by David Zizmor
SANTA CLARA–This game in Seattle this Sunday is the big one of for the San Francisco 49ers because if they lose this one will end their season bid to make it in the playoffs. They could actually be eliminated if they lose and Detroit wins. Either way even if they win their in a tight spot they’re assured of missing the post season for the first time in four seasons.
It’s a tough gig because the 49ers just faced the Seattle Seahawks just a couple of weeks ago on Thanksgiving Day and lost to them at Levis Stadium. The Hawks really dominated the Niners in that game 19-3 where the Niners also looked awful on offense. Despite the 19 points the defense played reasonably well the lack of scoring did them in as well as a couple of bad turnovers by quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the offense.
The Niners had the loss of the Seahawks two weeks ago and the loss of the Raiders last week. The offense has just been sputtering all season long. There’s only been two games where the offense has been confident, it’s not known what is going on with the offense. Kaepernick is not playing particularly well and thats partly due to the fact the offensive line isn’t protecting him very well.
Kaepernick is getting pressured, he’s been sacked more times than any other quarterback in the league this season, they have had injuries up and down the line. The wide receivers haven’t played well, the Niners have more or less abandoned the running game they don’t really focus on it that much by trying to force the ball in the passing game and the running game their making things that much more difficult.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City this Sunday: Can the Raiders play up to the challenge against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday? It’s tough to gauge this Raiders team, they had that big win against the Chiefs three weeks ago, the week after that they lost 52-0 in St.Louis and they come back last week and defeat the 49ers at home pretty easily 23-13.
The Raiders are not a very talented bunch, there’s been some bright spots, their not a talented group and one of the things they’ve had trouble with is winning on the road. They haven’t won on the road on well over a year. They have a consecutive losing streak that spans out to 18 games in a row which is ridiculous at this stage. Their playing at Arrowhead Stadium that’s incredibly difficult to win in.
Arrowhead is probably the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL and their fans are crazy and we know they hate the Raiders. The Chiefs are playing at this stage of the season, the Chiefs were embarrassed on November 20th by the same Raiders. The Raiders caught the Chiefs in the same trap they caught the Niners in, the Niners were looking ahead to the Seahawks and the Chiefs were looking ahead to the Broncos.
You can’t do that in the NFL, you can’t overlook anybody and the Raiders took advantage of it last time, it was a close game the Raiders pulled it off and got the win on a Thursday nighter at the Coliseum. The Raiders won’t be quite so lucky this week it will be a game against the Chiefs where the Chiefs are not going to be overlooking anyone this week.
David Zizmor covers the NFL for http://www.sportsradioservice.com