Sunday afternoon saw the San Francisco 49ers extend their lead on the Arizona Cardinals, but maintain their five game lead over the Seattle Seahawks as the Seahawks defeated the St. Louis Rams. The 49ers can clinch the NFC West this week if they defeat the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving and the Seahawks lose to the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
The Seahawks had little trouble with the St. Louis Rams. Although the Rams jumped on top 7-0, the Seahawks rolled off 24 unanswered points en route to their 24-7 victory. Tarvaris Jackson remains a questionable option at quarterback, but the Seahawks are sitting at 4-6 and on a two-game winning streak, so something is working. While folks may write off a win over the Rams, add in a home win over the Ravens and they are suddenly a curious team.
The Seahawks sit three games back of Detroit and Chicago in the wild card race, so a playoff run might be a bit difficult for them. But given the early season struggles for three-quarters of the NFC West, it's been a solid run for Seattle. More important for them is the fact that they have three straight home games coming up. They face Washington, Philadelphia and St. Louis and it is not out of the realm of possibility that they could be 7-6 after that stretch. I don't know if they can maintain the needed consistency to secure three more consecutive wins, but would anybody really be surprised if they beat those three teams at the artist formerly known as Qwest Stadium?
The rest of the season their two toughest remaining games are at Chicago in week 15 and then home against the 49ers in week 16. I don't think 8-8 gets them into the playoffs, but considering their performances to start the season, that's a pretty impressive turnaround.
Given that the 49ers are playing extremely well right now, I don't mind rooting for some solid play from the rest of the division. The 49ers have made their mark without the benefit of too many divisional games so I am not particularly worried about what people think of the division. Nonetheless, it would be nice to have a West team in the battle for a wild card spot. If it has to be the Seahawks, so be it.