Seahawks on verge of clinching NFC West

Losses by 49ers, Saints would give Seattle No. 1 seed




EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If everything works out right for the Seattle Seahawks, this weekend will be the dry run to MetLife Stadium.

With a little help, the Seahawks (11-2) will win the NFC West and nail down the No. 1 seed in the conference with a victory over the New York Giants (5-8) and losses by San Francisco and New Orleans.

If that happens, the road to the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold weather city will go through Seattle, where the Seahawks have not lost this season.

Quarterback Russell Wilson didn't want to look that far down the road.

"The focus at this point is just go 1-0," he said. "We're playing a good team in the Giants. We know that the record doesn't show everything that they can do. They've been doing a great job in terms of their defense and making plays. Obviously that's our goal, is to win the NFC West and get first place, but to get there we've got to take the first step first."

The steps were to have a good week of practice and then play a little better than last week in a 19-17 defeat at the 49ers (9-4).

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll didn't want to discuss a second trip to the Meadowlands. However, he liked the idea of a cold-weather title game.

"I think the game of football has always been subject to weather and conditions and settings and all that," he said. "We don't know what it's going to be like, but it might be classic. It might be a classic setting for a great matchup. We'll see what happens."

The Giants already know their future. They pretty much knew it after losing the first six games. A four-game winning streak gave them some hope of a miracle comeback, but losses to Dallas on Nov. 24 and the Chargers last Sunday ended their playoff hopes for the fourth time in five seasons.

"Obviously we still have three games to go, starting obviously with the No. 1 team coming here to our house," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said. "We've still got a lot to play for. For us, it turns to going out there and being accountable for what we need to do, and that's to try to win these three and go into the offseason with some kind of respectability and a good feeling, hopefully, heading into next year."

Three things to know about the Seahawks game with the Giants:

REDISCOVER BEAST MODE: It's a nitpick because Seattle has won two of its last three in convincing fashion, but the Seahawks could use better production from its run game. Carroll says it's not a major concern, but Seattle has failed to top 100 yards rushing as a team in two of the last three games.

KEEP THE BALL: The difference between 11-2 and a potential No. 1 seed in the conference and 5-8 and out of the playoff picture might be turnovers. Seattle has 28 takeaways -- No. 2 in the league -- and it is plus-12 for the season. The Giants have given up ball up 34 times and have a minus-13 differential.

PICK SIX: Seattle's always going to be a challenge to beat at home, but the Seahawks have proven this season to be almost as good on the road. Sunday will be Seattle's final chance at a franchise-record sixth road victory. Seattle won five road games in 2005 and 1984, but has never gone 6-2 away from home.