The Seattle Seahawks have now clinched a spot in the NFL playoffs. They can also wrap up the NFC West with a win in San Francisco today. As well as the Seahawks are playing, this is not a done deal. There are a few things that could disrupt this apple cart for another week.
1) The Seahawks have not played well on the road against the San Francisco 49ers. In fact, they’ve lost five straight. Any team can have a bad outing (ask the New Orleans Saints) and maybe Seattle is getting a little too confident?
2) Seattle loses their home field advantage in this game. Playing on the road is not like playing in Seattle. Hark back to Monday night to get some feel for what opponents face when they play Seattle at home. That’s one for San Francisco
3) The Niners are on the ledge here. Lose, and they face a stiff uphill battle to make the playoffs as a Wild Card.
4) San Francisco is a team bent on revenge while Seattle is highly confident and on a mega-roll. That’s the kind of situation that breeds upsets.
5) If the 49ers can get Frank Gore rolling, and Gore has played well against Seattle in the past, that keeps Russell Wilson off the field. (Note) the 49ers may be missing some offensive linemen.
6) In general, the Seattle Seahawks are better than anyone else in the NFC right now. At 11-1 they control the #1 seed and their own destiny. But, the NFL has a way of bringing teams back down to earth.
All this being said, I believe this game will be closer than it appears on paper. The Seahawks have to be favored but if San Francisco brings it’s game they can pull off a surprise upset and force Seattle to wait another week for a division title.