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The NFC West Is The Best, But Which Team Will Go To New York?

Posted by Stan Simmons on 2/2/2014 8:02:56 AM

The NFC West was the best division in the NFL this season, so it is only fitting that the top two teams in the division will determine the NFC’s Super Bowl representative this Sunday.

NFC Championship Game
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks – Sunday, January 19

Why San Francisco Will Win

This is not the same San Francisco team that lost to Seattle by a 29-3 score in week two of the regular season. The 49ers had a thin to nonexistent group of wide receivers in that game, making it much easier for the Seahawks to focus on stopping Anquan Boldin and forcing San Francisco to find other ways of beating the Seattle defense. Now, though, San Francisco has receiver Michael Crabtree back in the lineup. Crabtree is an important receiver in that he gets open on third downs, providing a security blanket for quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has unsurprisingly looked really good in recent weeks. The connection between Crabtree’s return and Kaepernick’s improvement is not a hard one to make. The Niners knew that when Crabtree returned to the lineup, they’d become a better team and would develop an offense that – while not quite as good as what they created last season – would be good enough to win playoff games on the road. This is exactly what has happened. The 49ers were clearly better than both Green Bay and Carolina, and they’re coming to Seattle with a full head of steam.

What also has to be said is that while San Francisco’s receivers are better as a group than they were in the first two and a half months of the season, Seattle’s offense is stalling. The Seahawks are not playing their best on offense and have been drifting along ever since the first week of December. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has endured multiple games in the past month in which he has failed to pass for 200 yards, and for that reason, it is an intriguing football betting test by any stretch of the imagination to see if the Seahawks will actually be able to throw the ball well in this game. It’s too early to know what the weather will be like next Sunday, but even if the weather is okay, the Seahawks have to prove that they can perform well on offense. San Francisco is playing better right now.

Why Seattle Will Win

The Seahawks’ offense might not be special, but their defense certainly is. Seattle’s defense enters each game thoroughly prepared for whatever might come its way. It’s true that the New Orleans Saints had some success running the ball against Seattle last weekend, but the Seahawks consistently tightened up when the Saints moved the ball inside the Seattle 40-yard line. This defense makes adjustments, and it doesn’t get beaten on deep passes. San Francisco’s offense, as much as it has improved in recent weeks, will still face a tough time scoring touchdowns against the Seahawks’ defense. As long as Seattle can hold San Francisco under 20 points, it has a good chance of winning.

Who Will Win

It is true that the Seahawks are at home, where they hardly ever lose, but San Francisco is a better team with more proven playmakers on offense. The 49ers are in great position here, and they’ll win outright.

NFL Betting Pick: 49ers +3

Get the latest inside skinny on the conference championship game lines for the NFL at the online betting site you prefer.


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