Sports Out West

NFC West Week 13 Roundup: Seahawks Clinch a playoff spot, 49ers stay in contention

Photo by Larry Maurer / Wikimedia Commons

Week 13 featured the San Francisco 49ers sweeping the season division series with the St. Louis Rams as they won 23-13. The Arizona Cardinals’ four-game win streak was snapped as they came up short against the NFC East division-leading Philadelphia Eagles. The Seattle Seahawks clinched a playoff spot as they remained perfect at home in a 34-7 trouncing of the New Orleans Saints.

Here is a glimpse at one aspect from what each NFC West team did in Week 13:

Russell Wilson

The second-year quarterback out of Wisconsin outshined one of the league’s best quarterbacks in Drew Brees as he threw for 310 passing yards and three touchdowns. It was his six straight game recording at least two touchdown passes, and third consecutive game with no interceptions and a quarterback rating above 92. Wilson‘s first touchdown came on a two-yard pass to Zach Miller to put Seattle up 17-0 with just two minutes remaining in the first quarter. His second touchdown pass came on a four-yard strike to Doug Baldwin to put his team up to a commanding 27-7 lead at halftime. And adding to his masterful performance in Week 13, his last touchdown pass came on a throw intended for tight end Kellen Davis that was tipped up and caught by Derrick Coleman that put Seattle ahead 34-7 midway through the third quarter. Wilson this season has continued to prove that he belongs among the elite quarterbacks in the league as he has 22 touchdown passes with only six interception through 12 games this season to go along with the Seahawks possessing the best record in the NFL at 11-1. With a playoff position already clinched and a two-game lead over the Saints in the NFC, Seattle will look to widen the gap next week on the road against San Francisco.

Anquan Boldin

The 49ers’ offseason acquisition continued his high level of play in Week 13 against the Rams as he recorded nine catches for 98 receiving yards. Although Boldin did not score a touchdown, he proved to be a reliable target for quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a few of his catches came on crucial third down plays to keep the drive alive such as his 16-yard reception that set up a 3-yard touchdown rush by Frank Gore to put San Francisco up 13-0 in the second quarter. He also recorded two catches in the drive that resulted in a 29-yard field goal by Phil Dawson to put San Francisco up 16-6 midway through the third quarter. Over the past three games, the 33-year-old has 20 receptions, 248 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The 49ers will need him to continue be a reliable go-to option in the passing game as they host the NFC West division-leading Seahawks, who held them to just three points in a 29-3 loss in Week 2.

Zac Stacy

In the Rams’ Week 13 matchup against the 49ers, Stacy had the most effective performance on his team against one of the most stout defenses in the league as he rushed for 72 yards on 19 carries. It may not have been his best performance of the season, but the rookie running out of Vanderbilt has been as consistent as they come for the Rams. Stacy has been the focal point of the offense and will continue to be heavily relied upon with starting quarterback Sam Bradford out for the season with a ACL tear. The 22-year-old has been a pleasant surprise for St. Louis as a 5th round pick, who was the team’s third string running back until the third week of the season, which put him on the map for the starting position. Since Week 3, Stacy has 160 rush attempts with 696 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He is also on pace to rush for 928 yards and five total rushing touchdowns. With a week 14 matchup road matchup against the Cardinals, the Rams will need Stacy to establish a running game against the fourth-ranked rush defense in the NFL that allows just 83.3 yards a game.

Larry Fitzgerald

Despite the Cardinals Week 13 24-21 loss to the Eagles, Fitzgerald for the fifth time in the last six games reached the end zone as he had five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown grab came in the second quarter on a 43-yard pass from Carson Palmer that tied the game at 7-7. The 30-year-0ld has proven to be a go-to receiver for Palmer this season as he has 55 receptions and nine touchdowns with seven games where he recorded at least five catches. In the pass-oriented Arizona offense, Fitzgerald will continue to shine and will need to have another big game in the Cardinals’ divisional matchup in week 14 against the Rams, who they lost 27-24 in Week 1 in a game that they held an 11 point lead. The 10-year veteran in that game had one of his best performances of the year as he had eight catches for 80 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

 Photo Credit: Larry Maurer / Wikimedia Commons

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.