Niners End Playoff Hopes

Seattle played a good game, and even held the lead late in the fourth quarter, but ultimately couldn’t defeat the NFC West Champions.  Both teams played solid defense, and it came down to a costly fumble by Tarvaris Jackson to seal the deal.  Jackson didn’t play a horrible game against one of the best defenses in the NFC.  He didn’t throw any interceptions, and added 163 yards in the air and one score.  It was a pretty similar line that Jackson has produced in recent past.  This is the fourth straight game in which he threw for one touchdown and no interceptions.  He hasn’t exactly aired it out, but by keeping the ball in his own players hands has been big in the recent success for Seattle.  Earlier in the year fans were calling for Charlie Whitehurst, but Jackson has solidified his stance as the starter this year.  He will likely be the favorite to start next year unless another QB is acquired.

Getting Sidney Rice back will be a big plus in the passing game especially with the emergence of Doug Baldwin this year.  Still, the offense runs through Marshawn Lynch.  He had a huge season for a career year in which he has already run for over 1100 yards and 12 touchdowns.  He topped 100 yards once again on Sunday, which was the first time all season the 49ers allowed a 100 yard rusher.  He also scored the first rushing TD against San Francisco all year.  That is pretty impressive considering how dominant the Niners have been all season.

The Defense has been solid all year, and with the improvements by the offense, I expect Seattle to be a strong competitor in the NFC West next season.  Of course this will also depend on how good the Niners are.  If they win another 13 games, they will be tough to top.  However, they at least proved last game that they can keep up with them.  This Sunday they have the Cardinals in Arizona.  Both teams enter the game at 7-8, which guarantees that at least one more NFC West team will finish at .500.  This is big improvement from last season.  Arizona has been hot, but John Skelton has also been erratic.  Seattle played them back in September and won 13-10.  This was also during their losing streak, and this is a much improved team from then.  The motivation isn’t high for either team, but it would be nice for Seattle to end the season at .500 and on a high note.

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