Christmas Eve, 2011.
Seattle is 14-0 at home since, with CenturyLink Field becoming the place nobody wants to go -- but the NFC has no choice.
Barring a series of stunning events, Seattle (11-1) is barreling toward home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Monday night's romp over New Orleans clinched a playoff berth for the Seahawks and shoved the Saints into a tight spot. They're still a good bet for the No. 2 seed, but the Saints (9-3) now face the surging Carolina Panthers (9-3) twice over the next three weeks and must carve out a one-game lead over Seattle with just four tilts to go.
We don't see that happening for New Orleans -- or any other team. The road to the Super Bowl will run through the Pacific Northwest.
Here's what else we learned:
49ers make their push
The playoff picture
How would your team's prospects look if the season ended today? See where each team stands in the playoff picture midway through the season. More ...
They'd need a minor miracle to catch Seattle in the West, but San Francisco is sitting pretty for a wild-card spot.
It hasn't been an easy campaign, but this squad can beat anyone in the NFC on a good day.
Two playoff teams from the East?
An unlikely hypothetical, but it would open the door for another team at the No. 6 spot behind either Carolina or New Orleans at No. 5.
Weeks ago, only unhinged madmen would have listened to theories of two NFC East squads making the playoffs, but hear me out:
Dallas (7-5) currently owns the tie-breaker over Philly. They play each again in the regular-season finale, and both teams sit just one game behind the eight-win Niners. Philly's 24-21 win over the Cardinals on Sunday gives the Eagles a tie-breaker over Arizona with games remaining against the Lions, Vikings, Bears and 'Boys.
If the 49ers were to falter -- or be sucked away by an ungodly wind -- there's a chance the once-woeful East sends half the division into the postseason.
Before the leaves changed, the NFC North looked like a lock to send multiple teams to the dance.
Then Chicago's defense went apocalyptic, and Green Bay -- now near death at 5-6-1 -- lost the countryside's greatest quarterback.
Total mystery team, but -- today -- the division's brightest hope.
Dirt Nap, Inc.
Looking ahead to Week 14
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles: Neither team can afford to slip up Sunday in what might be the week's hardest game to pick.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints: Nice work, scheduling droids. Two games in three weeks between this pair will decide the South.