Saints at Seahawks, 8:40 p.m. (ESPN)

Seahawks-Saints game rife with playoff implications

A victory for Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and the Saints would put New Orleans in the driver’s seat in the race for the top overall seed in the NFC.

David Goldman/Associated Press/File

A victory for Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and the Saints would put New Orleans in the driver’s seat in the race for the top overall seed in the NFC.

SEATTLE — Monday night’s contest between the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints is of the big-picture variety.

Seattle (10-1) enters as the top seed in the NFC and is playing at home, where it hasn’t lost since December 24, 2011.


New Orleans (9-2) is currently the second seed and a win would result in the Saints controlling their own destiny for home-field advantage.

Home field would be a huge coup for New Orleans, which has never won a playoff game on the road.

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‘‘Both teams understand what we got ahead of us, what this game means to both teams,’’ New Orleans safety Roman Harper said. ‘‘It’s huge, and if we can get this one, we understand what it sets up for us to be able to do. It puts us in position to accomplish some things we’ve been talking about all year long.

“All these things are starting to build up and we’re right in the place we want to be. It’s a great opportunity for us. We’ve got a tough one on the road and it will be a great matchup for us.’’

Seattle understands the home-field importance, too. The Seahawks showed last year they can win on the road in the postseason, but their only Super Bowl trip came after having home-field advantage in the playoffs in the 2005 season.


‘‘It feels good just with the way our team is performing. Everybody is playing together, everybody is playing for one another, and everybody is executing down the stretch,’’ Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. ‘‘Nobody is getting nervous or starting to look ahead or looking past anyone.”

The last time Seattle was on the field, a 41-20 win over the Vikings two weeks ago, it had its offensive line fully intact for the first time since Week 2 with Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini, and Max Unger returning from injuries.

Seattle must be at its best against the Saints, who entered Sunday with an NFL-high 37 sacks.

Just when it seemed the Seahawks were getting fully healthy, they go into Monday’s game with wide receiver Percy Harvin doubtful because of lingering soreness in his surgically repaired hip. Harvin was in on 19 offensive plays and two kickoff returns in Week 11.

If Harvin can’t go, Seattle would have just four healthy receivers on the active roster.

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