NFL Week 14: NFC West – Not The Sole Province of the 49ers

Lynch and the Seahawks have been coming on as the season has progressed.

Lynch and the Seahawks have been coming on as the season has progressed.

Back in week 3, we tried to warn you of this, and now it’s coming close to the end of the season and this division looks like it is about to turnover. Have the Seattle Seahawks ever played with more force and purpose than they have this year?? With all due respect to their Super Bowl XL team, this group has grown and come forward to challenge a San Francisco team that thought they had this division all to themselves. The verve and spirit they have displayed all year has been infectious. Yet with a win against Buffalo and a loss by the 49ers, who travel to New England, they will be within half a game of the NFC West lead. Then guess who a Seahawk team that is undefeated hosts the following week??

Considering the non explosion that was supposed to happen for the 49ers when they switched quarterbacks, a win in New England doesn’t seem likely. San Francisco brings a defense but they have to travel cross country and take on a Patriot offense that is averaging 42 points per game in the last 5 weeks. They are going to slow a Tom Brady who has completed 64.4% of his passes while throwing for 29TDs to only 4 interceptions?? They’re mission should they choose to accept it…

Let’s take a look at the standings…

West Division

W

L

T

PCT

PF

PA

HOME

ROAD

DIV

CONF

STRK

LAST5

San Francisco 49ers 49ers 9 3 1 .731 316 184 5-1 4-2 2-1 6-3 W1 3-1
Seattle Seahawks Seahawks 8 5 0 .615 300 202 6-0 2-5 1-3 6-4 W2 4-1
St. Louis Rams Rams 6 6 1 .500 236 279 4-3 2-3 4-0 5-3 W3 3-1
Arizona Cardinals Cardinals 4 9 0 .308 186 292 3-3 1-6 1-4 2-7 L9 0-5

Now our CEO has been very opinionated about the 49ers turning the quarterbacking duty to Colin Kaepernick and think they sabotaged a possible Super Bowl run. Coach Harbaugh should take a look at the teams Alex Smith had to take on right before he got injured. Do you realize that in defensive rankings the Seahawks are 3rd, the Rams are 10th, and the Cardinals rank 12th. Who would have sustained offense against that many top flight defenses?? Consequently, facing the Saints (32nd) and the Dolphins (19th) haven’t really improved Kaepernick’s numbers. He is still completing a smaller percent of his passes (70%-67.4%), in four games he has only thrown 3 touchdowns. Smith’s touchdown percentage per pass was even higher.

Now you send a quarterback starting his 5th game to face the defending AFC Champions and the master of situation defense in Bill Belichick. The last time we saw Kaepernick on the road it was his huge miscue (safety) that turned a game San Fran was winning, into a loss to the Rams. The Patriots have a faster defense and will keep him tracked. In this game he’s going to have to sustain real technical offense even if the 49er defense starts off well. Relying on scrambles or gimmick plays won’t get it done. Eventually, the Patriots will score. This isn’t the team that Arizona beat in week 3 and Seattle beat in week 6. Right now the Patriots are averaging 36.3 points per game. If they can sustain that pace they will score 582 points or 7 short of the NFL all time record of 589 scored by the 2007 Patriots. Kaepernick is going to keep pace?? No way… a rout could be looming. All it takes is a few miscues on the road, let momentum get away from you and…

Isn’t that what happened last week in Seattle?? Goodness that game was over with before the Cardinals knew what hit them. FIFTY EIGHT to nothing?? That is a 1980’s college football score when a big school would clobber a smaller one. Once they jumped on the Cardinals 17-0 and the 12th man got into it, the turnovers came in bunches. If you haven’t seen this team play they swarm like bees on defense and special teams. This week their Pro Bowl bound running back Marshawn Lynch gets a crack at the Buffalo Bills, which is the team that drafted him. The Seahawks get a break in the fact that they will play the Bills up in Toronto and not in an outdoor Ralph Wilson Stadium. They will need Lynch (1266 yards /9TDs) to keep the Bills offense on the sideline by running it 30 times or more. They need to ease Russell Wilson into this game. The Bills are 5th against the pass and the Seahawks have to minimize turnovers. Let their defense force the action.

Speaking of which, in 2 of their last 4 games, they have given up less than 200 yards of offense and are currently ranked #3 in total defense. Linebackers Bobby Wagner (108 tackles), KJ Wright (77 tackles) have 8 passes and 2 sacks between them but only have 1 fumble forced. This team is just a few turnovers forced from being one of the best in the business. In fact their lack of forcing turnovers on the road has been there achille’s heel as they have gone 2-5 on the road. However they did beat Chicago in overtime a few weeks ago   to wrest wild card tie break benefits from the Bears. They also beat the Vikings 6 weeks ago for further wildcard tie breakers there. However this team is looking further ahead.

russellwilsonWith a San Francisco loss and a Seattle win this week, the 49ers will have to travel to Seattle with the division lead on the line. Our CEO has the Seahawks winning that game and taking the NFC West championship away from Jim Harbaugh’s boys in a head knocker. They are 6-0 at home and play with reckless abandon in Qwest Field. You remember how loud it was when they knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion Saints in the playoffs 2 years ago. It will be the first match-up between Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, who quietly has to be considered for NFL Rookie of The Year. His 208 of 330 for 2,492 yards and 20 touchdowns isn’t that spectacular, but his 9 interceptions is low enough to keep them in games. In fact he’s only thrown 1 interception at home all season.

Seattle will be in the playoffs this year and they should make the NFC Championship with what The Chancellor has seen. Think about their run this year against playoff hopefuls. They hold tie breaker advantages over Green Bay, Dallas, Minnesota, Chicago, and with a win by more than 7 next week, San Francisco. The 49ers will regret giving that game up in St Louis… sure we’re getting ahead of ourselves but this is what we do.

Well an NFC West heavyweight fight looms next week… we’re picking Seattle

Thanks for reading and please share the article.

 

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2 thoughts on “NFL Week 14: NFC West – Not The Sole Province of the 49ers

  1. Pingback: Week 2: Seattle Seahawks v. San Francisco 49ers or Ali v. Frazier I | Taylor Blitz Times

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more Jef! I know I would hate to meet up with the Seahawks in the playoffs. This team, especially at home, is very dangerous. And we don’t see them losing at home vs S.F. either.
    Great piece as always!

    Like

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