There was a feeling right at the start of the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. A feeling that the 49ers were completely dialed in. And they were. It was pretty much over right after it got going.
The 49ers scored on their second series of the game, and that was pretty much it, they never looked back. Running back Raheem Mostert was definitely the star of the game. He had over 200 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns, becoming the 1st player to score 4 touchdowns in a conference championship game.
The Green Bay Packers? Well, to put it nicely, they never really got going.
And yet, here we are. The 49ers are in the NFC Championship Game, with home field no less, and they get to face the Green Bay Packers. Again. Had you told me at the beginning of the year that the Packers were going to the NFC Championship game, I don’t think I would’ve gone 100% “Sure, Jan” but I still wasn’t 100% sold on them either.
However, both teams have proven me wrong and will face each other to earn a spot in the Super Bowl. So, what’s it going to take for each team to get there?
It was the first playoff game played in Levi Stadium and it was a great one for the home team. It started off being sorta close. It really seemed like the Niners had some rust to dust off, and the Vikings were holding on to the momentum from their win against the Saints.
After a dramatic and controversial win over the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings now head to the Bay Area to take on the NFC West champion San Francisco 49ers who were enjoying a first-round bye.
The last time the 49ers played the Vikings was the first game of the 2018 season, and the Vikings came away with the win, however, you and I both know that the 49ers were a much different team last year. The Niners finished last year with a record of 4-12 and not expected to make any noise this year. Ahh, but they did.
Lets just put this out there before we even begin. The NFC West is one of, if not THE best division in football. In fact, I can’t think of a single division that is as competitive top to bottom as the NFCW.
Yes, I realize that that the Arizona Cardinals have had a bit of a slump as of late, but if we try to peer into the future just a bit, the West could steal the name “Black and Blue Division” from the NFC North. A lot of this success, past, present and probable future, is due to the quarterbacks. Let’s take a look at the four signal-callers, and why they will be leading their teams for years to come.
One of the most common things I see on social media are arguments between fans about who is the most important player on a team. Is it the franchise quarterback? Is it the leader on defense? Is it the coach? It seems only fitting that with today being Russell Wilson‘s birthday, that we should take a look at this question inside the NFC West.
Going into week 13, two teams stand heads and tails above the other two, and above most teams in the NFC. When looking at all four franchises, there seem obvious answers to the question I posed above, but is it really so cut and dry? I’m not so sure.
Oddsmakers had the San Francisco 49’ers winning against the Arizona Cardinals. Most also expected the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Chicago Bears. Everyone knew the Seattle Seahawks would rest up and get healthy, with it being their bye week and all.
All of these things happened. Yet in all these expected outcomes, a few things stood out that were unexpected.
Let’s take a look at week 11 for the NFC West and peek into week 12.
Since the Seattle Seahawks were on their bye in week 11, I’ll start there. After beating the San Francisco 49’ers in week 10 on Monday Night Football, it was a prime time to get the bye week and rest up. The most significant thing we are waiting for more about is the injury wide receiver Tyler Lockett sustained at the end of that game. While head coach Pete Carroll said they expected him to be fine, no official word has come out.
About the Author: Matt is a sports writer for @49ershub, @SportsTalkLine, and @TheScorecrow, and is a longtime San Francisco 49ers fan. He has been a 49ers fan since the days of Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice. Aside from Jerry Rice, his favorite player was Merton Hanks, loved his dance after he made an interception. Let’s go Faithful.
In hockey the standings are based on a point system and you still gain a point for an overtime loss. In the NFL a loss in overtime is the same as a loss in regulation. There are no moral victories in the NFL. Last Monday, the undefeated streak for the San Francisco 49ers came to an end when they lost in overtime to their bitter rival the Seattle Seahawks.
Retired army General Colin Powell once said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
The NFC West is a very competitive division almost every year. While the top spot switches regularly, its usually true that there is a heated battle every year for that spot. This breeds strong rivalries between the teams, but there is one rivalry that has been the most fierce. Seattle and San Francisco.
While the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals have done their fair share of winning within the division, it hasn’t fostered the same level of disdain that the Seahawks and 49ers have for each other. Fanbases, teams, front offices…it goes deep. And come next Monday night, the rivalry will again be on full display for everyone to see when these teams face each other on Monday Night Football.