Equal defenses will show that NFC West is strongest division
Equal is an overstatement for the San Fransisco 49ers defense. Their schedule, so far, has been relatively easier than the Seahawks and mostly Alex Smith and a potent offense carrying them through the close ones. Possessing the best linebacker in the league, Patrick Willis, the 49ers will be a handful for the Seahawks rushing game. An unseasoned ILB in Bobby Wagner is gaining ground on him though, as the leader and audible controller for the young and fast Seahawks front seven. Watching these two linebacking cores run their defense is going to be incredible and their defensive lines will surely have both QBs running for their lives.
Similar rushing games, but completely different passing attacks
A revamped passing attack that includes Crabtree, Manningham, Moss and Davis will give an edge to the 49ers that the Seahawks do not have. Vernon Davis is in the top 3 in the league. When I mention top 3 in the league, I mean for tight ends, overall athleticism and ceiling potential. Davis will be key for the 49ers to get a win over the Seahawks Thursday night at home. QB comparisons, the edge goes to Alex Smith. His MVP-like performance this season has put him right at the cusp of elite QBs. Russell Wilson has the higher ceiling, but is still very young and improving exponentially. Once Wilson can run the no huddle with easy command, he will be unstoppable. An ability to extend plays and an already veteran confidence to chuck it down the field, Wilson will need every bit of his tools to give the Seahawks the victory over the 49ers.
The Seahawks will bring the rain to California and take the NFC West Crown by storm. There is no better defense in the league and no other offense with a ceiling as high as the Hawks. The main concerns for them are Vernon Davis, Frank Gore and Patrick Willis. Put these players in a bind, which I am sure Pete Carroll has drawn up specific plays for, and rack up another win for Seattle.
Questions to be answered...
Who will be the more significant running back, Beast Mode or Gore?
Who will show more veteran and leadership qualities, Smith or Wilson?
Will the Seahawks take advantage of the opportunity to dethrone the current NFC West Champions in their hometown?