seahawks, expect them to play with the same urgency and energy as they did in the win over the Rams.
The 49ers cannot be slept on, and this game will be closer than most think, but I have the Seahawks walking out victorious. This is a good tune-up game for the playoffs as these two are divisional rivals who know each other very well. Remember, last year, it was the 49ers who won in Seattle in Week 17 to win the division. I like the Seahawks in this one by a touchdown.
Playoff Scenario: Seahawks get the 1 seed IF they win + GB loss + NO loss or tie
Arizona Cardinals (-1) @ Los Angeles Rams
I must say, I am surprised that the Cardinals are favored in this one. Although it is a small line, the Rams defense has proven to be legitimate. They can win games for this ball-club. In the battle of the bastards — with both starting quarterbacks potentially sidelined — defense will make all the difference. The Cardinals defense has picked it up over the last month or so of the season.
But, I trust Aaron Donald over anybody else on that Arizona defense. If the Rams are able to generate pressure, they can force turnovers and set up this offense in good field possession. In what many expect to be a low scoring game, I like the Rams to win by 6.