By Matthew Asher
The Seahawks may be off this week, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t improve their standings in the NFC and hope for that elusive and desirable number one seed thanks to some key losses by various teams. So with that in mind, these are the teams you should be rooting for this weekend while Seattle gets much much needed R&R.
This will be broken down based on how badly Seattle really needs a team to lose in order to better their standings. There are currently seven other teams in the NFC with a winning record, so this will focus on those teams. A loss by a team at or under .500 isn’t going to do as much for Seattle than one by a team with a winning record. You’ll understand why at the bottom.
1. Atlanta Falcons
The Dirty Birds play the early Thursday game this week against Seattle’s next opponent, the New Orleans Saints. Currently at 8-2, New Orleans is the only other team in the NFC with more than six wins. If the Saints beat Atlanta like they’re expected to, then a loss by the Seahawks next week would mean New Orleans gets the top seed due to the head-to-head match-up.
Especially since Seattle dominated Atlanta a few weeks ago, what better boost to know a team you are playing next just got beat by a team that you already beat? Hope for the upset and a potential stoppage of momentum for the Saints.
2. Washington Redskins
Thanks to their overtime loss to the Saints in Week 11, San Francisco now trails Seattle by three and a half games (not including the head-to-head win). A loss to the ‘Skins would put the 49ers four games behind the ‘Hawks with just five games remaining.
It’s safe to say that Seattle is all but guaranteed at least a top 4 seed if Washington can take out San Francisco because the 49ers would probably have to win their final five games in order to repeat as NFC West Division Champs.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Consider this one. Yes, Indy is the only team to hand Seattle a loss this season. However, the Colts are an AFC team so a win for them won’t make any difference in the standings for the Seahawks. What will make a difference is the team they are playing against fellow NFC West foe the Arizona Cardinals.
At 6-4, Arizona is currently the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. They need help just to qualify. The Chicago Bears are right behind the Cardinals in terms of seeding and Seattle would have a much easier time facing Chicago in the playoffs since it would be the first time they met this season as opposed to a potential third time.
Until next week, just remember to enjoy all the other games, but especially these because of their significance.
For more Seahawks news and updates, visit Seahawks Central.
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.