The NFC West playoff picture

Published on December 20, 2010 by     T.C.

Even with losses in six of their last eight games, the 6-8 Seahawks still control their own destiny in the race for the NFC West crown.

But they’re not alone, as two other division cohorts also control their playoff futures.

If Seattle wins its final two games, it’ll finish 8-8 and be the NFC West champions, and the same goes for St. Louis. San Francisco will also win the division by winning its final two contests, although the 49ers would finish 7-9 and triumph in the tiebreaker if Seattle goes 1-1 over the next two weeks.

The NFC West crown essentially hinges on two ultra-important intra-division matchups during the next 14 days — San Francisco at St. Louis on Sunday and St. Louis at Seattle in Week 17. Here’s how the division will break down based on those contests, plus other notes:

If the 49ers beat the Rams, they’ll only have to beat the Cardinals at home in the season finale the following week to capture the division title, with Seattle losing at least one of the next two games.

If St. Louis wins on Sunday, the season-concluding Rams-Seahawks game will serve as a de facto NFC West championship game.

Seattle can remove all questions about the playoff picture by winning in Tampa on Sunday and then beating the Rams at home next weekend, thereby finishing alone at 8-8. In the event of a loss to the Buccaneers, the Seahawks must have St. Louis beat San Francisco to remain in control of their own destiny.

Seattle’s final two games: at Tampa Bay (8-6), vs. St. Louis (6-8)

St. Louis’ final two games: vs. San Francisco (5-9), at Seattle (6-8)

San Francisco’s final two games: at St. Louis (6-8), vs. Arizona (4-10)

With its 19-12 loss at Carolina on Sunday, Arizona has officially been eliminated from contention

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