Whether it be analysts, fans, or experts who played and have covered the NFL for x number of years, we can sometimes over analyze and over think a particular game. As many others and myself have been analyzing and commenting about the Week 14 NFC West showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, the analysis of this game has taken on many forms with a number of different angles.
At the end of the day, we can throw out all analysis about the game and simplify it to one particular area and that is that the team who rushes for the most yards on Sunday will win the game. Yes, some of you may say well that’s not much of an analysis and that well duh, of course if you out-rush your opponent you’re going to win almost all games. But in the 49ers-Seahawks game, this particular point is a noteworthy one as in the last five meetings between these two division rivals, the team that has won the rushing battle has won the game.
In the last two games of these divisional contests, both of which have been wins for the Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch has rushed for 111 yards and 98 yards with three combined rushing touchdowns. Contrast that to the numbers put up by Frank Gore who in the last two games has rushed for 28 yards and 16 yards with no rushing touchdowns. Clearly it is not hard to see that winning the rushing battle in this contest directly correlates to winning the game.
Heading into Sunday’s game both teams will need to have their running back go off for at least 75 yards rushing given that both have not had big rushing games in their last two outings. Aside from either Gore or Lynch going off and having a good game rushing the football against the opposing defense — both of which are tough as nails — the quarterback who is able to pick up significant yards rushing the football between Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson will come out on top. Either way, winning the rushing battle will mean winning the game on Sunday.