Death, taxes, and the San Francisco 49ers’ NFC West crown running through Seattle. These are the absolutes in life. The NFC West saw a good weekend with all of its teams (sans the Los Angeles Rams since they were on bye) winning.
There is no debating the better win. That goes to the 49ers who absolutely dismantled a top-5 defense in the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Jacksonville. Via 10:00 AM start time. And while they are getting healthy, they aren’t 100% healthy. Just ask Kyle Shanahan about Trent Williams.
As far as playoff seeding goes, the 49ers will need some help. First, it’s obvious that to get the division and that precious No. 1 seed, the 49ers will need to run the table the rest of the way unless some disasters hit the rest of the NFC.
Should they do so, that is dependent on another team handing Philadelphia a second loss in that time span (the 49ers would hand them the first of two). If the Kansas City Chiefs can do it, then the 49ers are in business. There also would need to be a loss for the Detroit Lions in there as they won’t play the 49ers and have a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way (Hi, Cowboys and Vikings, can we get a favor?)
Running the table is a tall, tall order for the 49ers, but they did that very same feat last year and down to their third string quarterback. A lot of things will need to go right in this time span, but I’m saying there’s a chance.
Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
Thanks for nothing, Washington Commanders. The Washington Commanders, a team that traded away some of the best parts of its defense still fought the Seahawks hard in Seattle, but then Seattle things happened, and they came out with a win.
Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith was much better, going 31/47 (65.9 completion percentage) and two touchdowns. No interceptions this time around. A nice turnaround to the stinker that is the Baltimore Ravens. It bears repeating: The Commanders just traded away their two best pieces on defense, so Smith having time to throw and dice them up might be a given.
The Commanders were in it until the very end, but those missing defensive pieces certainly made things hard, and they couldn’t stop the Seahawks in the end. Commanders quarterback Sam Howell had a good day as well, going 29/44 (65.9 completion percentage) and 312 yards. Most of those receiving yards going to Brian Robinson Jr. A running back.
Thanksgiving will settle this. The 49ers winning the division will depend on the Seahawks. While the 49ers are stuck playing on a short week against Seattle, they are not the Commanders and I do think they can pull this out.
I only hope they eat turkey on the middle of the Seahawks field.
Arizona Cardinals (2-8)
Remember when everyone proclaimed Kyler Murray a bust that didn’t study? One game in and all of that seems to have changed. One game against the Atlanta Falcons that have their own issues like not giving the ball to a talented running back.
Murray had a welcome back party against the Falcons. I could make Atlanta Falcon jokes being a good confidence booster, but the truth of the matter is they have a decent defense, sitting in the top-10 in some categories.
Murray was the star of the show, breaking out some impressive runs and then slinging it to Trey McBride. It came down to a crucial 3rd and 10 p[lay where the Falcons whiffed on sacking Murray all over the place, and he comes running down the sideline to get the first down. Moments later, a pass gets them into a chip shot field goal and the Cardinals win.
The Cardinals are all but out of this for 2023. At this point, 49ers fans rooting for a Cardinals win would be the smart play since then that pushes them back further and further in the NFL draft. We’ll see if Murray can continue the resurgence.
Into Week 11
The 49ers will be hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you remember, the Buccaneers in 2022 were the first team quarterback Brock Purdy started against...then this happened. The 49ers opened as 10.5-point favorites and that line has increased to 11 on Draft Kings Sportsbook as of this writing. I want to say this game is going to get ugly, but last time I said that...
The Seattle Seahawks head out to Los Angeles to take on the Rams. The Rams are coming off a bye and are much better than their record indicates, so beating Seattle a second time is not out of the question. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is expected back for the game, so that should definitely help.
The Cardinals will be heading to Houston to take on the Texans. Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans has firsthand knowledge of what Kyler Murray’s scrambling capabilities are and also has a rookie quarterback breaking rookie records left and right. All I’m saying is, the Texans aren’t the Falcons.
1st: San Francisco 49ers; Next: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2nd: Seattle Seahawks; Next: at Los Angeles Rams
3rd: Los Angeles Rams; Next: vs. Seattle Seahawks
4th: Arizona Cardinals; Next: at Houston Texans