Seattle Seahawks
Earl Thomas of the Seattle Seahawks is congratulated on his interception for a touchdown by Doug Baldwin during the first quarter of the game against the Houston Texans at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 29, 2017 in Seattle. Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

It’d be hard to find a more pivotal game on the NFL Week 11 schedule that the matchup on “Monday Night Football.” The Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons are both fighting for playoff spots, and a loss at CenturyLink Field could play a major role in keeping one of the two teams out of the postseason.

If the regular season ended in Week 10, the Seahawks would sneak in the playoffs as the NFC’s No.6 seed. Atlanta is one game behind Seattle in the standings at 5-4, and a road win could give them the tiebreaker they need over the Seahawks to continue playing in January.

Winning a division title in 2017 will be difficult for both teams. Atlanta sits in third place in the NFC South behind both the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, with the latter owning a seven-game winning streak. Seattle only trails the Los Angeles Rams by one game in the NFC West, but an upcoming schedule that includes games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys won’t do them any favors.

Then there are the injuries that could play a major role down the stretch of the season in Week 11 and possibly the rest of the season. Seattle’s vaunted “Legion of Boom” is no longer intact, and the three mainstays are all having trouble staying on the field.

Cornerback Richard Sherman is done for the season with a ruptured Achilles after never missing a game in his career. It sounds like a neck injury will force safety Kam Chancellor to sit out Monday night. Safety Earl Thomas is expected to be back in the lineup, though he missed last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with a hamstring injury.

Most of Seattle’s success under head coach Pete Carroll has been predicated on the team's dominant defense. The unit is currently tied for fifth in points allowed, and it’s finished no worse than third in every year since 2012.

When even one of the Seahawks’ key secondary members is missing, Seattle’s numbers against the pass are drastically different. That could be highlighted Monday when the team hosts reigning MVP Matt Ryan and an Atlanta offense that led the league in scoring a year ago.

The Falcons have dealt with their own struggles this season. It’s why they are still three-point underdogs in Seattle, according to the betting odds at OddsShark. The over/under of 44.5 isn’t among the highest on the Week 11 schedule.

Atlanta can’t seem to find a way to put the ball into the end zone. Whether it’s been inexplicable drops by Julio Jones, missed targets by Ryan or bad play calling by Steve Sarkisian, the Falcons haven’t been able to turn football’s No.4 ranked offense in terms of yards per play into a ton of points.

Fifteen teams have a higher scoring average than Atlanta. Before beating the Dallas Cowboys 27-7 in Week 10, the Falcons hadn’t scored more than 17 points in four of their previous five games. Atlanta lost every one of those contests.

Running back Devonta Freeman will likely miss Monday’s game with a concussion. He has four touchdowns in Atlanta’s wins and just one score in the team’s four losses.

Ryan has faced two teams that rank in the top 11 in terms of opponents’ passer rating. He’s been picked off five times in those contests. Even without Sherman and Chancellor, don’t expect the Falcons to have their way with the Seahawks on the road.

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks will face a Falcons’ defense that ranks 21st in opponents’ passer rating. He’s posted a passer rating better than 111.0 in three of the last four games.

Look for Seattle’s offense to pick up their banged-up defense in the team’s most important game of the season, thus far.

Prediction: Seattle over Atlanta, 27-20