Seahawks Maintain NFC's Top Seed During Week 6 Bye
Enjoying their bye week, the Seahawks didn't play this weekend. But coach Pete Carroll's squad will enter Week 7 as one of the bigger winners from this past weekend.
Following an exciting Sunday of NFL action with two Monday night contests yet to play, here's a rundown of how Seattle benefited yesterday despite being idle.
1. The Seahawks have sole possession of the top seed in the NFC...
It's still very early, but for now, the Packers 38-10 loss to the Buccaneers leaves the Seahawks as the only undefeated team remaining in the NFC and atop the conference standings. Green Bay entered Sunday with an unblemished 4-0 record but a dismal performance from Aaron Rodgers against a stout Tampa Bay defense dropped them from the ranks of the undefeated.
The best news for Seattle? They don't have to play either of those teams in the regular season, as Minnesota and Atlanta were their two opponents from those respective divisions.
2. There's quite a crowd following closely behind them with 11 games left to play.
While Seattle has first place in the NFC all to itself, there's a bevy of teams just behind them in the standings. Continuing to find ways to win close games, the Bears hung on for a 23-16 win over the Panthers thanks to their stingy defense and sit half a game behind the Seahawks with a 5-1 record. Just behind them, the Packers remain in the mix with a 4-1 record despite suffering their first loss. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams lost in San Francisco to drop to 4-2 and the Buccaneers' victory improved their record to 4-2, leaving both teams 1.5 games out of the top spot.
It's also worth noting a pair of 3-2 teams - the Cardinals and Saints - are still within striking distance early in the season. Like the Seahawks, the Saints are off this week, while the Cardinals will play the Cowboys in Dallas on Monday Night Football.
3. The Seahawks now have a bit of separation in the NFC West.
Along with securing sole possession of the top seed in the conference, Seattle now holds a 1.5 game lead over Los Angeles in the division. The Rams had feasted on NFC East competition through the first five weeks, going 4-0 against the worst division in the league. On Sunday, the 49ers worked them defensively, with Jimmy Garoppolo throwing three touchdown passes before halftime, including a 44-yard strike to tight end George Kittle.
Ultimately, this prime time showdown indicated Los Angeles may not been as good as advertised considering its easy early schedule. On the flip side, San Francisco bounced back from an embarrassing 43-17 loss to Miami one week earlier and reminded everyone they're still in the running for the division despite a 2-3 start and a litany of injuries. Arizona will have a chance to pull into a tie with Los Angeles for second place in the division with a win in Dallas on Monday.