After all that has transpired over the 2023 season for the Seattle Seahawks, they are now in a position where they control their own destiny to the playoffs. Despite the injuries suffered and sophomore slumps encountered, the Seahawks have fought back to get over .500. Completing back-to-back come-from-behind victories with two different quarterbacks has sparked life into this team. It could serve as the propeller for how and why they make the playoffs.
In what was supposed to be a Super Bowl preview on Christmas Night turned into an introduction to perhaps the best team in football, the Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers are typically the team enforcing their will on opponents. However, it was the Ravens who forced multiple turnovers and moved the ball up and down the field. Brock Purdy showed signs of what many have had concerns over. But, in my opinion, they still remain the best team in the NFC.
The Los Angeles Rams started off Week 16 with a huge win over the Saints. Similar to the Seahawks, they control their own destiny to secure a Wild Card spot. I'm not sure many would have anticipated three NFC West teams in the playoff picture this late in December. It's a testament to the elite coaching displayed in this division, something Arizona is hoping they now have in Jonathan Gannon.
Updated NFC West standings: Seahawks and Rams look to keep on pace in securing Wild Card spots
Four interceptions by Brock Purdy on Monday Night Football have many questioning his MVP status. One of the concerns about him in my view is his footwork under pressure in the pocket. Oftentimes, when the pocket collapses, he gets happy feet, which causes balls to be overthrown or misplaced. The Ravens were able to capitalize on those opportunities and took the fight to San Francisco in Santa Clara. With that said, I expect the 49ers to bounce back nicely against the Washington Commanders this weekend.
Matthew Stafford has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL over the last month or so. Even though they are just 8-7, Sean McVay deserves some Coach of the Year votes as well as Stafford for the MVP. With that said, the last two games remain critically important for Los Angeles. Although they have the tiebreaker over the Seahawks, a loss to the Giants and/or 49ers can potentially cost them a playoff spot depending on what the other Wild Card contending teams do. Coast-to-coast trips are never easy. We will see if it has any effect on the Rams this Sunday as they head to MetLife Stadium.
Two weeks ago it seemed as if the Seattle Seahawks were going to be on the verge of missing the playoffs with all sorts of questions surrounding this team. Should they move off Geno Smith? Does Shane Waldron deserve to be fired? Rather than falling apart, Pete Carroll was able to galvanize this locker room and inspire them even further. This Sunday, Seattle will play in their final home game of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. A team, similar to the Titans, that cannot be overlooked. Like Seattle, Pittsburgh is also fighting for their playoff lives. A win over the Steelers will inch them one step closer to the playoffs.
At this point in the season, the Cardinals are just looking to play spoiler. With games against both Philadelphia and Seattle remaining, they can affect the playoff picture. I think Arizona is going to win this weekend against the Eagles. Despite the cross-country trip to Arizona, Philadelphia's struggles are real and cannot be overlooked. Although Kyler Murray has been dealing with an illness, he is expected to be playing Sunday as he continues to audition to new management to keep his job as the starting quarterback.