Seattle Seahawks v. San Francisco 49ers

Published: Dec 06, 2013 20:43pm EST
By JasonNeal, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Dec 07, 2013 @ 04:40am EST

 

Jason Neal (JN): Here we are, week 14 of the NFL season, and two NFC heavyweights are ready and willing to put their bodies on the line to walk out of Candlestick with a victory.  Now, before you read any further, this piece is not going to be ‘nice’ or ‘pleasant’, much like this game won’t be. 

Danielle asks a few specific requests in her following paragraph, but I would like to add one of my own…don’t bring any excuses if your team loses.  Outside of the referees screwing one team or the other as if we are all watching a replay of the Saints/49ers game a couple weeks back, I don’t want to see a bunch of excuses and lame reasoning for either team losing. 

That being said, Seahawks fans, when you walk out of the bar, friend’s house, or your parents basement, after the game, act like it’s the constant drizzle in Seattle and not tears flowing down your cheeks as the Hawks walk back to their locker room.  Inevitably, the Seahawks will have their heads hung low, realizing that this is not Seattle and that Candlestick’s last memory of the Seahawks will be a victory for the Red & Gold.

Danielle Campoamor (DC): Before you dive into my analysis of the upcoming Seahawks-49ers matchup, I have a small request. While I adore this rivalry and admire the passion both teams' fans possess, it's time to leave emotions out of this equation. It seems that most sports fans; men in particular, seem to have a difficult time being rational about their team and said team's capabilities. Honestly, you boys are worse than a woman watching The Notebook while on her period.

So, I am imploring you to take your tampon out, pop a Midol, and look at this division rivalry through the eyes of reason. Not emotion.

Having said that, here's why the Seattle Seahawks are going to beat the San Francisco 49ers at home.

DC:  Home Field "Advantage"

Listen. Home field advantage is never a joke. While 49ers fans might be complaining about the noise a home field crowd can produce or relying on emails to remind them of what real fandom is all about, the fact that the Seahawks are playing in Candlestick cannot be denied. Then again, half of the 49ers losses this season have come at home. Hardly an impenetrable fortress. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have won the last 17 of 19, with two losses on the road by a total of eight points. In their last two meetings, the Seahawks have outscored the 49ers 71-16. Ouch.

JN: Playing at The Stick

The one thing Danielle is forgetting to mention about those last two games that the Niners have played is, they were both in Seattle with that special stadium and home-field advantage.  If you listen to the NinersNation.com podcast, you would know what I think about home-field advantage (obviously Danielle didn’t listen this week, even though she was a guest), but outside of Seattle, Kansas City (sometimes), and New Orleans (when the referees are hopped up on too many hurricanes and beignets), home field advantage doesn’t mean much.  That is, unless it is the last season of a stadium with a team that loves being seen as the underdogs.  Candlestick is set to close after this season and the players, coaches, and fans all know how much each home game means, especially when there is no ‘next time’ for Seattle at Candlestick.

DC:  Beastmode Cannot Be Stopped

The last time Beastmode met his conference foe he ran for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns. The time before, he ran for 111 yards and 1 touchdown. When the Seahawks lost in Candlestick, Lynch ran for 103 yards. There is no reason why he will not continue the trend on Sunday. The Seattle Seahawks are the third best team in rushing with an average of 146.2 yards per game, with a running back currently ranked third in Pro Bowl votes. Sorry 49er fans, it doesn't matter if he was born in Oakland, CA.

JN:  The Inconvenient Truth

Depending on what you want to take from my title, it could be about Frank Gore, who is ranked 10th in the league and rushing, less than 150 rushing yards behind Marshawn ‘I love Skittles’ Lynch, or it could be in reference to the 49ers defense, which boasts the best PPG since week 4 in the NFL.  This defense is Fast. Young. And Hungry.  After being embarrassed twice in a row in Seattle, the entire team, but especially the defense, would love to shut Richard Sherman up, the Legion of Boom, and knock the Skittles out of Lynch.

DC:  49ers Struggling Offensive Line

Editors note: This was written before Joe Staley said he expects to play this Sunday and Iupati looks to be out for Sunday.

With Joe Staley missing the game and Mike Iupati returning, for the first time, from a knee injury, the abilities of the Niners offensive line has to be questioned. With Colin Kaepernick's completion percentage (57.8%) and passer rating (88.9) both down from last year, it's clear the young quarterback panics when pressured. Yes, Kaepernick has Crabtree back; yet their offense is still lacking that "explosion" factor. Frank Gore is hardly a "big play" threat, having failed to rush for more than 100 yards since his performance against Arizona, and the only other offensive dynamo is Vernon Davis, who probably remembers Kam Chancellor all too well. Bottom line, if the St. Louis Rams can sack Kaepernick four times, imagine what Seattle's versatile front seven can do.

JN:  Aaaaaaaand, Boone goes the dynamite

The 49ers offensive line held up more than admirably after Joe Staley went out and Iupati was already on the sideline against the St. Louis Rams.  The Rams pass rush is not as great as the Seahawks is, but it was a great test and Alex Boone was literally perfect after moving to the left tackle spot.  Crabtree is back, Vernon Davis is a beast, and don’t forget about Anquan Boldin.  Last year, the Niners didn’t have Boldin and this year they didn’t have Crabtree, so we will see how the Legion of Boom holds up against that three-headed monster.  Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman are fantastic in that secondary, but without Browner and Thurmond, we will see if the secondary is as great as Seattle fans think it is. 

DC:  In Russ We Trust

Russell Wilson is currently sitting on a 108.5 passer rating with 2,672 yards and 22 touchdowns. Over his last three games he has surpassed the 100 passer rating mark each time. On Monday night against the Saints, Wilson rushed for more yards than any other Saints running back. To say that he is versatile is to be modest. At best. If you leave him in the pocket he will complete a pass for over 25 yards, if you blitz he will run on you for another 15 yards. So, you know, good luck.

JN:  Kaep-Tain Bay Area

Colin Kaepernick has ‘regressed’ as far as stats go, but being without Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree has definitely had a negative impact on his stats, but not so much on his confidence.  Kaepernick knows he can make every throw necessary, but he hasn’t had a legitimate number two wide receiver until Manningham came back.  In three of the 49ers four losses, Vernon Davis either did not play or had to leave the game early due to injury.  Kyle Williams and Jon Baldwin did nothing to help the 49ers offensive cause, but Crabtree and Manningham’s ability far exceed that of the aforementioned Williams and Baldwin.

DC:  49ers One Dimension vs Legion of Boom

The only two players with receiving touchdowns for the 49ers this year are Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin, which makes the Legion of Boom's job all the more easier. It also highlights Kaepernick's inability to connect past his first and second reads, which makes the injury-ridden offensive line's job all the more difficult. With the number one overall defense and number one secondary, the 49ers one-dimensional offensive will fall short.

JN:  Legion of Whom?

With Walter Thurmond III and Brandon Browner out, it is no longer the Legion of Boom, but more along the lines of the Legion of Whom.  The newest starters in the secondary have some big shoes to fill in terms of replacing good players and trying to cover some fantastic players in Manningham, Davis, Boldin, and Crabtree.  Yes, Kaepernick has only thrown touchdowns to two different players (Davis/Boldin), but that hasn’t kept him from throwing 15 touchdowns this season.  Adding Crabtree and Manningham to the mix can only help the cause.

Predictions:

DC:  I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I really do. However, when emotions are pushed aside and the facts are analyzed, it is clear who the victor will be come Sunday afternoon. The Seattle Seahawks will be 12-1 while the San Francisco 49ers will be on the verge of missing out on the last wildcard position.

JN:  I love to be the bearer of bad news, especially when it comes to a city like Seattle.  Seattle has quickly become the most insufferable fan base in the country and constantly seems to feel like the redheaded stepchild who gets no presents on Christmas.  Unfortunately for Seattle fans, the narrative doesn’t look like it’s going to change this Sunday.  The 49ers are going to remind the Seahawks that they are still a force in the NFC and that, while the road to the Super Bowl may travel through Seattle, the Seahawks have to beat a team that knows what it takes to win…not choke it away to Matt Ryan and the Falcons.


 

Comments (2)



  • JasonNeal   Dec 8, 2013 @ 10:08PM
    Get me the stats on Baltimore, New York, and Green Bay on the road in the playoffs the last few years. What about SF in ATL or the Seahawks in Washington last year? I am not saying that it doesn't factor in at all, but I wonder what the spreads are against teams with winning records/playoff teams as opposed to the Texans, Browns, Jags, and other bottom dwellers the last decade.

    Stats have regressed, but it is completely and totally due to not having players able to make plays. Fair point on your end. -

  • Anonymous   Dec 7, 2013 @ 01:57PM
    Saying home field doesn't mean much is fairly statistically inaccurate with the average NFL team +.072 at home (a little over one game a season) better than on the road over the last decade. In citing Seattle, Kansas City, and New Orleans, largely "noise advantages" you do a disservice to weather advantages in New England, Buffalo, Miami, and Chicago, and teams that are somewhat inexplicably better at home like Baltimore #1 over that span at +.175 and Arizona, #2 at +.144.

    Also not sure why you threw quotes around regressed. It's a fair point to make about Kaepernick, whether there are external factors to said regression or not. -

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