The Seattle Seahawks cemented their role as the top team in the NFL with a strong effort on Monday night. The game with the New Orleans Saints was billed as a preview of a possible NFC championship, but it was no contest at all. Seattle, fueled by the home crowd, dismantled the Saints on both sides of the ball.
Even with the loss, New Orleans remains in the top half of the power poll, but their strong season could be on thin ice in the coming weeks. However, if New Orleans gets right back on the winning track, they'll secure a home game for the divisional round. If the Saints start their first losing streak of the season, it's likely, they'll be hosting a wildcard game.
What hurts New Orleans more is that Seattle has a two game lead in the NFC with four games to play. New Orleans and Carolina have a real long shot at securing home field throughout the playoffs and they play each other twice in the final month.
Here are the updated NFL power rankings. You can also see the CBSSportsline.com NFL rankings. According to their updated rankings, Carolina is the fifth best team. It should be noted that Carolina has won eight games in a row.