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NFL makes Seahawks-49ers the final game of the regular season, and there will be a lot at stake

Chris Cwik

The final game of the NFL regular season is going to be a big one. The league flexed the Seattle Seahawks-San Francisco 49ers game to “Sunday Night Football” for Week 17.

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The matchup will have massive implications on the playoffs. After beating the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, the 49ers moved to 12-3. If the Seahawks can defeat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the teams would enter Week 17 with the the same record. The winner of the Week 17 game would win the NFC West. A first-round bye in the NFC could be on the line as well.

If the Seahawks lose to the Cardinals in Week 16, that could still set up a do-or-die situation. In that scenario, Seattle would head into Week 17 trailing the 49ers by a win. If the Seahawks can beat the 49ers in Week 17, the two teams would tie. Seattle, however, would hold the tiebreaker since the team would have won both games against the 49ers this season.

That’s all a long way of saying the game is going to be fun. Well ... unless you’re a Seahawks or 49ers fan.

While the stakes will be high, at least a spot in the playoffs isn’t on the line. Both the Seahawks and 49ers have already clinched playoff berths in the NFC. One will win the NFC West and the other will be a wild-card team.

There are obvious advantages to winning the division, especially if it nets one of those teams a first-round bye in the playoffs.

But fans of whatever teams ends up with the wild card shouldn’t be too disappointed. If that teams plays its cards right, a rematch between the 49ers and the Seahawks in the postseason could be on tap.

Winning in Week 17 would be sweet, but crushing your division rival’s Super Bowl dreams is so much sweeter.

———

Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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