With San Francisco’s 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers they fell 2.5 games back of the Seahawks, the closest of any team in the West, of course. The Niners left themselves no room for error this weekend against the New Orleans Saints. Lose that game (and assuming Seattle posts a W over the Vikings) and they will essentially be knocked out of the race.
Both San Fran and Seattle have dealt with an impossible rash of injuries over the first 10 games of the season, but the Seahawks are getting several players back in the next week or two, including three of five (including two pro bowler) offensive line starters. They will also be adding their electric free agent pick up Percy Harvin to the offensive mix.
Simply put, it doesn’t look like the Seahawks are going anywhere. If they beat Minnesota as they should at home on Sunday, the bye week comes before their showdown with New Orleans. The game at San Francisco after that seems to be the last major challenge as they finish with three of the final four at home, against less than elite competition.