The New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers perked up on Sunday afternoon, as the Arizona Cardinals put the final touches on a surprising 27-13 upset win over the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks’ loss doesn’t change the NFC West title picture. Seattle needs to beat the San Francisco 49ers next week to take the division. The 49ers capture the West if they win. The game has already been flexed to “Sunday Night Football.”
That loss could be costly for Seattle, even with a win next week.
Packers, Saints could get byes
The Seahawks fell to 11-4 and in a stacked NFC, that puts them in danger of losing one of the two first-round byes.
The Saints improved to 12-3 with a win Sunday, and the 11-3 Packers play at Minnesota on Monday night. If those teams win out and the Seahawks beat the 49ers at home next Sunday night, the Packers and Saints will be the top two seeds in the NFC. In that scenario the Packers would end up as the No. 1 seed due to a better record than the Saints in the conference. The Saints have three conference losses and the Packers have two. Given the weather in Green Bay, playing at Lambeau Field in January is nothing any NFC team wants to think about.
The Packers need to win at Minnesota on Monday night to keep that scenario alive, and that won’t be easy. But Seattle’s loss could be big for them. New Orleans, too.
Seahawks dealt a bad loss
The 49ers are still looking at the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a win next Sunday. They defeated the Saints and Packers already this season.
That means that New Orleans and Green Bay could be rooting hard for Seattle next Sunday night. The NFC is loaded, and a 12-win team could find itself without a first-round bye. And an 11- or 12-win team out of the NFC West will be a wild-card team.
The Seahawks can still win the NFC West with a win next Sunday night. But their road to the Super Bowl might have gotten tougher with a bad loss to the Cardinals.
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