San Francisco 49ers Ground Seattle Seahawks
Written by Greg Smith – 2011-12 NFL Prediction Record (15-8)
This Sunday NFL bettors have a chance to profit from the match between the resurgent Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks have shown themselves to be a tough and resilient team, putting their slim playoff hopes largely behind the candy chomping Marshawn Lynch and a noisy home crowd. The 49ers are showing their fortitude as well, as they continue to march towards the best playoff position possible. As we go through key features of both teams we’ll determine the best odds for NFL bettors this weekend.
The Seattle Seahawks have shown themselves to be a tough team to beat down the stretch (especially at home). Recent wins over the Eagles, Rams and Bears (on the road) speak highly of this team and their desire to be respected in the league. The Seahawks have pulled their record to a decent 7-7 total overall (at 4-3 at home) against some very notable opposition. The Seahawks power ranking has improved to 18th from 22nd last week as they position themselves for a possible playoff run. While I do like the Seahawks and their power-running/defense oriented style of play I don’t like their chances against their calm San Francisco 49ers. The Seattle offense overall is rated 28th in yards gained per game, 23rd in passing yards gained per game and 22nd in rushing yards gained per game for a key average ranking of 23rd in total offensive points per game. Marshawn Lynch has been a key factor for the Seahawks recently, making more than his share of highlight reel rushes. The Seahawks defense has been solid as well, sitting at 9th overall in total yards allowed per game, 13th in passing yards allowed per game, 11th in rushing yards allowed per game and 6th in total points allowed per game. The problem for the Seahawks is that their starting QB Tavaris Jackson is listed at 12 TD’s, 12 INT’s for a 60.7 % passing completion percentage and a 79.2 overall QBR. These types of numbers do not add up to a likely win against one of the very best teams in the league-the San Francisco 49ers.
To put it bluntly the San Francisco 49ers made mince-meat of the Pittsburgh Steelers three days ago on Monday Night Football. Yes, the Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was severely hobbled but the team as a whole was shut down by the 49ers squad. Some key numbers from QB Alex Smith during that came include: 18/31 passing attempts for 187 yards with 1 TD and 0 INT’s. As compared with Big Ben’s numbers which include: 25/44 on passing attempts for 330 yards gained for 0 TD’s and 3 INT’s. It is fairly remarkable that against one of the most ferocious defenses in the league QB Alex Smith was not sacked nor intercepted for a single time. A lot of the headlines will go to Big Ben and his injuries but the 49ers managed to put up 20 points while limiting a still very potent Steelers offense to only a single field goal. Looking at QB Alex Smith’s numbers overall he stands at 16 TD’s, 5 INT’s for a passing completion rate of 61.4 % and an overall QBR rating of 91.1. Looking at the 49ers offense it ranks at 25th in total yards gained per game, 29th in passing yards gained per game, 9th in rushing yards gained per game and 14th in total points scored per game. My central point with the 49ers is that their offensive numbers don’t look as great because they are all about game management and helping their defensive players control the game. Looking at their defense we see that they rank 5th in total yards allowed per game, 21st in passing yards allowed per game, 1st in rushing yards allowed per game and 1st in total points allowed per game.
In my opinion the 49ers stood up against a solid test with the Pittsburgh Steelers and didn’t hurt their own chances with costly turnovers. They are a game management team that arguably put themselves in the conversation for a team likely to win the Super Bowl this year.
Prediction: Take the San Francisco 49ers (-2) against the Seattle Seahawks (5Dimes.com)