After watching the opening game of the NFL season Thursday night, it has become even more clear that, for once, the San Francisco 49ers have caught a break: they do not play the Seattle Seahawks until the end of the season. This is big break for a two main reasons. First and foremost, the 49ers are struggling a lot with injuries and one gigantic suspension to start the season. Secondly, the Seahawks are starting the season strong.
True, the Green Bay Packers could not block up front to save their lives and the score exaggerates the Seahawks victory to a small extent, but at the same time, Seattle showed why they are thought of so highly, beyond the fact that they happened to win the Super Bowl last season. As much as 49ers fans hate to admit it, the Seahawks are a really good team. It is a big break, though, to have the opportunity to let the season progress, with all of its twists, turns, fate, and breaks, before facing — twice — what will once again be the 49ers’ biggest test of the regular season.
Teams that start really strong rarely end up playing as strongly towards the end of the season and into the playoffs. There are exceptions, but in general, it is best to peak in the playoffs or as close to them as possible. If the 49ers are to make the Super Bowl, it would help if they win the division. If they are to win the division, it would help to beat Seattle. If they are to beat Seattle, it would be best to play a declining Seahawks team while getting hot. This may not be the case in November and December, but it very well could be, especially as it would appear that the 49ers will be much, much stronger then compared to now.
After traveling more than any team should over the past couple of seasons, the 49ers finally have caught a break on the scheduling front. Perhaps they can take advantage of it.