Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Best Rivalry in the NFL?

     On the eve of the 2013 NFL free agency, two teams in the same division enhanced their rosters by adding two players nearly simultaneously. Percy Harvin and Anquan Boldin have found new homes along the west coast, with Boldin strapping on a San Francisco jersey, and Harvin playing in rainy Seattle for 2013. Both players are pro-bowlers with plenty of experience, and have the potential to strengthen their new teams drastically. Several years ago, many criticized the NFC West for being too weak a division; now, the west has transformed into one of the most competitive places to play in the league. The two powerhouses of the present-day NFC West are the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Though the rivalry between the two was already relatively heated, will the two trades form the biggest rivalry in the NFL?
     The definition of the term rivalry is a "competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field." By definition, when Seattle shows up to play San Francisco in 2013, the match up will be marked as a rivalry game. Historically speaking, the two teams are almost split down the middle in terms of wins, where Seattle has won 14 games against San Francisco, compared to the 49ers who have won 13. A victory during the regular season will propel them towards the NFC West crown. Already media stations across the country are hyping up the next meeting between San Francisco and Seattle. The two teams are very similar, where their roster is made up of very talented, young weapons on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
      San Francisco's Super Bowl run ended when they failed to convert on a fourth and goal with less than two minutes left. In order to ensure a second straight appearance to the big game, much has been done in order to fill any holes that need to be patched. Colin Kaepernick and his running back duo is one of the most feared ground games in the NFL; however, the passing game was in desperate need of a strong wide receiver to lead the pack. Vernon Davis' chemistry with Kaepernick solidified over the course of the playoffs, but Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss unsuccessfully gave Kaepernick the weapons he needed to succeed. Boldin has the size of a tight end but the speed of a wide receiver, a perfect match up with lock down corner back Richard Sherman of Seattle. The defense lost safety Dashon Goldson, and has done nothing to replace the All-Pro. Otherwise, San Francisco's defense remains elite when it comes to defending the rush and the pass.
    Seattle's off season grade is an "A+" with the signings of defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, along with wide receiver Percy Harvin. Russell Wilson's rookie season earned him a lot of praise from around the league, especially when he took down the Redskins in the first round, and almost upset Atlanta in the divisional round the following week. Percy Harvin will be Seattle's number one wide receiver on the roster, and Wilson now has the option of handing the ball off to Marshawn Lycnh or WR Percy Harvin. Seattle's defense caught everyone off-guard last season with their dominating performance against top teams. Michael Bennet and Cliff Avril clearly creates the best pass rush in the league when adding their talents to sophomore pass rusher Bruce Irvin.
     The Seattle Seahawks fan base is well represented at home games, where CenturyLink field has been credited as being the loudest arena in the NFL. San Francisco will look to take down their new rival at home, who went undefeated in 2012 in their own stadium. In fact, Seattle destroyed San Francisco at home by a grand total of 42-13. The 49ers' emotional coach John Harbuagh would love to get revenge on the road and rid themselves of that embarrassing 2012 loss. The competition in the NFC West will be fierce, and when these two teams possibly meet in the NFC Championship game, millions will tune in to watch. 

1 comment:

  1. It will certainly be a great game. Of course not forgetting to Harvin and Boldin. They will going to give everything for his new team .. Excellent summary. Valuable information and very professional.