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Saturday, December 11, 2010
The night ahead: Bracing for Sunday

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The San Francisco 49ers were supposed to be the team to watch in the NFC West this season.

My trip to Candlestick Park for their Week 14 game against Seattle will mark only the fourth time this season I've attended one of their games. It'll be my ninth Seattle game, counter to expectations heading into the season.

Week 15 presents interesting options. The 49ers visit San Diego in a game that could mean quite a bit, or nothing, for San Francisco. The Seahawks are home against Atlanta. Kansas City visits St. Louis. I'm tempted to visit the Rams because the matchup appeals and because I've seen Seattle so much this season.

Red lettering on the chart identifies the games I've attended, usually based on where teams stand within the division at the time and the overall appeal of the matchup. I also try to favor games featuring two teams from the division.

The games Sunday will be more challenging to track than usual. All three games involving NFC West teams kick off in the general 4 p.m. ET time slot.