Game 11: Giants VS Seahawks
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TIME: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. EST.
The division getting the most attention in the NFC has been the East. The West hasn't been the focus because it's been pretty clear the Seattle Seahawks were going to win it.
That could become a reality this week with Seattle hoping to clinch its second straight division title while preventing the New York Giants from keeping sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Though the NFC West crown, and a third straight playoff berth, is within the Seahawks' grasp, the owners of the best record in the conference have loftier goals in mind.
"Anybody can be good, but only the great teams are Super Bowl champs," said Seattle's Shaun Alexander, the NFL rushing leader with 1,229 yards and 19 touchdowns.
"A good team just gets into the playoffs, the great teams are what do it every week and get in there and win a lot of games."
Seattle's current six-game winning streak is its longest since an eight-game run in 1984, the last time this franchise won a playoff game. With a four-game lead on second-place St. Louis, the Seahawks will wrap up the NFC West with a win Sunday and a loss by the Rams.
Seattle should know around game time if it can clinch, with St. Louis, which is 1-4 on the road, visiting Houston earlier in the day.
New York took over sole possession of the NFC East lead on Thanksgiving when Dallas lost 24-21 in overtime to Denver. That defeat dropped the Cowboys a half-game below the Giants, who are coming off a 27-17 victory over Philadelphia.
One of the NFL's best division races has often been a backdrop to the Eagles' turmoil, mainly the Terrell Owens saga and Donovan McNabb's injury woes. However, now that the season is likely over for Owens and McNabb, the fight to replace Philadelphia as NFC East champ should garner more attention.
New York is two games ahead of Washington and three better than Philadelphia.
"It's right back where it was 'X' amount of years ago when week in and week out, everybody's scratching, fighting and biting just to try and get ahead of the other guy," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "In a sense, it's great to have this kind of competitiveness, but I'll tell you - week in and week out, it's tough duty."
No matchup will be tougher than this trip to Seattle, which has won seven straight at home. The Giants have yet to beat a playoff contender on the road, and have only one win this season against a team that currently has a winning record.
"On the road, against Seattle, obviously a great test for us," Coughlin said. "We look forward to that opportunity. But what we will learn is, how good are we."
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