Following a 28-21 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday, the Seahawks enjoyed a much-deserved weekend off as part of a 10-day "mini" bye. Though they didn't suit up, however, they still were winners to an extent on Sunday.
While the Saints overcame the absence of star quarterback Drew Brees and backup Taysom Hill filled in admirably to lead his team to an NFC-best eighth win and maintain hold of the conference's top seed, the Packers blew a 28-14 halftime lead and ultimately lost to the Colts in overtime. With the defeat, Aaron Rodgers and company dropped to 7-3 on the season and remain the No. 2 seed over the Seahawks based on current tiebreakers, but the loss in Indianapolis could prove to be a costly one.
Looking at the remaining schedule, the Packers still has two potentially tough in-division games against the Bears as well as a matchup with the 7-3 Titans at Lambeau Field in late December. The Panthers could be a trap game in Week 15 as well.
In comparison, the Seahawks play three of their next four games against lowly teams from the NFC East, including the division-leading 3-6-1 Eagles in Week 12. Sandwiched between those three games is a home game against a winless Jets squad and they will wrap up with two games against the Rams and 49ers.
As things currently stand, Seattle clearly has an easier schedule than Green Bay down the stretch and if they win the games that they should, an 11-5 record would be worst-case scenario. Winning out isn't a stretch either, as Los Angeles will be coming to Lumen Field in Week 16 and San Francisco has injuries galore.
To earn the top seed in the conference, the Seahawks may need to rattle off a seven-game win streak. Why? The Saints remaining schedule, aside from a date with the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, is full of teams with losing records. They might only lose one game down the stretch, even without Brees for at least three weeks.
For now, Seattle sits as the No. 3 seed in the NFC, sharing the second-best record with Green Bay and Tampa Bay, who currently holds a wild card as the second place team in the NFC South behind New Orleans. These standings could change after Monday night, as the Rams and Buccaneers will face off at Raymond James Stadium in a game with substantial playoff implications that all of the NFC's top teams will be watching intently.
If Tampa Bay wins, Los Angeles will fall to 6-4 on the season and Seattle will hold sole possession of first place in the NFC West. On the flip side, a victory for the Rams would drop the Seahawks down to the fifth seed as the first wild card team with six weeks left to play in the regular season, making their impending December rematch all the more important.