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.
After 16 weeks of football, the 49ers and Cardinals enter the final game banged up. This is not a surprise, due to the nature of the sport, and injuries are something that all teams deal with. In this match-up it’s the 49ers that have more impact players listed as injured, and will be without the services of at least one key player. San Francisco will hope to avoid any more injuries in the season finale, as another injury could be disastrous for their playoff hopes.
The NFC West showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals, at least on paper, is a complete mismatch. The 49ers are the division leader, preparing for the playoffs, while the Cardinals sit in last place and are getting ready for next year.
After losing last week to the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers failed to lock up the NFC West. The first team goal of 2013 was to win the division, and they can still do so with a win in the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Both the offense and defense have struggled for the last game and a half, however it’s the defense that not only needs to play much better, but should also have no problem carrying San Francisco into the playoffs, with momentum at their back.
The one thing that no team can control is injuries. This year San Francisco has been healthy for the most part, but as the season winds down their luck has changed. If they hope to finish the season strong they will need to overcome a few key injuries, which will be difficult, but far from impossible.
Patrick Willis has become the face of the San Francisco 49er franchise. He is the middle linebacker on a team know for its defensive prowess. As his teammates have stepped up their level of play, he has been able to focus more on his position, and the result is a top tier defense. Willis has also made an impact off the field where he remains involved in the community and is someone who realizes that he is in a position to help those around him.
The rematch between the two best NFC West teams was not the nail biter that it was hyped to be. The game figured to be a low scoring, physical struggle, but instead saw Seattle continue their hot streak, as the Seahawks handed San Francisco by far their worst defeat of the season.