The NFC West is still wide open as the NFL enters Week 8. The 5-1 Seattle Seahawks are at the top of the division and the 4-3 San Francisco 49ers are at the bottom going into Sunday's showdown. While these teams first met in 1976, the 49ers/Seahawks series became one of the league's newest rivalries when they were put in the same division in 2002. Since then, the two teams have played some really great games. Here are the five best overall in the series.
5. San Francisco 49ers 26, Seattle Seahawks 23
Dec. 16, 2018 — Santa Clara, Calif.
There were very few bright spots in San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan's second season, but this late-season gutsy win portended a sign of things to come. The Seahawks outmanned the 49ers in virtually every statistical category, but the game was tied 23-23 at the end of regulation. Seattle got the ball first in overtime, but San Francisco did not allow a first down, forcing the Seahawks to punt. The 49ers then moved the ball 44 yards and Robbie Gould booted a 36-yard field goal. The win snapped San Francisco's 10-game losing streak to the Seahawks.
4. Seattle Seahawks 27, San Francisco 49ers 25
Nov. 20, 2005 — San Francisco
In the Seahawks' first Super Bowl run, Seattle entered the game with a five-game win streak and held a 27-12 lead going into the fourth quarter. But San Francisco responded with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Ken Dorsey to Brandon Lloyd and then a one-yard scoring run by Maurice Hicks with 28 seconds remaining. However, the two-point conversion failed, and the Seahawks held on for the win.
3. Seattle Seahawks 27, San Francisco 49ers 24
Nov. 11, 2019 — Santa Clara, Calif.
San Francisco was 8-0 and Seattle was 7-2 entering this "Monday Night Football" matchup. In the first quarter, the 49ers took a 10-0 lead, but the Seahawks responded with 21 unanswered points to take a commanding advantage going into the fourth quarter. San Francisco then had to return a fumble for a touchdown, successfully pull off a two-point conversion, and kick two field goals just to send the game into overtime. The teams traded possessions in the extra period, but Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson led the team on a seven-play, 40-yard drive that culminated with a 42-yard field goal by Jason Myers as time expired.
2. San Francisco 49ers 24, Seattle Seahawks 22
Dec. 8, 1991 — Seattle
Having lost Joe Montana to injury in the preseason, the 49ers struggled in Steve Young's first season as the starter, losing five of their first nine games. Then Young went down with a knee injury in Week 10, and backup Steve Bono led the team on a mad-dash effort to make the playoffs. San Francisco entered the game at 7-6 and could not afford to lose, but Seattle was 6-7 and still had a shot at making the postseason. The Seahawks capitalized on five 49er turnovers and led 22-17 with less than two minutes left in the game. Then Seattle's Rick Tuten shanked a punt and gave new life to San Francisco. Bono hit receiver John Taylor with a 41-yard strike and then a 15-yard touchdown pass. On the ensuing possession, the 49ers forced Dave Krieg's 107th fumble, which at the time was an NFL record, to secure the win. The 49ers finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs in a tiebreaker with the Atlanta Falcons, while the Seahawks ended the season at 7-9.
1. Seattle Seahawks 23, San Francisco 49ers 17 (NFC Championship Game)
Jan. 19, 2014 — Seattle
These two teams have met in the postseason only once, but it was an epic showdown, The 49ers and the Seahawks split their regular-season contests and at the end of the campaign, Seattle was 13-3 and the No. 1 seed, and San Francisco was 12-4 and a wild card team. No matter. The 49ers beat the division-winning Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers to earn a rubber match with the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game. There, San Francisco jumped out to a 17-10 fourth-quarter lead, but Seattle responded with 13 unanswered points and led 23-17 with 3:37 left in the game. The 49ers drove to the Seahawks' 18-yard line and had 30 seconds remaining when Colin Kaepernick attempted a touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree that was deflected by Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman into the arms of linebacker Malcolm Smith, securing the win. The game was immortalized when Sherman showed FOX's Erin Andrews and NFL fans how hard it is to come down from a game.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.
(Top photo courtesy of 49ers.com)