Out of curiosity, I dialed up the San Francisco 49ers ticket office Sunday night. I wanted to see if their phones, like their franchise, would quit after five rings, too. Alas, the hotline was designed to operate much like the Niners of 2014 — and of each of the prior 19 seasons, as well — going straight to a pre-recorded message and resulting, however unfortunately, in no rings.
As many are well aware, the world has been reminded numerous times over the course of this season that the Seattle Seahawks, unlike the mighty 49ers, have amassed a total of zero rings, zero Lombardi Trophies, zero Super Bowl titles throughout their 37-year existence. Niner fans love to bring up the past in that regard, not only because the days of yore are where all of their success lies, but in turn because the past, you see, allegedly has some bearing on the present in today’s NFL. The Seahawks of right now, ringless wonders that they are, are somehow inferior to all those title teams of years gone by because, you know, SCIENCE.
Admittedly, we’ve waited anxiously for our time to come. For Seattleites like myself who grew up in the eighties and nineties, waiting has become second nature. The Seahawks teams of our childhood were occasionally dotted by big names — Largent, Krieg, Tez — but often characterized by substandard results. Back then the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl, seemed as far off as Bali, an exotic greener pasture a world away that we would likely never see with our own two eyes. And then Mike Holmgren — as well as Holmgren’s successor’s successor, Pete Carroll — came along and changed all that.
We’ve had it pretty good the past decade-plus, watching (and cheering, and yelling, and screaming) as the Seahawks have found their way to the postseason eight times since 2003. That’s not a bad run of prosperity by any stretch of the imagination, so good in fact that fans have started to yearn for more, like a championship, for instance. As the wins have increased, so too have the expectations, culminating in the start of the 2013 campaign, where never before had such unbridled enthusiasm and nervous excitement greeted the opening of a Seahawks football season.
The regular season may as well have been an exhibition. Sure, we found ourselves fretting over the development of the team’s play week in and week out, but we all knew deep down that it didn’t matter. The Hawks were destined to trample opponents one by one over the course of sixteen contests, and so it happened just as fate foretold. For all the buzz in the air about Seattle’s superior ball club, there was a certain ho-hum shoulder shrug of expectancy that met each victory along the way. Only on the three occasions when defeat occurred did the earth seemingly stop, the pundits murmur, and the fan base raise a collective eyebrow.
But then each defeat was thrice met with a subsequent victory. And for each loss a veritable asterisk seemed to appear alongside the big red “L,” a caveat indicating why it was that perfection was briefly interrupted on the way to otherwise undeterred greatness. Indianapolis was a tough road game against a quality opponent, with a 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time kickoff, to boot. San Francisco was the biggest rival and arguably the second-best team in all of football; no shame could be felt in losing on the Niners’ home turf. And Arizona was that all-important “get it out of the way” defeat just prior to the playoffs, the type of loss that builds character and serves as motivation down the stretch. They weren’t excuses, per se, but reasons. As every shortcoming was reasoned away, each victory became more and more validated. And with each emphatic mushroom stamp of success teabagged upon the résumé of a damn good football team, the end result became clearer and clearer: the Seahawks would play in the Super Bowl.
If this article has bored you until now, that’s the point. Because like the eighteen contests we’ve just witnessed, everything up to right now has just been “Eh.” It’s been absolute “Eh.” And though you may have drank yourself to silliness on Sundays or gone batshit crazy for certain plays here and there, you’ve woken up every Monday morning with a feeling of reserved satisfaction, knowing in your heart of hearts that the previous win, exhilarating as it may have been, was only a small piece of a much larger puzzle. Eighteen puzzle pieces now sit on your grandmother’s coffee table attached in strategic juxtaposition. One final piece strays from the group ready to cap off a beautiful image of a Monet impressionism or a city landscape. The ultimate game, some two weeks away, will make a work of art complete.
This is it. This is what we’ve waited an entire season — or eight seasons, or thirty-seven seasons, depending on your point of view — for. One matchup to determine the best group of fifty-three guys in all the sport. And if you believe there’s another team better equipped to prove victorious in this event, you’ll be reminded by a group of badass mother … lovers … why you’re sorely wrong.
They are loud, they are brash, they are confident, they are cocky, they are arrogant, and they are so effing good at what they do. Richard Sherman won’t shut up, but why should he? He’ll beat you, then tell you how he beat you, then tell you how he’ll beat you again, and the world will explode in a cornucopia of reactionary emotions. But none of it will matter, because between the lines he will back up all the talk with a game that cannot be conquered, and his attitude, however aggravating, will permeate amongst his teammates.
Two crazy chicks in a Jerry Springer stage fight don’t possess nearly the bombastic hubris of each member of the Seahawks roster, each with a chip the size of Jupiter beneath the requisite shoulder pads. The quarterback? Too small, passed on by every single NFL team at least once, and in most cases twice, in the draft. The running back? Too quirky, jettisoned from his first team before ever proving his worth, traded for next to nothing in return. The receivers? Too mediocre. The defense? Too braggadocious, too noisy, too concerned with extra-curricular activity, too physical, too whatever. Even the kicker (cut previously) and the punter (also cut previously) have reason to be angry. Anger, as it turns out, fuels hunger. Hunger, meanwhile, is dealt with by each individual in different ways. Some just play the game a little harder than their counterparts. Others, like Sherman, for one, want to make sure you remember why they’re here now.
The universe doesn’t quite know what to make of the Seattle Seahawks. There has never been a team with such a brief and undistinguished pedigree that has polarized a nation as greatly as this one. The Dallas Cowboys of the nineties may have divided sports fans into two passionate love-or-hate factions, but they did so only after winning Super Bowls — and this after spending decades as “America’s Team.” The Seahawks have no such acclaim to their credit, and yet they’ve already pissed off twice as many people as they’ve endeared, which is a generous ratio to say the least.
Squaring off against the distinctly white bread vanilla Denver Broncos, Seattle will surely assume the role of “villain” in the 2014 Super Bowl production. But loathe or love the Pacific Northwest’s one and only NFL team, the Seahawks will do everything in their power to make you notice them. Because they are hungry, because they are angry. And as they torpedo toward what they see as an inevitable outcome — the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy — you won’t be able to take your eyes off the baddest, best football team to grace the planet.
For now, they are a hotline that takes you straight to a pre-recorded message: ringless. But give it two weeks and that story might — and will, if you believe the players — change.
Filed under: Seahawks
Are you a 49ers fan making the trip to Seattle for this Sunday’s NFC Championship game? Do you know a 49ers fan coming to town to attend the game? Are you this lady, who would prefer to hang out with 49ers fans because the Seahawks faithful are “alcohol-fueled bullies”?
Whatever your situation, if you plan to support that other football team from San Francisco this week, we’d like to welcome you to the Emerald City with this comprehensive guide of things to do, places to stay, and restaurants at which to eat during your time with us. You can’t say we aren’t a classy bunch up here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Where to stay on your trip
Let’s start with lodging. You bought playoff tickets on a whim from a third-party reseller, dropping more than a thousand dollars of hard-earned cash that could have paid to send your kid to college bail your kid out of jail, and now you’ve only begun to piece the rest of your mini-vacation together. Not to worry, friend, we’ve done the legwork for you. When you visit Seattle, here are three of the best local inns for you to call your temporary home.
1. The Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino
With three stars to its name, the Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino is arguably considered the nicest hotel in all of Fife. If you have a gambling habit, you’ll find the sprawling complex especially to your liking – but don’t spend all that money in one place! An abundance of nearby automobile dealerships may just catch your eye before you leave town.
2. Extended Stay America
Nestled between luxurious Interstate-5 and a highway that prostitutes frequent, you’ll find the Extended Stay America, owner of an impressive (for Fife) 3.3 Google Review rating. Feel free to call the Extended Stay home for a night, a weekend, or forever – that’s why they call it Extended Stay! Just don’t venture too far from your room after dark. Unless you’re into hookers. In which case, go wherever the wind takes you. And Godspeed.
3. Days Inn Fife
One of very few motels bold enough to put the township’s name right there in their lodging’s moniker, the Days Inn Fife deserves recognition simply for claiming Fife as its own. Respect.
What to do on your trip
1. Visit the Emerald Queen Casino
Even if you don’t plan to sleep at the worldish-renowned EQC, we invite you to make a day of it at the slots. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch a concert from some of your favorite musical acts of days gone by, such as Brian McKnight, Air Supply, or my personal favorite, Billy Ocean!
2. Venture over to the Fife History Museum
Have you ever wanted to learn more about Fife? Great news! The Fife History Museum will give you what is most likely to be considered an unnecessary amount of knowledge on this city of industry. For just $20, you can allegedly purchase an annual pass so that you may return to brush up on ancient Fife trivia each time you return to the great state of Washington in 2014!
3. Take a dip at the Fife Swim Center
If you enjoy dozens of screaming children splashing you incessantly with chlorinated water, the Fife Swim Center is the place for you! Operated by Spaniards who siesta in the afternoon (we think), the Swim Center is open from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and then again from 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Oddly, the Swim Center is only open from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Fridays. And a bit of bad news: the Swim Center will be closed this Saturday, January 18th, for what we can only assume to be a celebration of the 1955 Battle of Yijangshan – and who could forget that! Regardless, if you don’t go there, you might not have anything left to do in Fife. So…go there.
Where to eat on your trip
1. Louie G’s Pizzeria
With a 4.4 Google Review rating, Louie G’s Pizzeria does not mess around. Offering up a seemingly limitless supply of delectable Italian cuisine, Louie G’s is so good that it may even inspire you to sing the praises of one of Seattle’s favorite Italians, Breno Giacomini. Giacomini! Giacomini!
2. Thai in Fife
Proud bearer of a 4.0 Google Review rating, Thai in Fife wins the award for most transparent venue name. If you’re into Thai food while simultaneously in Fife, this is probably the place to go.
3. Jack in the Box
Marijuana is legal in Washington. Jack in the Box serves “Munchie Meals.” It’s not hard to figure out.
So there you have it! Three of the best places to stay, visit, and eat while you’re with us here in our fair city. We hope you enjoy your trip, but not too much, because we plan to kick your ass on Sunday. Also, your quarterback is a doofus, and you guys suck at geography.
Welcome to Seattle! Go Hawks!
Filed under: Seahawks
11. Frank Gore sucks.
He scored a 6 on the Wonderlic test…out of a possible 50. His showing ranks as one of the worst all-time scores in Wonderlic history.
Rather than calling out coverages, perhaps Seahawks linebackers should pepper San Francisco’s running back with stupid questions before the snap. “Hey Frank! Spell all forms of the word ‘there.’ All forms, Frank! Not just one. And then use each form in a sentence so we know you’re not bullshitting us.”
10. Their mascot sucks.
Did you know that the Niners’ mascot is a cartoonish cowboy named Sourdough Sam? Probably not, since Sourdough Sam is the stupidest name ever. I imagine a cowboy named Sourdough Sam would be the first one to die of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. Or worse, he’d drown in the very first river you forded.
“All your oxen survived and all your supplies are intact. But Sourdough Sam is dead. R.I.P Sourdough Sam.”
9. Their dance team sucks.
The 49ers have dubbed their cheer squad the “Gold Rush.” Really? The Gold Rush? The California Gold Rush ended in 1855. The majority of people who participated in the Gold Rush were men. Nothing about the term “Gold Rush” indicates attractive women dancing and holding pom-poms. Your marketing team is an epic fail.
8. Their stadium sucks.
Candlestick Park. Most famous for withstanding earthquakes and being synonymous with a city that no one would give a shit about if it weren’t for Full House.
This butt-ugly venue was built in 1960, the same year that the laser was invented and John F. Kennedy was elected president. It’s fifty-three goddamn years old. The building qualifies for AARP and early-bird specials at shitty chain restaurants. It also holds the dubious distinction of being one of the worst places to play a football game because of the strong winds that swirl into the stadium, creating adverse conditions for, you know, sports.
On top of all that, this decaying rathole housed The Beatles’ final concert in 1966. And at the time, The Beatles had no idea it would be their final concert. Way to go, Candlestick. You’re single-handedly responsible for destroying The Beatles.
7. The best player in the history of their franchise sucks.
Seriously, Joe Montana, what the hell? You couldn’t spawn a better quarterback? Your kid came to the University of Washington for two years and barely cracked the two-deep. Now he’s playing at Tulane, the pride of Conference USA. All you are to us is the father of a kid who wasn’t good enough. That, and the spokesperson for two of the lowliest apparel brands in American history, Mervyn’s and Skechers.
6. The best player currently on their roster sucks.
There’s probably some debate about this, since no current 49er is really all that great. But for the sake of the hype machine, we’ll go ahead and say that Colin Kaepernick is the best player on San Francisco’s roster right now. And my god, is he just a disaster.
First of all, he looks like a Mii. For those of you who don’t know what a Mii is, go to the nearest GameStop, find a Nintendo Wii console, and create a male avatar. Holy crap, right away you realize that your creation bears a striking resemblance to the 49ers quarterback. Kaepernick is the product of an algorithm.
Second, there’s the whole bicep kissing thing. Look, unless you have the arms of a professional weightlifter, you simply cannot take a peck at any part of your body residing between the shoulder and the fingertips. Can’t do it. And if you do, you’re gonna look like a self-absorbed douchebag. This is why people the world around have issues with Kaepernick. Whether you loathe the San Francisco 49ers or not, it’s easy to despise someone who makes out with their scrawny noodle arms.
Third, the tattoos. What’s up with the tattoos, bro? You had a privileged upbringing in the suburbs of Wisconsin. Wisconsin. You’re not from the streets, you’re not from the hood, you aren’t part of some gang we should all fear. You’re just a dude who had disposable income as a child and apparently spent it all on ill-advised, meaningless ink. I get it: You’re biracial and you were adopted. In your own mind, that probably means you had it “rough.” Whatever.
So what’s your story? It was your time in Nevada, wasn’t it? That Reno. With all those geriatrics running around, it’s easy to get involved with a bad crowd.
5. Their uniforms suck.
Their two primary colors are also the colors of piss and blood. They should be sponsored by Tampax and Depends.
4. Their Super Bowl victories suck.
Two of the wins came against Cincinnati. Those shouldn’t even count.
3. Their players’ names suck.
NaVorro Bowman. According to a Google search, the name “NaVorro” has no meaning. Way to go, mom. Your kid is meaningless.
Anquan Boldin. The name “Anquan” means “companion.” You’re not a leader. You’re not a powerful individual. You’re an effing companion. Might as well be Tonto.
Perrish Cox. A misspelling of the word meaning “to die.” That’s, uh…cool.
Colt McCoy. Named after both a baby horse and the annoying middle child in the 3 Ninjas movies.
Kassim Osgood. His name means “dispenser of food and goods.” That’s just awful. He’s like a Safeway, or a Union Gospel Mission, or a…Pez.
2. Their fans suck.
I mean, they’re not that bad for uneducated inbreds.
1. Their coach sucks.
In general, society’s biggest gripes with Jim Harbaugh are the following:
-He whines too much.
-His fashion sense blows.
-He always has that goddamn red Sharpie hanging around his neck.
-He over-dramatizes every single little thing on the sideline.
-He makes ugly faces.
I understand all that and I certainly agree with the sentiments. But my biggest issue with Harbaugh is none of these things. No, I’m disgusted by the 49ers’ head coach for a different reason. What is that reason, you ask? Simple: He took an acting gig on Saved By the Bell: The New Class.
By now, this isn’t news. Everyone should know that Harbaugh was on the shitty red-headed stepchild spinoff of the Saved By the Bell series. But in case you weren’t aware, here’s a video of the Emmy-worthy performance:
That was horrendous. And there are so many things wrong with this.
First, everyone knows that The New Class was a disgraceful embarrassment to Saved By the Bell’s good name. It just was. As someone who avidly paid witness to all forms and spinoffs of Saved By the Bell, The New Class was little more than a train wreck. Trust me on this.
Second, Harbaugh played Screech’s cousin and Screech was the worst character in the history of the entire SBTB franchise. We’re talking about a guy who had a knack for screwing everything up all the time. Not only that, but the man who played this bumbling idiot went on to star in a homemade porno that was highlighted by a Dirty Sanchez, which is gross.
Third, what self-respecting athlete accepts a gig on The New Class, anyway? You either have to have the worst agent in the world — some Bob Sugar-esque ne’er-do-well concerned about nothing more than the almighty dollar — or possess no dignity whatsoever as a human being. With Harbaugh, I’d guess it’s the latter.
All things considered, Jim Harbaugh epitomizes the absolute suckiness of the entire organization he represents. So…much…suck.
Filed under: Seahawks, Top 11
Sports-hate is an amazing thing. It absolves us of a lot. As sports fans, we can say a whole lot a nasty stuff to each other. Terrible things. But it’s okay, because it’s just sports, and we don’t really mean it. We can kind of say whatever we want, and we can just pass it off as sports-hate. We don’t really mean it when we say we hate each other. Right? I hope so. No one should really mean those mean things.
But man, we love to sports-hate each other. It feeds rivalries, and makes the games more fun. It goes something like this:
Your team sucks! Our team is amazing! You guys are stupid! We have brilliant football minds! Your women are disgusting! Ours are super sexy! Wait, let’s compare pictures.
Gaw, we hate you guys!!
And on and on. Fun, right? I know. Let’s proceed. Without further ado,
Hey, 49ers fans, you guys are IDIOTS!
I learned late this week there are still some of you, broadcasters included, who think the noise at Century Link Field is somehow fabricated. That Seahawks fans couldn’t possibly be that loud. We “pump in noise.” I guess noise can be “pumped.”
We’ve heard this racket a million times before. It’s annoying, but kind of awesome. And yet it persists. It tends to come up as an excuse for opponents before, during, and after games. It’s like the ultimate sign of disrespect and the ultimate sign of respect at the same time. So, thanks, I guess. Idiots.
But I’m going to go ahead and be up front about this, for you, morons. Might as well lay it all out there so we are clear. Let’s see if you can comprehend some of this, because we know you’re too dumb to pick up on all of it. Maybe it’s a bit too sophisticated. That’s okay.
First of all, our stadium was built with acoustics in mind. So, yeah, our noise is amplified. Naturally. By way of architecture. Because Paul Allen is smarter than you. Make sense? Oh sorry. How about, “Big building. Make loud!”
Let’s move on to the game day experience. Seahawks fans are just plain loud. It rains here, a lot. We don’t get out much. This is just our thing. We crawl out of our little mossy hobbit dens every Sunday, and unleash our pent-up angst on the world.
While the opposing offense huddles, we are working ourselves into a vocal lather, our chorus of screeching and howling crescendos. When the offense breaks their huddle, it is at our mercy, our voices reaching a deafening, fearsome fury as the quarterback lines up under center.
This is our process. No speakers. No “pumping.” Just us, raining down doom on your team.
It’s awesome. You should try it sometime.
Oh, and are you familiar with what happened here?
Yeah, that was Marshawn Lynch rumbling 67 yards in one of the most spectacular plays in recent NFL history. A legendary celebration ensued, which happened to register on the Richter scale, deep in the catacombs of Seattle.
You should’a been there.
Was it from invisible pumping speakers, hovering above the field? Probably not. That was the reverberations of 67,000 howling ‘Hawk fans jumping up and down on concrete, stomping out the soul of our opponent.
That’s evidently what we do during big games at the Clink. We stomp out souls and cause seismic activity. We are human geological weapons.
And that was against the New Orleans Saints. We don’t even sports-hate them. They are actually kind of charming, to be honest. It’s Drew Brees, after all. Kinda cuddly.
But you guys? My goodness, we sports-hate you like the dickens. So much. Your coach is a no-fun, pissed-off, constipated man who looks and smells like the rat he is.
You know what? We sports-hate you so much I might be willing to push it a step further. We don’t not real-life hate you. Really, it could go either way. So think earnestly about that while the Seahawks are dismantling your precious Niners today, and we’re jumping and shouting about how horrible your team is, and how fun it is to watch them whine and squirm about how unfair it is that it’s so LOUD. “Mommy, I can’t hear anything!!” Idiots.
Enjoy tonight, you dirty, know-nothing, football-sucking jerks.
Filed under: Seahawks
All the writers have their stories/predictions out and there seems to be a consensus. ”It’s going to be a low scoring game with the 49ers eeking out a 4 point victory”. Sure, why not? I could believe that! After all, that’s what logic would dictate, right?
We have the two best defenses in the league and two so-so offenses all in the same game. This combination doesn’t scream “high scoring bomb-a-thon”. And Alex Smith is hitting a rough patch in the road after dropping two recent games in fairly close proximity. Seattle, according to the sports elite, has a rookie QB the coaching staff doesn’t trust to throw down the field. They say look for a Gore vs Lynch grind for 4 quarters.
Well I could just join the chorus and agree with them but that’s not my style. And besides that, I don’t believe that’s how Pete Carroll is going to attempt to win this game. I just don’t see Carroll in his office up in Kirkland saying to is coaching staff “yeah, I think I’m going to game-plan according to all the sports writers and do the VERY predictable thing and run Lynch 35 times”. So, understanding full well that I’m 100% wrong when I try to predict what Carroll is GOING TO DO based on what I would do, but totally get what he DID after the game, Im’ going to try this week to think like Pete and make a bold statement as to how I think this game will go.
The 49ers already know about Lynch. They’re game planning to stop him. They also have a really good pass defense but probably aren’t all that afraid that Russell Wilson can do to them what he did to a mediocre Patriots secondary. They will stop Lynch if they can, and dare Wilson to beat them. Now they have last weeks game film, and they know Wilson can throw a pretty good long ball. So if I’m San Fran, I’m ready for that too. What does that leave? It leaves quick passes over the middle, in the flanks, and screens to backs. If I’m Carroll I’m also working on ways to add some sprint outs and a possible option run/pass into that mix with one of the most mobile young QB’s in the league. If Wilson can get the SF defense to quit worrying about the deep ball by mixing lots of short passes with Lynch runs, then eventually when he does go for the long ball, it will come as a little bit of a surprise to the SF secondary. Maybe there’s a long TD to be had if the timing and match-up is right. That should open up the running and short passing game even more.
And what about defensively? Alex Smith is not Tom Brady. He’s not even Russell Wilson. He’s…pedestrian (I learned that word hearing sports writers talk about Matt Flynn, though I don’t necessarily agree with that). There are already calls in San Francisco to bring in Colin Kaepernick. I haven’t seen the two games the 49ers lost, but I know Smith had some INT’s and wasn’t sharp. Smith’s confidence of last year might be starting to wane slightly with the two losses. With players like Smith if they’re taken out of their comfort zone they don’t do well. So pressure is critical. Getting him running, firing passes on the run, forcing him to make throws to his second or third receiver should help limit the damage he can do. So, stunts, blitzes, combined with getting really physical on SF’s older receivers should help make it a long day for Smith.
San Francisco is an old team. Still good, but getting long in the tooth by NFL standards. The young, tough new kids on the block should be able to keep up the punishment on the 49ers for 4 quarters. The Seahawks are overdue to get all three elements of the game going at the same time, offense, defense, and special teams. I expect the team to be focused and inspired by the challenge of playing a great team on the road. If that happens, this game will not be as close as everyone thinks. The 49ers are ripe for a blow-out just like the Texans were last week. They should not take this game lightly.
The NFL season is upon us! Over the next couple days, my fellow writers and I here at 12th Man Rising will be previewing the Seahawks team and season to help everyone get ready for football games that actually count. I thought I’d start us off with something completely trivial, but ultimately pretty fun.
I simulated the 2012 season 20 times using EA’s Madden 13 in order to get an idea for how that game things this season is going to turn out. Normally I would simulate the entire season at least 100 times for this, but the new version of Madden only allows simulating one week at a time, so I had to stop at 20 seasons purely for my own sanity’s sake. Anyways, here’s how things worked out in the NFC West:
Rams: 3.8 wins
Cardinals: 4.3 wins
49ers: 8.9 wins
Seahawks: 9.4 wins
Obviously, things didn’t look good for the Rams or Cardinals. Neither team made the playoffs even once out of the 20 times I simmed the season. The Rams ended up with the #1 overall pick 4 times, and the Cardinal once. The two teams were in the top 5 of the draft a combined 16 times. Clearly, Madden doesn’t think either team is any good.
On the other end of the spectrum are the Seahawks and 49ers. Both teams averaged more wins than losses. While the Seahawks were more consistently good, the 49ers had the best single season. Then again, they also has more loosing seasons, for whatever that’s worth.
The 49ers won the division 8 times, and also claimed 5 wild card spots. Of the 7 times that they didn’t make the playoffs, they averaged just 6.1 wins, with a low of 5 wins. Their best season was one in which they won 13 games, and then lost in the superbowl to the Patriots.
The Seahawks won the division 12 times, and claimed a wild card spot and additional 5 times. So that’s 17 of 20 seasons in which the Seahawks made the playoffs. Their worst season was one in which they won just 6 games, but that was the only season in which they were below .500. In their best season, the Seahawks won 12 games, and lost in the NFC Championship game to the Lions.
Now, if you’d played this year’s version of Madden, you know that the Seahawks were given no love by the people who rate the players skill levels. In the game, the Seahawks are a bit below average when it comes to talent, so the fact that the Seahawks were consistently good when simulating seasons came as a bit of a surprise.
Now, I want to make sure that everyone realizes that results above are completely meaningless. The Madden franchise, while fun, has never been very accurate about predicting anything.
It’s time to take a brief break from the Marshawn Lynch hysteria to preview our final team of NFC West, other than our Seahawks. The 49ers are coming off a very surprising season, as they went from mediocrity it 2010 to the NFL championship game in 2011. Now the question is if they can build on that success and take the next step.
Helping out this time is Eric Melendez from Niner Noise.
Biggest Team Need Heading Into Offseason: Starting right guard
Key Free Agents Retained: QB Alex Smith
Key Player Additions: WR Mario Manningham
Key Players Leaving: Right guard Adam Snyder
Quick Thoughts on Draft: Going after WR A.J. Jenkins with the first round pick was a huge surprise as the team has no options at starting guard who have any previous experience as a starter.
Quick Thoughts on 2012 schedule: The 49ers’ secondary will tested often this season. The 49ers will go up against the Packers, Lions, Saints, Giants and Patriots in 2012. All five teams finished in the top-five of passing offense last season.
Most Interesting Roster Battle: Running back. With Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Brandon Jacobs, LaMichael James and Anthony Dixon the 49ers have a crowded backfield. It will be interesting to see who makes the team and who doesn’t, and where they fall on the depth chart.
Biggest Strength Heading Into 2012: Defense. The 49ers were completely dominant in all games last season on defense and will only get better in 2012.
Biggest Weakness Heading Into 2012: Right guard. If the 49ers want to continue their great rushing attack from last season and to improve their passing offense, they need a solid starter at right guard. Right now, there are not many options to be excited about.
Biggest Question Still To Be Answered: When will safety Dashon Goldson sign his contract? Goldson is the 49ers franchise tagged player and so far is holding out for more money than what the 49ers offered him in a multiple year contract.
2012 Prediction: 12-4, NFC West division champions.
I’m not sure where to start on my take on the 49ers. They’re a good team, but they were probably the least impressive 13-3 team I’ve ever seen. They’re bringing back all their talent from last season, but they didn’t make any upgrades and there are a number of warning signs that point to them not being able to match their 2011 success. Throw in that the 49ers were the league’s least-injured team in 2011, and that they’ll like see the other side of that coin in 2012, and they really are a tough team to preview.
Lets start with the positives. Their front 7 is scary. Justin Smith probably should have won the defensive rookie of the year award. He had an amazingly dominant year. That is especially true when you realize that move of Aldon Smith’s 14 sacks came on plays where he ran a stunt with Justin Smith, so essentially Justin Smith took out the blockers so Aldon Smith could come in clean. Justin Smith deserved an assist on almost all of those sacks. oh, and the rest of the front 7 is pretty damn good too.
On offense, the running game looks a lot like Seattle’s. Very solid blocking and a premier running back, and great depth behind him too. Combine a solid running game and a solid front 7 on defense, and you’re likely going to win the time of possession stat in almost every game.
Now for the bad. The secondary is very overrated. None of their 4 starters would start in Seattle. They also just paid a lot of money to keep a very average Rogers at CB, which is never a good idea. (Its the equivalent of the Seahawks giving Marcus Trufant a large contract this offseason. Surprisingly similar players when watching the game film.)
On offense, their WR corps is poor at best. They’re entire passing offense predicated on the fact that Randy Moss will suddenly become productive again, after 2 seasons of looking old. Crabtree is rapidly approaching getting hit with the bust label, and first round draft pick AJ Jenkins has looked so bad in practices so far that team doesn’t expect him to get on the field at all until late in the season.
And finally we come to Alex Smith. Harbaugh managed Smith in the best way possible last season. That is, they essentially removed him from the game plan. That’s the right idea what your QB was one of the worst players at his position in the league for the previous 6 seasons. I just don’t see how they can keep on a lid on this barrel of crap for another 16 games without it exploding all over the field. Especially not after the ego laced drivel that’s come out his mouth this offseason. Expect Smith to lose at least 2 winnable games for the 49ers this season.
One more thing (so I guess my comments on Smith shouldn’t have been preceded by “finally”) Much of the 49ers success was because of their record +28 turnover differential. As I’ve shown statistically on this site before, turnovers are a cruel mistress. Over the past 2 decades, teams that are the best at creating turnovers in any given season, are almost always below average at doing so the next season, even with the same players. The 49ers likely wont be able to depend on turnovers to make up for their other shortcomings again in 2012.
I still expect the 49ers to be good, and most likely win the division, but 10 to 11 wins seems like the max for the talent on their roster.
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The Peyton Manning watch is finally over. He has decided to sign with the Denver Broncos.
The Seattle Seahawks are still looking for a new QB, and an interesting option may have just opened up. I must admit that I didn’t see this coming, and need to give credit to the Seahawks blog visit site to read more]
This was a frustrating loss. Not because of a single huge mistake that cost them the victory, but because the game seemed to be there ready to be taken and the Seahawks couldn’t simply reach out and take it. Credit the 49ers, who made enough plays when it mattered, especially their punt return team.
This was one of those games where 1 play could have changed the outcome. The blown 3rd and goal play when the refs didn’t call the false start where Tarvaris Jackson get pushed out of bounds at the 1 comes to mind, as does the missed sack by Leroy Hill that set up a convertible 4th and 2 instead of 4th and 7 is another example. There’s also at least 5-6 horrible and obvious holding calls that were never called that should have help stall 49er drives. Any of those play could have changed this game, but the Seahawks just couldn’t get 1-2 of them to fall their way.
Sometimes football is like that. The 49ers won, but they are not clearly the better the team. These are 2 very even teams. Don’t let their records confuse you.
On to my game notes:
- The Seahawks loss officially eliminates them from the playoffs. It’s weird to think that there’s another game next week.
- Marshawn Lynch had another monster game, but most of it was in the first half. He finished with 21 carries for 107 yards and a TD. … [visit site to read more]
A couple years ago, when the NFL changed their scheduling rules so that the last couple weeks were dominated by divisional games, this is the type of game that they had in mind. The 49ers need this win to keep pace with the Saints in trying to secure the #2 seed and a first round bye. The Seahawks know that a loss eliminated them from the playoffs. There’s a lot of drama, and these are 2 teams that know each other well. We should expect good football.
Interestingly, this game has almost nothing to do with the week 1 matchup between these same 2 teams. The Seahawks offense has transformed from being one of the league’s worst, to being one of the better offenses in the league over the last 6 games (though clearly not elite like the Patriot or Saints). The 49er offense was timid and afraid to make mistakes in week 1, now they’re physical and attack defenses with their running game.
Reasons for Optimism
Winers of 5 of their last 6 games, there isn’t a hotter team in the NFL than the Seahawks. The 49ers were hot early in the year, but have cooled off recently struggled to put away teams. They’ve also lost 2 of their last 4, and have a super short Monday to Saturday week. … [visit site to read more]