It was once thought that the 49ers and Seahawks would be battling neck-and-neck for the NFC West division title to the end of the season. Seattle pretty much has the division and the no. 1 seed in the NFC sewn up, but there’s little doubt the Seahawks would love nothing more than to complete its sweep of the 49ers and deal a damaging blow to San Francisco’s playoff fortunes.
In the first meeting in Week 2, the Seahawks decimated the 49ers 29-3, intercepting Colin Kaepernick three times and holding him under 50 percent passing. What’s more, they held Frank Gore to fewer than two yards per carry. The San Francisco offensive struggles have been a theme throughout the season, but that was the nadir. So bad was the Niners’ offense thrown off by the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field that Niners fan wrote a bitchy newspaper letter demanding that the league take corrective measures to make playing in Seattle more fair to road teams.
After the Seahawks dispatched the Saints at home in merciless fashion on Monday night, the discussion this week was mostly about how Seattle is an unbeatable juggernaut bent on destruction of any team with the misfortune of getting in their way of a title. That isn’t liable to change even with a loss on the road in San Francisco, but perhaps the Niners can expose some schematic weaknesses when they don’t have to contend with deafening crowd noise. Possibly wishful thinking for the rest of the NFC, but a possibility nonetheless.
Meanwhile, Peyton Manning and the Broncos can clinch a playoff spot for the Colts with a win over Tennessee because collusion, I’m assuming.
Your late game slate, as rated by KSK’s not-at-all subjective, rigorously scientificated five-star system:
Tennessee at Denver **
St. Louis at Arizona **
New York Giants at San Diego **
Seattle at San Francisco *****