Anybody who watched the Cardinals last year saw that they needed help at the quarterback position. Considering their options, Arizona has to be happy with their off-season addition of Carson Palmer.
It was only a few years ago that the NFC West was the laughingstock of the league, with Seattle snatching a division title in 2010 despite a 7-9 record. The situation was so unsightly that suggestions of altering the playoff seeding system became an off-season talking point.
If you’re penciling in the 49ers for Super Bowl XLVIII, hold that thought. History and a tough NFC West might hold San Francisco back.
The perception around 49er Nation is that the team needs to get Vernon Davis back into the offensive flow if they want to have a chance at the Super Bowl. The is not completely accurate though. In fact his decrease statistically is actually a good thing as it points to a more balanced attack for a team that was one dimensional a year ago.
As the 49ers sit back and wait for the rest of the NFC to duke it out in the first round of the playoffs, they can continue to focus on getting healthy and figured out what to do with David Akers. Although there is still a lot to be determined, both of these issues are being addressed, and the team will have a little over a week to determine what direction they want to go in the kicking department, and the status of Justin Smith.
Other then being able to play at home, by securing the No. 2 seed in the NFC, San Francisco gave themselves an extra week to rest up before their first playoff game. The time off is just as important as home field advantage as the 49ers are nursing several injuries and will hope that the extra week will be enough to get back Justin Smith in time. Even if Smith is able to tough it out, the team needs to make sure that the best thing for both Smith and the team is for him to play.
David Akers wrapped up a regular season that he would like to forget. Unfortunately, with the playoffs around the corner and a team that needs contributions from all phases, the team can’t forget. The result is that with time to prepare for their eventual playoff game, San Francisco is working out kickers to make sure that specials teams is not again the downfall of this team in the postseason.
In a 16 game, 17 week season, a football team goes through a lot up ups and downs. San Francisco’s regular season was no exception, luckily with more good then bad, and completed a remarkable journey finding themselves right where they were a year ago. The reason for the teams trip back to the playoffs is the man on the sideline, Jim Harbaugh.
After a disappointing game last week, San Francisco bounced back against Arizona, and just in time for the playoffs. After a slow start, both sides of the ball woke up in the second half and the team cruised to a relatively easy victory. The 49ers can feel very good as it enters the playoffs with a lot in their favor, as the final week went exactly as they could have hoped.
Michael Crabtree caught touchdown passes of 49 and 7 yards and finished with a career-high 172 yards, leading the 49ers to a 27-13 victory against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.