Seahawks fans get to enjoy an early week off as the boys in blue have a bye. Knowing who to cheer for and against on days like today is usually pretty straight-forward, but the landscape has shifted. Nobody wants to see the 49ers win, for example, but that may be the better result for Seattle.
Philadelphia @ San Francisco 1:25 PM FOX
I cannot imagine a situation where I would find myself rooting for Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick to win a game. They are the best villians in football, and watching them struggle is as sweet as vanilla frosting.
A loss today would drop the 49ers to 1-3, with two of the losses coming at home. Then the Chiefs would come to town with a potentially healthy Jamaal Charles and a motivated Alex Smith. Look at the upcoming schedule the team above reproach:
||Sun, Sep 28
||Sun, Oct 5
||vs Kansas City
||Mon, Oct 13
||@ St. Louis
||Sun, Oct 19
||Sun, Nov 2
||vs St. Louis
||Sun, Nov 9
||@ New Orleans
||Sun, Nov 16
||@ New York Giants
Games at Denver and New Orleans seem very likely to be losses. Aldon Smith will not be back until after the Saints game, and who knows when NaVarro Bowman will be healthy enough to make an impact? That would put them up at four losses at least with two games left versus the Seahawks, one game against the Cardinals and one against the Chargers. Six losses or more seems very possible.
FootballOutsiders.com simulates the season every week and the 49ers currently make the playoffs in 26.7% of their simulations. Their mean win total is 8.0. They finish with the #1 NFC seed in 1.2% of their simulations.
Philadephia, on the other hand, plays in a division where they get six games against the Redskins, Giants and Cowboys. They get the #1 seed in 23.5% of the simulations, highest of any NFC team. The Seahawks are third at 14.9%.
The Eagles play STL, NYG, BYE, @ARZ, @HOU, CAR, @GB, TEN, @DAL, SEA over the next ten weeks. There are not many losses in that list. I even picked Seattle to lose at Philly in my season preview. A loss to San Francisco today would be the Eagles first. A win might mean this ends up looking more like a 13-14 win team instead of a 11-12 win team. That could be the difference in Seattle getting home field throughout the playoffs.
Far be it from me to ever recommend rooting for the 49ers, because I simply cannot do it myself, but an Eagles loss is probably more helpful to the Seahawks.
Green Bay @ Chicago 10 AM FOX
The Packers sit at 1-2 and the Bears are 2-1. Chicago could help to push the Packers to the brink of playoff irrelevance should they beat their rivals today. A team many had picked to unseat Seattle and possibly win a Super Bowl in Green Bay, is struggling to stay above the Vikings in their division’s basement.
The Bears have overperformed so far, especially with key injuries to players like Charles Tillman. But Football Outsiders has Chicago winning the #1 seed 16% of the time, more than Seattle.
So as much as it might be nice to see Aaron Rodgers and the Packers eat some more humble pie, and as dangerous as he and Eddie Lacy can be if they find their footing, Seahawks fans are probably better off hoping they cause Jay Cutler to sulk for the one-billionth time.
New Orleans @ Dallas 5:30 PM NBC
This one is pretty simple. The Saints are 1-2, and are still one of the most talented teams in the NFC. Dallas is not a threat. Go Boys!
More Easy Ones…
Detroit @ NY Jets 10 AM – Go Jets!
Carolina @ Baltimore 10 AM – Go Ravens!
Atlanta @ Minnesota 1:25 PM – Go Vikings!