How good is Sunday’s matchup between the 49ers and Seahawks? So good the NFL has decided to make it the league’s marquee game.
The showdown for the NFC West championship has been flexed into the prime-time spot on the final weekend of the regular season.
The 12-3 49ers originally were scheduled to take on the 11-4 Seahawks Sunday in the afternoon at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. But on Tuesday the NFL announced it would move the game to its night slot, with kickoff set for 5:20 p.m., to be televised by NBC. Six other games had their times or television networks changed, the league announced.
If the 49ers beat Seattle Sunday night, San Francisco could clinch the NFC West championship and the first seed in the NFC playoffs, along with home-field advantage. Seattle won the previous matchup with the Niners this season in overtime. If the Seahawks win again Sunday night they would clinch the division title and the No. 1 seed, and the 49ers would slip to the No. 5 seed.
Should the 49ers come out on top against Seattle with the top seed, they would play January. 11 or January 12.
The 49ers moved themselves into prime-time position with a comeback 34-31 victory over the Rams this past week.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said his team needed a victory over the Rams, even though it already had clinched a playoff spot. “It was very important,” Shanahan told Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com after the Rams win. “I thought we had to win this game no matter what. … Now, winning this, you don’t have to worry about anything. Now we’ve got one game left here in our season before the playoffs. Got eight days to get ready for it and we’re pumped about that.”