<
>

Seahawks in a must-win situation Sunday vs. the Cardinals

The Seattle Seahawks will always say each game is a championship opportunity, and no one game is more important than another.

Technically, that’s true, but the old term of a “must-win game” clearly applies this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks (6-4) are three games behind the Cardinals (9-1) in the NFC West with six games to play. Any realistic chance of Seattle repeating as the division champ will require a victory over Arizona Sunday, and it’s still a tough road to get there.

The Seahawks could beat the Cardinals twice (next Sunday at home and Dec. 21 at Arizona) and still not catch them for the division crown. Seattle’s closing schedule, already the toughest in the NFL, didn’t get any easier over the weekend with three of their four remaining opponents winning.

Seattle's remaining opponents are a combined 41-19 for a .683 winning percentage. In the next five games, the opponents' winning percentage is .740 (37-13) and the winning percentage for the opponents in the five remaining division games is .680 (34-16).

A loss to the Cardinals this weekend would leave the Seahawks four games behind with only five to play, and three of those are road games against winning teams -- Arizona, 6-4 San Francisco and 7-3 Philadelphia.

Losing Sunday probably would doom any NFC West title hopes, but it also would leave the Seahawks in a precarious spot for just making the playoffs, considering the difficult games they have remaining.

So, every game is important and a "championship opportunity," as the Seahawks like to call it. But is this one a must-win? You better believe it.