The Seattle Seahawks scored their biggest victory of the season against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. But they are still chasing the 49ers for a division crown but one major x-factor gives them a big edge.
Now, obviously the biggest edge the Seahawks have over the 49ers is Russell Wilson. I would call it a battle, but unfortunately for San Francisco, they are bringing a pea shooter to a tank fight when comparing quarterbacks.
But San Francisco does have the more talented roster, top to bottom. I doubt you’ll find many Seahawks fans argue the reverse of this. So other than the QB edge, what gives the Seahawks a better chance to win the division than the 49ers?
Well, thanks to the NFL schedule makers, the answer is rest. The Seahawks bye week comes at a great time for the team.10 games into the season, every team has banged-up players and the Seahawks are no exception.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers had their bye in Week 4 and it is beginning to show. On Monday night alone, the 49ers lost Matt Breida, Joe Staley, and Emmanuel Sanders for a few weeks and the week before, they lost Kwon Alexander for the season. George Kittle is set to miss his second consecutive game this weekend as well.
San Francisco is banged up and even if they can secure one of the top 2 seeds in the NFC playoffs, it’ll be after playing 13 consecutive weeks. There is nothing San Francisco can do about this, but ask any team to play 3 straight months without losing a player is an impossible task.
So while the Seahawks will enter their tough final stretch of 2019 well-rested, the 49ers will be limping to the finish line. With the Seahawks just half a game back in the standings, and with one game up on the head to head tiebreaker.
San Francisco will get an improving Arizona team this week but then enters a murderers row of opponents after that, facing off against New Orleans, Green Bay, and Baltimore, all without a break.
While no team will be healthy at this stage, getting a week of rest in mid-November is certainly preferable than taking your break 3 games into your season. Seattle should be fresher and healthier down the stretch, providing a major advantage towards winning the NFC West.