On Sunday afternoon, the Green Bay Packers took a big lead on the Philadelphia Eagles, let them claw back into the contest in the fourth quarter, then finally slammed the door shut with an emphatic play. The Seattle Seahawks, who were likewise facing an NFC East opponent at home, were not so fortunate.
Green Bay defeated Philadelphia 30-16, moving to 9-3 on the season and setting themselves up for a run at the top seed in the conference. But one of the teams in their way heading into the game was Seattle, who carried a matching 8-3 overall record into week 13 and held a strength of victory tiebreaker to give them the second position. But unlike the Packers, the Seahawks dropped a stunning decision to the New York Giants — with a backup quarterback leading their offense, no less — and in doing so allowed the Packers to take back sole possession of the number two seed with four weeks to play.
Seattle’s 17-12 loss to the Giants was a masterclass in mistakes. The Giants’ front four harassed Russell Wilson all game long, sacking him five times while also keeping the Seahawks’ running game in check. Meanwhile, Colt McCoy leaned on running backs Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris on a pair of third-quarter touchdown drives which proved the difference.
The result pushes Seattle down to 8-4 and into a tie with the Los Angeles Rams, who defeated the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. The Rams hold a head-to-head win, however, putting them in the driver’s seat for the NFC West title down the stretch.
Green Bay now needs to see the New Orleans Saints drop a game down the stretch for a chance at the conference’s only playoff bye. The second seed will not give the Packers a week off thanks to the NFL’s playoff expansion this year, so the top seed takes on added importance for 2020 and beyond.
Here is a look at the playoff positioning in the NFC with two NFC East teams — Washington and Dallas — yet to play.