The NFL weekend is over and we now know which teams will be playing for the right to meet in the Super Bowl. On the NFC side that ends up being the game we all anticipated, a bloody battle between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, both coming out of the NFC West.
The Seattle Seahawks once again proved their dominance in CenturyLink with a 23-15 win over the New Orleans Saints. This was the second meeting between the Saints and Seahawks this season and Seattle’s physical defense once again rose to the occasion against one of the NFL’s best offense. On the offensive side, the Seahawks pounded the ball with Marshawn Lynch, a weapon that has New Orleans can’t seem to stop.
The San Francisco 49ers went through the Carolina Panthers to earn their tickets to the NFC Championship. After a slow start resulting in two field goals, the 49ers regained the lead with a Colin Kaepernick sweep to the left that pushed the score to 13-10 by half. A pair of goal line defenses by the 49ers resulted in only three points by Carolina.
So, what does this mean for the NFC Championship? It means NFL fans can expect a brutal defensive battle. here’s how some of the opposing stats stack up.
The Seattle Seahawks run the seciond most potent rushing offense in the NFL at 174 yards per game, second only to the Patriots. The 49ers on the other side, are ranked 5th against the run, giving up 108.5 yards per game. When the 49ers run the ball, and they do it well with Frank Gore, they churn out 146.5 yards a game. The Seahawks stingy defense gives up 108 yards an outing.
When the ball is in the air San Francisco holds the edge, passing for an average of 201.5 yards. That’s good enough for 7th in the NFL. The Seahawks come in at #12, throwing for only 103 yards a game. That’s a major advantage for the 49ers. The 49ers also have the better pass defense, coming in at #5 with 194 yards. Seattle is further down the list at #10 with 317.
That’s the game laid out statistically. In the real worl, all this goes out the window. The Seattle Seahawks will be bringing home field advantage, an intangible asset that nonetheless weighs heavily in their favor. They’ve lost once in CenturyLink, to the Arizona Cardinals.
Can we pick a winner? We wouldn’t even try. There are so many things that can happen in this game we can’t even count them. We can only predict this. The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are going to put on one of the best NFC Championship games we’ve seen in a long while. This is going to be NFL football at it’s most brutal, a physically pounding game that harkens back to the golden yeras of the NFL. Take no prisoners and leave everything on the field. Get ready.Eric Drouant