NFL Week 14: Seahawks @ 49ers

December 6, 2013

Having already secured a wild card spot after beating down the Saints on Monday Night 7-34 the Seahawks are presented this week with a grand opportunity to secure the NFC West Division Title, a first round playoff bye and the 2nd seed with a win at 49ers.

An opportunity but not a necessity. The remaining Seahawks schedule:

Seahawks (11-1) week 12 Bye
 
@ 49ers 8-4
@ Giants 5-7
Cardinals @ 7-5
Rams @ 5-7

The 49ers (8-4) at best with a 4 game sweep can end the season (12-4) if they win at home vs Seahawks. The Saints (9-3) and Panthers (9-3) at best with a 4 game sweep can end the season (13-3). Since Seattle has the tie break victories this year against both this means Seattle only needs any two wins to secure the 1st place seed and home field advantage through the playoffs. If these teams lose 1 game during the last four then Seattle only needs any one victory.

So yes, a win this Sunday is a great opportunity for our Seahawks but not a necessity. I think that will go a long way to lifting some of the pressure and let Seattle relax and kick some niner butt.

A lot of articles in the run-up for this game keep talking about injured players returning for the 49ers but what isn’t being mentioned is that Seattle has almost a full starting roster also. And the results of such were on display during MNF against the Saints. The same Saints that beat the 49ers two weeks ago 20-23. Harvin for Seattle is still doubtful but look for an improved run game this week as Lynch and Turbin will have the same offensive line to run behind for two weeks in a row now.

The Seattle secondary showed no sign of slowing down and the 49ers be warned. Maxwell stepped up in a big way breaking up two huge pass plays one of which would of been a Saints touchdown. Richard Sherman continues to lock down his position. Brees only threw his way twice during the game last week for no completions and a near interception. Boldin & Crabtree for the 49ers against the Legion of Boom is going to be a match-up to pay attention to. Last week I predicted a pick six return for Earl Thomas and was wrong. It was Michael Bennett that did that instead. This week I’ll be looking for a Sherman interception off a pass to Crabtree.

The key for Seattle to this game I think will be the same as the last time they faced San Francisco. Shut down Gore and force them to rely on the pass. Even with the return of Crabtree if the Seahawks can force the 49ers to play a one dimensional game they can secure this victory on the road.

Go Hawks!

Part 2 of the week 14 NFC West Double Header.

While Seattle travels to San Francisco the Rams (5-7) will take to the road and also visit their division rival at the Cardinals (7-5). For the Rams the seasons is all but over in four games barring the most wild mathematical projections but this is a team that plays a solid four quarters of ball no matter what.

The Cardinals can still make the playoffs with a win and some help down the stretch with some 49er losses and after dropping a loss to the Eagles last week they need this win more than ever. On the other hand the Rams failed to spoil the 49ers playoff hopes last week and might be looking to pick up the spare this week. Playing at home with the season almost over I think the advantage lies with Arizona. Go Cardinals!

Rest of the season for the NFC West:

Cardinals (7-5) week 9 Bye
 
Rams @ 5-7
@ Titans 5-7
@ Seahawks 11-1
49ers @ 8-4
 
 
Rams (5-7) week 11 Bye
 
@ Cardinals 7-5
Saints @ 9-3
Buccaneers @ 3-9
@ Seahawks 11-1
 
 
49ers (8-4) week 9 Bye
 
Seahawks @ 11-1
@ Buccaneers 3-9
Falcons @ 3-9
@ Cardinals 7-5
 

ESPN has a playoff calculator (Playoff Machine) where you can select your own picks and see how the playoffs will look for yourself.

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The West Report
 
The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.
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