After losing last week to the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers failed to lock up the NFC West. The first team goal of 2013 was to win the division, and they can still do so with a win in the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Both the offense and defense have struggled for the last game and a half, however it’s the defense that not only needs to play much better, but should also have no problem carrying San Francisco into the playoffs, with momentum at their back.
The one thing that no team can control is injuries. This year San Francisco has been healthy for the most part, but as the season winds down their luck has changed. If they hope to finish the season strong they will need to overcome a few key injuries, which will be difficult, but far from impossible.
Patrick Willis has become the face of the San Francisco 49er franchise. He is the middle linebacker on a team know for its defensive prowess. As his teammates have stepped up their level of play, he has been able to focus more on his position, and the result is a top tier defense. Willis has also made an impact off the field where he remains involved in the community and is someone who realizes that he is in a position to help those around him.
The rematch between the two best NFC West teams was not the nail biter that it was hyped to be. The game figured to be a low scoring, physical struggle, but instead saw Seattle continue their hot streak, as the Seahawks handed San Francisco by far their worst defeat of the season.
The match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks will feature two teams in the same division that are almost identical in their formula for success. The last time they met it was a physical game that came down to the wire, and since then both teams have only gotten better. Sunday will determine if the Seahawks have caught up to the 49ers, or if they still are not quite on the level of the defending NFC West Champs.
Despite several successful starts under his belt, Colin Kaepernick has one more test in front of him. This week, his task does not get easier when the team will travel to Seattle to play in the unfriendly confines of Century Field. His starting job is not really in doubt, but another win will completely justify the switch from Alex Smith and give the team the right momentum heading into the season finale.
Although they narrowly escaped New England with a win this past Sunday Night, it was a good sign that San Francisco was able to outscore and outlast the mighty Patriots. In the game, tight end Vernon Davis had only one catch and has not had his usual impact on the games as of late, leaving fans wondering, what’s the problem?
With the odds stacked against them, San Francisco went on the road and beat the New England Patriots. The 49ers started the game on fire, and although they cooled off and almost suffered a major collapse, they ultimately beat a very talented team and won a very important game.
Brandon Jacobs was suspended by the 49ers after his continued complaints on Twitter about his lack of playing time. There are two sides to every story and there was some validity to Jacobs’ grumblings, but his decision as to how to handle the situation gave the team the perfect chance to release him, so it’s almost a surprise that they chose to only suspend him.
After suffering just their 3rd loss of the season last week, its important for the 49ers to avoid a losing streak on Sunday. Standing in their way of getting back in the winning column will be the Miami Dolphins, who have played well in spots, but overall have not had a good season. This one does not appear to be close on paper, but the 49ers proved just last week that there are no easy victories.
Nobody really thought that once the Seattle Seahawks named Russell Wilson the starting quarterback that they had a shot at making the playoffs this year, let alone winning the division. But with only four games left in the season they are right in the hunt, and have the attention of the 49ers, who have come out this week and made it clear that they plan to finish the regular season strong.
When the 49ers drafted running back LaMichael James, both he and the team probably didn’t figure that he would not play through the first 12 weeks of the season. There is still no ETA on when he will play, but with an injury to Kendall Hunter, the team figures to turn to the rookie who can offer the team the same things that Hunter did to help make the offense so effective.