Week 13 NFC West Preview

By Kevin Garber

 

Week 13 in the NFC West is starting early for the holiday, and so is our preview:

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
5:30 PST THUR
NBC

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This bitter rivalry gains a new installment with two teams sporting identical 7-4 records. A win in this game gives a team a great push towards the playoffs, and a loss for either team would make the path to the playoffs much more difficult.

Year Rating Att Yds Avg TD
2012 2.6 63 415 6.6 5
2013 8.3 92 524 5.7 4
2014 -1.5 75 336 4.5 0

 

Colin Kaepernick is not the most prolific or capable of passers in the league, but historically his running and the threat of running allows the 49ers offense to work. This year however his passing numbers are in line with his usual performance but his rushing is at an all time low in efficiency and production.

If you are trying to right yourself in the running game, despite some lapses this season the Seahawks don’t present the kind of defense you want to face. Yielding only 88.4 yards per game and sporting a much improved pass rush over the last several weeks. With Wagner and Chancellor back in the mix the team defense is once again a force to be reconed with.

 

Oakland Raiders @ St. Louis Rams
10:00 PST
CBS

Austin Davis Calling The Snap

 

Oakland has spent the season being far too talented to be winless, and they proved it with an upset of Kansas City last week. The Rams on the other hand once again proved they cannot beat a team unless it is a massive upset. I guess that means Oakland should be the favorite then, shouldn’t it?

Player

Rating

Att

Comp

Comp %

Yds

TD

INT

A. Davis

-12.7

285

181

63.5

2014

12

9

S. Hill

-3.9

77

46

59.7

499

2

3

 

Apparently the Rams staff felt a need to go from young and mediocre to old and mediocre. Austin Davis has been far from elite this season, but Shaun Hill offers no notable upgrade other then veteranness and other things that involve being older. Either way you look at it though, you have a replacement level quarterback leading a flailing offense that seems to be the tether that holds back a successful defense.

The Raiders, for all their faults, actually can get to the quarterback with Justin Tuck and Khalil Mack. Throw in the crafty Charles Woodson lurking and it could spell disaster for the Rams this week. I don’t know if it counts as a real upset, but don’t be surprised to see Oakland pull off win number two this weekend.

 

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons
1:05 PST
FOX

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This may be a battle of division leaders, but that is only because the 4-7 Falcons play in the putrid NFC South. Both teams are coming off a loss with Atlanta falling to Cleveland and Arizona being beaten by Seattle in week 12.

Att

Comp

Comp %

Yds

Avg

TD

INT

Wk 10

32

21

65.6

306

9.6

2

2

Wk 11

26

14

53.8

149

5.7

0

1

 

Drew Stanton has not been a dumpster fire since taking over once again for Carson Palmer (who is injured once again…). Against two of the better defenses in the league he looked pretty good beating Detroit in Week 10, and in Week 11 in the rain of Seattle he did not play a great game but was far from the biggest reason Arizona lost. If he can keep up this level of play it ought to be enough to keep Arizona in the playoffs. The division lead? Hard to say, but 11 wins still seems likely.

Atlanta counters Stanton with….well, not much. Desmond Trufant continues to play well, but there hasn’t been much of a pass rush this season and the rest of the defense often looks under-talented and overmatched. So long as Stanton keeps his head, the ground game ought to do a lot of the work for Arizona and stats will come for him.

 

*Efficiency ratings in this article are provided by ProFootballFocus.com

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