Someone has to win the NFC West. We just don’t know which team it will be. And whether that team can muster even an 8-8 record.
Heading into today, the Rams and Seahawks were tied for first place at 6-6, two games ahead of the 4-8 49ers, and three ahead of the 3-9 Cardinals. But with the 49ers blowing out the Seahawks today and the Rams losing to the Saints, it appears that the NFC West race is going to get a lot closer.
Barring a big fourth-quarter comeback, the Rams and Seahawks will be tied for first place at 6-7, and the 49ers will be just a game out of first at 5-8. The best bet is that the winner of the Week 17 game between the Rams and Seahawks will win the division, but the 49ers own the division record tiebreaker over both the Rams and Seahawks and aren’t out of it yet.
The Cardinals are almost certainly out of the NFC West race, although they’re beating the Broncos today, and it says a lot about the quality of this division that the Cardinals still aren’t mathematically eliminated and could still theoretically win the division at 7-9.
So we don’t yet know who will emerge from the NFL’s worst division. But we know that some NFC wild card team will get a very favorable draw in the first week of the postseason.