The San Francisco 49ers were already the team to beat in the NFC West before charging out to a 6-2 record and two-game lead over Seattle in the loss column.
What would it take for the Seahawks (5-4) to overtake them? The question hadn't occurred to me until former Seattle and Denver linebacker Dave Wyman raised it five-plus minutes into our recent conversation on 710ESPN Seattle.
I think it would most likely require the 49ers slumping into a 10-6 tie with the Seahawks and having Seattle prevail in a tiebreaker. That simply isn't very likely given what we've seen from San Francisco to this point.
For Seattle, getting to 10-6 would be most plausible by these means:
Winning all remaining games at home. This would require defeating the New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, 49ers and St. Louis Rams. Defeating the 49ers would be a necessity under this scenario. Otherwise, the 49ers would sweep the season series.
Winning one of three remaining road games. A Week 15 game against Buffalo in Toronto might provide the best opportunity. The other road games are against Miami and Chicago.
Next comes the hard part: having the 49ers slip to 10-6. I don't see San Francisco losing at home to St. Louis, Miami or Arizona. Let's count those games in the win column for our purposes here. Losing to the Rams in St. Louis also appears unlikely.
Under this scenario, the 49ers would have to lose at home to Chicago before losing road games to New Orleans, New England and Seattle.
Not something to bank on.
Also: additional audio from a separate Thursday-night conversation on 710ESPN Seattle, this one hosted by Mike Salk.