Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers Week 14 NFL Free Pick: The NFC West won’t be decided on Sunday – nope, this game probably will end up meaning very little as whomever wins will certainly disappoint down the line, and do their best to fall out of the race. But the race is a crawl, and everyone outside of Arizona has a chance.
I don’t think the 49ers made the best quarterbacking choice for the long run when they went back to Alex Smith this week, but I do think it gives them the best chance to beat the Seahawks. Alex is a better pure passer than Troy Smith, and the Hawks have one of the friendliest secondaries in the league. With Frank Gore out, the 49ers will probably give that spread-passing offense a chance on Sunday, and Alex is the best Smith for that job.
Seattle’s defense hasn’t just been bad against the air attack, lately they’ve struggled against the run, too. They’ve been out-rushed in 4 of their last 6 games, and it’s hurting them – they’ve lost 4 of their last 6.
The 49ers defense has played alright, even though their offense has put them in tough spots and failed to capitalize when given good field position. I thin the 49ers continue to give the Hawks trouble with their own run game, while Alex finds holes in Seattle’s secondary. A couple big plays will be the difference, and with the Hawks struggling run game and injuries to key wide receivers, I don’t think the Hawks will be making those key big plays.
Go with the 49ers at home.
Week 14 NFL Free Pick Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions: The Packers are 8-4 while the Vikings are 4-8 and Green Bay isn’t running away with their division. That’s because Detroit is leading the NFC North! Okay, farfetched, just kidding, it’s the Bears behind Jay Cutler (not really, behind their defense, actually) that has the top spot in the NFC North – but Green Bay still has a shot, and they need wins and lots of them to assure themselves a playoff spot. A loss to Detroit would really hurt them going forward, and that’s why I don’t see any possible way that the Packers come in and take a pretty decent Lions team lightly.
Detroit is 2-10, but that hardly tells the story. 2-10 teams are usually bad, real bad, I mean look at the Panthers, that’s a 2-10-type football team. Detroit has played a lot of very good teams tough. They did a better job than the Jets or Steelers did against the Patriots, and even with a back-ups back-up in a quarterback, they nearly (and probably should have) upset the Bears last week. They’ve played everyone tough. Don’t just look at scores, but look back at all their games entering the final quarter – they’ve been in every single one.
And the Packers don’t run the ball well. And that makes it tough for them to slam home victories and beat opponents up. I feel like I’m playing with fire taking the Lions getting just a touchdown at home against one of the best teams in the NFC while starting their 3rd string quarterback – but that’s what I’m doing. Sooner or later the Packers are going to see those injuries catch up to them against a mediocre team, why not this week?