Our friends at NFLWeather.com have provided us the latest on the weather for the big NFC West battle this week between the Niners and the upstart Seahawks. Weather is going to be critical to your decisions if you have players in playoff leagues and beyond. As the elements get harsher decisions become tougher and that’s why we are big fans of NFLWeather.com and recommend that you consult them every week before settling on your start/sit decisions. With that, here is what Chris Lovi, columnist, NFLWeather.com has to say about the game and the challenges the weather will present…
No, you did not predict this in week 1. Facing off in a highly anticipated NFC West rivalry game, both the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks have a lot on the line Sunday night. A win for the 49ers and they will go on to clinch their second consecutive division title. A win for the Seahawks clinches their spot in the playoff and also leaves the NFC West title up for grabs. With both teams had impressive wins the week before, this game will arguably be the most intriguing matchup on the Week 16 schedule. That also makes it a craps-shoot for those still in their fantasy football league playoffs.
NFLWeather.com forecasts a chance of showers come game time with mostly cloudy skies and a low around 35. Any moisture in the air brings added pressure to both offenses and their ability to score. Even though both teams have shown they have the ability to put up a large amount of points, more than a 100 points in two weeks for the Seahawks, both defenses are going to be putting pressure on their respective young quarterbacks.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been playing out of his mind these past two weeks. He has gained more confidence every week, which is exactly what you want to see heading into a matchup against the 49ers. What Wilson needs to do Sunday Night is spread the ball around, which could be difficult in rainy weather. We saw those tactics last week when the 49ers defense faced their biggest challenge as Tom Brady was consistently mixing in different patterns. Now Russell Wilson isn’t Tom Brady……yet, but Wilson has the benefit of the Bay Area’s own Marshawn Lynch in the backfield and Lynch always seems to have a good game against San Francisco.
On the other side of the ball, the 49ers have a tough task ahead of them, playing in front of one of the loudest home crowds on national television against a division rival. If rain doesn’t upset Colin Kaepernick’s ability to make plays, the crowd noise in what has become known as “The 12th Man” will. Knowing this heading into Seattle, Jim Harbaugh will most likely rely on Frank Gore to control the ball on offense. Despite having a reputation of a solid rushing defense, Seattle has had a tough time stopping number 21. Gore rushed for 137 yards in week 7 against the Seahawks when San Francisco squeaked out a win at home on a clear night, according to NFLWeather’s historical analytics.
This game is likely coming down to turnovers in the rain. The 49ers will have confidence. They proved last week that they could beat an elite team on the road, in bad weather, as they did to the Patriots. The Seahawks have the hottest offense in football. This game is the one to watch in week 16.