The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers will face one another in the first Week 7 game of the 2012 season on national television in a battle for the NFC West.
For the 49ers, the team that was a special teams play away from the Super Bowl a year ago has failed to meet the new lofty expectations placed upon them by experts around the league. The Seahawks, on the other hand, have been one of the NFL’s surprise teams and put together a nice string of two wins that has them next to the Niners atop the competitive NFC West.
There is a lot at stake, and with both teams at 4-2 and in a three-way tie with the Arizona Cardinals, this game has the ability to change the scope and outlook of the division on its own. This game figures to be an old-school smash mouth type of game that depends heavily on ball control, time of possession and of course, stopping the run.
Both teams enter the contest as masters of the TOP. San Francisco brings the No. 1 rushing offense while Seattle has the seventh-ranked ground attack in the NFL.
Each team relies upon a superstar running back to carry it to wins. For Seattle, Marshawn Lynch runs hard and gives the “Beast Mode” moniker justification each time he steps on the field. The workhorse runner out of Cal has carried the ball 128 times for 549 yards and two touchdowns — good enough for a 4.3 yards per carry average.
Though San Francisco looked to lighten the load of Frank Gore when they signed Brandon Jacobs to handle the goal line duties, Gore has had to play
the role of feature back once again, and he’s embraced it wholeheartedly as he enters the second half of a stellar career. The consummate professional has answered the call and has his team ranked first with its running game while averaging 5.4 yards per attempt while adding four touchdowns.Though Jacobs has yet to play a game, Gore has had some help with the likes of Kendall Hunter and Colin Kaepernick.
What will make this game especially interesting is the fact that both teams have held opponents to under 100 yards per game on average on the ground. The Seahawks have the edge in that department, stifling opponents to just 70.0 yards per game on the ground. San Francisco has given up 92.7 yards per contest in the same department.
In a game where each team plays almost perfectly to the strengths of the other, fans could be in for a game that is either exhilarating or downright boring. Obviously, it would bode well for some national recognition if the two teams can play a clean football game and remain relatively solid on both sides of the ball.
Michael C. Jones is the Editor of Sports Out West. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets.
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