If you’re a fan of the National Football League (NFL), you can remember when the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers were dominant teams competing for first place in the West Division of the National Football Conference (NFC).
These two squads were not only the best teams in their Division they were squads that were successful enough to win more than one Conference Championship game and participate in Super Bowls. In fact, the Seahawks rode a dominant defense to become Super Bowl Champions two years ago and lost last year’s championship game to the New England Patriots on a goal line interception with only seconds remaining to play.
But nothing stays the same in the National Football League. Successful teams often lose top players to free agency because budget constraints make it difficult, even impossible, to sign them.
The one constant in professional football is the annual movement of players from one team to another. And the teams that lose the best players are those that enjoy frequent success. Players on winning teams want to be rewarded and generally demand contract increases that can’t be met. So when free agency becomes available they sign elsewhere and move on to other teams.
Clearly, personnel changes, primarily the loss of key players, has impacted the performances of the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49er, divisional opponents in the NFC West Division who will be squaring off against one another on the Week Seven edition of Thursday Night Football.
Somewhat surprisingly, both teams sport identical records of two wins and four losses and are tied for last place in their division.
The game will be played in San Francisco where the home team has underperformed this year. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a player who was considered to be “a rising star” just a couple of years ago, is now being criticized for poor play, due in part to his seeming inability to “see the whole field” when he drops back to pass the ball.
His efforts have been underwhelming and he seems to have regressed significantly over the past two seasons. The 49ers defense has been spotty and inconsistent, as well. As a result, the team from “the city by the Bay” has accumulated just two wins in the six games it has played.
At this still-early stage of the season, the San Francisco 49ers may be playing “only for pride” because getting to the playoffs may be something that they can’t achieve.
Shockingly, the same can be said for the currently underwhelming Seattle Seahawks, Just months removed from last year’s Super Bowl. This squad has also lost four of the six games it has played. What may concern Head Coach Pete Carroll and the team’s fans is the depressing fact that the Seahawks, a team with a supposedly dominant defense has blown four 4th quarter leads.
This team underachieves when the game is on the line. The Thursday night game between these two formerly great teams won’t raise a lot of excitement among professional football fans, but it is interesting for those who root for one or the other of these two teams. The fact is that the squad which wins will escape the cellar in the NFC West.
For the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, pride is on the line. Each squad will be trying hard to emerge victorious.
Courtesy of CBS Local- New York