We turn our attention away from the AFC West, as we go to the NFC West where the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers conclude the regular season in Week 17. The Seahawks are destined for the postseason after clinching the NFC West title. However, depending on how things go on Sunday, they could end up with a first-round bye as a 2nd seed or as low as the 4th seed. A win will guarantee a number 3 seed for the Hawks.
If the Falcons beat the Saints at home, they guarantee a first-round bye and the number 2 seed, regardless of what the Seahawks do today. So, there will be some scoreboard watching across the NFL for Hawks’ fans. More than anything, though, the Seahawks must avoid a huge letdown spot in Week 17. You don’t want to be heading into the playoffs with a loss against the 49ers hanging over your head.
For Colin Kaepernick, it’s the end of the season for what was a rather wild ride. He was named the backup in the offseason, and then he started protesting the national anthem by taking a knee. Critics from all sides attacked him, while continuing to take a knee and take part in what he called a “protest” on social injustices. There hasn’t been a week gone by where he hasn’t been asked about his stand on social issues. 49ers’ fans were just hoping that the old Kaepernick who directed his team to the Super Bowl would come out on the field and make an appearance.
Since Jim Harbaugh left the 49ers, this rivalry is no longer what it used to be. And it wasn’t that long ago that these two were a must-watch game. It isn’t like Kaepernick is to blame, either. Considering everything going on and the team around him, Kaepernick has looked at least serviceable on the field. He’s thrown for 15 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, while rushing for 452 yards. If anything, he’s proven that he belongs on a roster and may still have a little left in the tank to be a low-end starter. Conversely, Russell Wilson is searching for another Super Bowl. We’ll find out shortly if he’s going to pull it off. Perhaps a rematch against the Patriots is in the cards?
Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL Betting Odds:
vs. 49ers +9(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Seahawks vs. 49ers Pick:
The 49ers got their second win of the year last week against the LA Rams, 22-21. Apparently, the win wasn’t enough to save Chip Kelly’s job, as reports are starting to surface that Kelly will be fired after this game. This sets up his return to college football, where I think he is better suited. Kelly will be able to recruit well and implement an offense which tends to translate better at the college level than in the NFL. There will be no going back to Oregon, as the head coaching job has been accounted for. Maybe he stays in the NFL as an offensive coordinator? At any rate, I don’t see him returning to head coach in the NFL. He may even take 2017 off and revaluate his options for the following year, but we’ll see.
The moral of the story here, is that the 49ers will be essentially coachless in this game. Kelly is going to be there, I believe, but he’s going to be gone following the game, regardless of the outcome. I kind of find it hard to trust the 49ers in this spot given the circumstance. Why is Kelly going to get his team up for this game? For an owner that is firing him immediately after the final snap. The 49ers have been bad enough as it is all season long. They are 32nd in the NFL defensively, allowing 408.4 points per game. They’re also surrendering 30.3 points a game. From nearly 1st to last since Harbaugh left the west coast for Ann Arbor.
Kaepernick has done all he can really, but this is still a 49ers’ offense that ranks 29th in yards per game and 27th in points per game with 19.1 a game. I would normally jump all over the points in this with the 49ers, but I don’t envision this team wanting to get beat up by the Seahawks all game long. They put forth a lackluster effort, as they become a Ronda Rousey and get their lights punched out in easy fashion. Seahawks take this and cover the 9 points.
PICK: SEAHAWKS -9 (-110)