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How will the West be won, you ask?
Easily the worst division in football, no team seems to want to take this division lead. It feels like the St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks have been tied atop this division the entire season. These two teams have been so bad in recent weeks that even the bottom-of-the-barrel Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers had opportunities to stay in the playoff race with wins in Week 15.
Of course, just like the rest of the season, they failed to win. Oddly enough, as the 49ers sit just one game behind St. Louis and Seattle, they aren’t even mathematically eliminated just yet.
The division should come down to the Rams and Seahawks. The Rams currently hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks after dominating them earlier in the season. The Rams battle the San Francisco 49ers this week. The 49ers have been even more inconsistent than the Rams this season.
The Rams do play better, for the most part, at home. While this isn’t a lock, the Rams should win the game. If the 49ers manage to pull out the victory, they would actually leapfrog the Rams because of a better division record.
Seattle should lose their contest to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Seahawks have been one of the most difficult teams to figure out this season. They’ll look good one week and then terrible for the next week or two. As they travel from the West to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. game, they don’t stand a chance against Josh Freeman’s tough “Young Bucs.”
Even though the division is lackluster, the tight division race makes Week 17 that much more exciting. St. Louis and Seattle duke it out in Week 17, possibly with the division on the line. San Francisco has a great matchup against an Arizona Cardinals team they dominated on Monday Night Football weeks earlier. If they beat St. Louis and Arizona and St. Louis beats Seattle, San Francisco would make the playoffs despite their tumultuous season.
Seattle would make the playoffs if they beat Tampa Bay and St. Louis in their next two games. They could also sneak in with just one win if the Rams and 49ers both lose one game.
This wild, wild, NFC West division has so many possibilities that it is quite possibly the most exciting division race to close the season.