Stakes Raised for Seahawks, Vikings on Monday Night Football

Corbin Smith

A Monday night matchup between the Seahawks and Vikings suddenly holds even greater importance for both teams in regard to potential playoff seeding.

Thanks to the Ravens 20-17 win over the 49ers on Sunday, quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks (9-2) can move into first place in the NFC West by defeating the Vikings (8-3) in prime time. Seattle currently holds a tiebreaker over its division rival after beating them 27-24 in Santa Clara back in Week 10.

Both Seattle and Minnesota received additional help in the wild card standings, as the Philadelphia and Carolina both dropped to 5-7 on the season with ugly losses. Only the Los Angeles Rams, who were beating Arizona at the time of this posting and would improve to 7-5, remain in striking distance behind them.

A win over the Vikings would move the Seahawks up to the No. 2 seed in the NFC, which would give coach Pete Carroll’s team a first-round bye in the postseason and guarantee at least one home playoff game. The Saints would hold the first seed thanks to a head-to-head win at CenturyLink Field in Week 3.

Under those circumstances, the Seahawks could ultimately lose another game before a Week 17 rematch with the 49ers and still control their own destiny in the division.

However, if Seattle can’t find a way to beat Minnesota, the team would drop down to the sixth seed. This would mean a road trip to Green Bay instead of Dallas/Philadelphia in the wild card round in early January.

As for the Vikings, a victory wouldn’t move them atop the NFC North after losing to the Packers earlier in the year, but they would swap places with the Seahawks to become the fifth seed and stay in the hunt for one of the conference’s top two seeds with four games left to play.