San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks The NFC West is said to be one of the toughest divisions in football. Why? Largely in part because of the two teams in our “Featured Game of the Week” this week, the Seattle Seahawks (LtJustice) and the San Francisco 49ers (Ninersfan80). Led by two of the youngest and exciting players in the league, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, both of these teams figure to be in the thick of things come playoff time. While we have seen Seattle have one of, if not the, busiest off-seasons regarding trades, the 49ers have taken a rather different approach; if it’s broke, why fix it? In week one, we saw both of these teams come away with victories. The 49ers narrowly pulled one out at home against the Green Bay Packers, 28-24. However; aforementioned Colin Kaepernick looked very rattled in his first start of the season. Kaepernick finished the game 9 of 21 for a mere 125 yards with only 1 TD, and a whopping 4 INT’s. He, however; got plenty of help from his defense, who forced 5 turnovers themselves. It was just enough to allow the Niners to escape with a huge week 1 victory, but they know they’ll have to play better this week against a vaunting Seattle defense. The Seahawks, conversely, hung on against a tough Carolina team on the road to come away with their win, 27-24. In that game, Russell Wilson would struggle as well only hitting on 11 passes for 167 yards, no scores and two picks. Once again, it was the defense who won the game here. Holding the Panthers and Cam Newton to only 28 yards on the ground, the Seahawks forced Carolina to be one dimensional. Two of the leagues best defenses are in play here, so let’s take a look at the key factors in this early NFC West matchup: San Francisco Wins IF: They are able to get Frank Gore going right out of the gate and put Seattle’s defense on their heels early. They can’t allow Seattle to force them into being one dimensional like they did to Carolina. Protect the ball. Protect the ball. Protect the ball. Kaepernick has got to do a better job passing the ball this week. They eliminate the 12th man completely. Seattle is a top 5 venue of hardest places to play in the NFL. Sunday Night, Primetime, under the lights; the fans won’t need any extra motivation. Seattle Wins IF: They stop the run. This will be a key for Seattle throughout the year. With Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson BOTH in the Seahawks secondary, that unit will be extremely difficult to pass on. They get pressure on Colin Kaepernick. If the front seven of Seattle can force Kaepernick into errand throws and poor decisions, that should bode very well for the Seahawks as a whole. They’re able to makeup for the loss of “Beastmode” Marshawn Lynch. Lynch was sent packing to Arizona in that deal for Peterson, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Seahawks backfield makes up for his loss. Prediction: Last week I went with the home team Redskins, and that didn’t pan out so well. This week, however; I’m going right back to the home team. Sunday night, in Seattle, I don’t see the Niners coming out of there with a victory. Aside from that, Kaepernick appeared to be too shaky for me in week one. Going up against what could be the best defense in the league, I just don’t see him improving THAT much in one week. I look for Russell Wilson to play a little better than his two INT performance last week, and I think he comes away with a key win. Seahawks 35, Niners 17. What say you Q Nation?! Hit up the poll as well as give some comments as to how you see it going down!