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49ers vs. Seahawks Flexed to Sunday Night Football; Winner Clinches NFC West

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on November 11, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 27-24. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks' Week 17 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers was flexed into NBC's Sunday Night Football slot.

Both teams have already clinched a playoff berth. The winner of next week's clash will claim the NFC West title. Seattle is a half-game behind San Francisco but has a head-to-head victory over the 49ers from Week 10.

NFL @NFL

Game 256. For the NFC West title. @49ers vs @Seahawks is being flexed to Sunday Night Football in Week 17! #SFvsSEA 📺: Sunday, December 29 | 8:20pm ET on NBC https://t.co/xhgxm7yFMv

The 49ers survived a scare from the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night. With the game tied at 31 inside the final minute, Jimmy Garoppolo hit Emmanuel Sanders for a 46-yard gain on 3rd-and-16. That helped set up Robbie Gould's game-winning 33-yard field goal as time expired.

NFL @NFL

The @49ers are into Rams territory! On 3rd & 16, @JimmyG_10 connects deep with @ESanders_10! #GoNiners 📺: #LARvsSF on @nflnetwork Watch now on your 📱: https://t.co/15uggOKLoO  How to watch on any device: https://t.co/wC2BGvZiHo https://t.co/clp8XYLBYL

NFL @NFL

From 33 yards out, @RobbieGould09 called GAME. #GoNiners #LARvsSF https://t.co/rLTtj5QbM5

The implications for Seattle and San Francisco's second meeting go beyond the division. The 49ers would also be the NFC's top seed by improving to 13-3. With the Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints all sitting at 11-3, the race for the No. 1 seed would open up were San Francisco to falter.

Seth Walder @SethWalder

The Seahawks are potential beneficiaries of Tennessee's lead over the Saints. A New Orleans loss would give Seattle a clearer path to the No. 1 seed in the NFC. https://t.co/W6Nl2oOPh8

This is the second straight year in which NBC flexed a pivotal divisional game into the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff for the final week of the regular season.

The Indianapolis Colts beat the Tennessee Titans 33-17 last season to earn the final wild-card spot in the AFC.