FanPost

NFC Championship Matchup

I’m sure you’ve learned by now that the NFC West has two teams appearing in next week’s NFC Title game. As many will be making predictions to the outcome of this game I felt it necessary to throw out my own. As a lover of stats I’m going to use PFF premium grades (Subscription required) and see how things shake out.

First I looked at the offensive side of the ball game.

Team Offense

Overall

Rank

Pass

Rank

Rush

Rank

Pass Block

Rank

Run Block

Rank

Penalty

Rank

Seahawks

21.4

17

42.1

6

30.5

2

-17.9

24

-45.3

23

12

30

SF 49ers

71.8

13

2.9

18

10.6

12

22.5

10

27.8

4

8

31

The overall offensive ability goes to the 49ers with an overall score of 13th. The Seahawks are only four positions lower with a 17, so let’s break it down a bit more by category.

At first look this seems to be all wrong when you see the Hawks with the number 6 pass, and number 2 rushing scores. The only way to explain this is to remember that those ratings for the smaller area’s such as Pass, Rush, etc. are made up from formulas that consider many factors besides yards gained or lost.

To me it boils down to overall efficiency based on the sub sets, and formulas used to calculate them. So if you consider these stats as efficiency ratings it will be easier to get your mind wrapped around them.

An example is Run Blocking. Seahawks have a dismal rank of 23rd in the NFL at run blocking. But they rate number 2 in rushing. That shows that the efficiency of the running backs is quite good despite the horrible blocking from the line. It also shows the quality of the running backs who are able to perform that well in spite of poor blocking.

The Seahawks have a big advantage in offensive capability at rushing and passing. I have to give the advantage to them in this game.

Let’s take a look at the two Defensive Matchups:

Team

Defense

Overall

Rank

Run Def.

Rank

Pass Rush

Rank

Pass Cov.

Rank

Penalty

Rank

ST

Rank

Seahawks

168.9

1

50.7

6

55.5

1

61.2

1

1.5

29

61.9

7

SF 49ers

127.1

3

54.3

5

28.2

7

30.2

2

14.4

13

39.7

12

Both teams rate very high overall, the Seahawks ranking number 1 and the 49ers number 3. The biggest disparity that shows up for the 49ers is the category of pass rushing. The defense on a whole could be even closer matched when you consider the 49ers draw fewer penalties than the Seahawks.

Once again the Seahawks show a distinct advantage with Special Teams ranking five spots higher than the 49ers.

The stats agree with my gut feelings that it would be a huge upset if the 49ers could win this game. True they won the first matchup, but that was way back in September and they were not able to beat the Niner’s during the late season contest. If you factor in this game will be at Seattle… the cards are definitely stacked against the 49ers.

As much as I dislike both teams, it does make the NFC West look good. Personally I’d rather have Seattle win this game than the 49ers. That’s only because San Francisco had their chance last year and I don’t want to see any team repeat…well except the Rams if we can make it in the upcoming season.

Thanks for reading!

OCR

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