It’s a popular topic of discussion around the Puget Sound this week: If you’re a Seahawks fan, who do you want to win Sunday morning in New Orleans (10 a.m., FOX): the 49ers or the Saints?
Your choice surely says something about your level of risk tolerance, and it certainly says a lot about your level of confidence in the Seahawks.
Seattle, San Francisco and New Orleans are all 10-2, and all three have a viable claim to the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
The Seahawks lost to the Saints and beat the 49ers, giving Seattle the tie-breaker (for now) for the top spot in the NFC West but giving New Orleans the edge for the top seed in the NFC playoff bracket.
A San Francisco victory in New Orleans would put the Seahawks in position to take over the No. 1 seed.
But a Saints victory would give the Seahawks extra cushion in the division and a clearer path to the No. 2 seed, which assures a team at least one home playoff game. The second-place team in the NFC West looks like to lock to be the No. 5 seed, which creates a treacherous road toward the Super Bowl.
So Seahawks fans: Do you dare shoot the moon Sunday? Is it time to get a little greedy and push for that No. 1 seed?
Or are you the kind who prefers to scoop up that king of hearts and take the minimum hit. One home playoff game, after all, is better than none.
A fun debate, for sure, and a fun position to be in if you’re the Seahawks. A lot to shake out on Sunday. Until then, enjoy your favorite power rankings:
1. Baltimore Ravens (10-2)
The Ravens finished off another impressive win over an NFC power, in the rain at home over San Francisco. But it is fair to wonder if Baltimore’s bare receiving corps might at some point (way down the road) be the Ravens’ downfall.
2. Seattle Seahawks (10-2)
The Seahawks have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and Rashaad Penny’s emergence makes them that much better.
3. San Francisco 49ers (10-2)
The Niners demolished Green Bay, then gave the Ravens all they could handle before losing (again) on a last-second kick. Now comes another major test in New Orleans.
4. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
The Saints became the first team to clinch a playoff berth, and their improved defense could help them hold down that No. 1 seed into January.
5. Houston Texans (8-4)
Among the game’s best young QBs, Lamar Jackson has stolen so much of the spotlight, and deservedly so. But credit Deshaun Watson for again rising to the occasion in a big game, throwing three TD passes and catching another on Sunday night against the Patriots. According to NFL.com, Watson has a 21-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his eight NFL primetime games.
6. New England Patriots (10-2)
That New England offense, as Tom Brady has hinted, doesn’t scare anyone, and Watson and the Texans showed the Patriots defense isn’t perfect either.
7. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
The Vikings’ loss in Seattle on Monday night gives Green Bay the inside edge in the NFC North.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
The Chiefs thumped the Raiders 40-9, and come January don’t count out KC as the Ravens’ biggest hurdle in the AFC.
9. Minnesota Vikings (8-4)
Another primetime loss for Kirk Cousins, who was fine against the Seahawks on Monday night but far short of spectacular.
10. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
Josh Allen is starting to look like a legitimate franchise QB, and could the Bill be a legitimate contender in the AFC?