Updated NFC West standings: Path to the playoffs clearer for Seattle Seahawks

The season-saving victory in Week 15 has re-opened the Seattle Seahawks path to the playoffs.

Jane Gershovich/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Given the rollercoaster type of season it has been for the Seattle Seahawks, to have a chance at making the playoffs with three weeks remaining is you all can ask for. A week ago, things weren't looking as bright. The mood around Seattle was unsettling as they entered a must-win scenario against the Philadelphia Eagles without starting quarterback Geno Smith and multiple key players on the defense side. But, this team rallied around Drew Lock and in vintage Seahawks form, stole the game at the very last second.

It is worth mentioning that the Seahawks were given some help along the way over the weekend. With losses from both Minnesota and Green Bay, the Seahawks win has propelled them into a position where they can control their own destiny after Week 16. The 7-7 Los Angeles Rams basically kick off this highly anticipated slate of games with a playoff game against the 7-7 New Orleans Saints.

For the remainder of the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals season has been over. They turn their attention to finishing the season with some sort of momentum that can carry over into an off-season that will require all sorts of franchise-altering decisions to be made. San Francisco will win its second straight NFC West division crown. The 49ers are by far the best team in all of football. They currently hold the #1 seed in the NFC and have been winners of six straight.

Seattle Seahawks Episode 16: Battle of Tennessee -- "It's A Trap"

49ers Week 16 Rank. 11-3. . Clinched NFC West Division. 1. 42. . . .

The San Francisco 49ers are the most efficient team in the NFL. Having a top statistical offense and defense gives many reasons to believe they are the prohibited favorites to win the Super Bowl. This Monday, we will be treated to a potential Super Bowl preview between the 49ers and Ravens. The number 1 and 2 scoring defenses face off with the winner inching closer to securing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Not to mention, these teams will be showcased on national television with both quarterbacks vying for the MVP award.

49ers Week 16 Matchup. . 11-3. Monday, December 25. ABC. 11-3. 42. 8:15 PM EST. 26

. . Rams Week 16 Rank. . . . 2. 7-7. . 51

The Los Angeles Rams are essentially playing for their playoff lives on Thursday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints. Given what's at stake, I expect both teams to give it their all, resulting in a close, physical type of game. This game bears more weight for Los Angeles as New Orleans will still have a chance at winning its division, even if they were to lose. For the Rams, a loss can put a halt to their playoff hopes and dreams. To follow this matchup, they have a cross-country trip to take on the Italian Stallion, New York Giants, and then close out the season against the 49ers in Santa Clara.

7-7. 15. Thursday, December 21. Rams Week 16 Matchup. PRIME VIDEO. 7-7. 51. . 8:15 PM EST

. 36. 7-7. Seahawks Week 16 Rank. . . . . . 3

With a Minnesota Vikings loss and Seattle Seahawks win --regardless of what happens in Rams/Saints-- this Sunday, Seattle would be back in the playoff picture. Even further, they will be positioned in a favorable situation where they would beat themselves out of the playoffs. However, the one thing I fear is potentially having a downer against Tennessee in Week 16. Feels like an ultimate trap game, where the Seahawks are riding the high of a thrilling victory and the Titans look to play spoiler. The good news, Geno Smith seems back on track to playing. The bad news, Derrick Henry is hard to tackle.

5-9. 35. 1:00 PM EST. 36. Sunday, December 24. CBS. Seahawks Week 16 Matchup. . 7-7

. . . 4. . 3-11. . . Cardinals Week 16 Rank. 32

The biggest question entering the off-season for the Arizona Cardinals will surround their quarterback room. Despite the large contract given to Kyler Murray, will the new regime want to go with their own guy? They certainly have the draft capital and position to do so. Or, will they look to build around Murray? It's hard to tell which direction they are leaning towards. Ironically, their Week 16 opponent, the Chicago Bears, is in a very similar position. Both Kyler Murray and Justin Fields can simply be auditioning for other teams this Sunday. Given how Chicago has played over the last month, I like them to win this one.

Sunday, December 24. Cardinals Week 16 Matchup. . 3-11. 32. FOX. 5-9. 57. 4:25 PM EST

Read more from 12th Man Rising

manual