Monday, January 13, 2014
Rams fans split on NFC title game
By Nick Wagoner
ST. LOUIS -- As soon as I posed the question to followers on Twitter, I had a pretty good idea of what I'd get.
The question was simple: St. Louis Rams fans saw plenty of the two NFC finalists this year so who is their early winner on Sunday -- Seattle Seahawks or San Francisco 49ers?
Of course, most Rams fans don't particularly care for either of the team's NFC West rivals so it was clear that such a question would lend itself to plenty of sarcasm and humor. On that, I was not left disappointed but there were also plenty of good, well-reasoned responses on both sides.
The Rams went a combined 0-4 against Seattle and San Francisco this season, falling convincingly in all but the narrow 14-9 loss to the Seahawks on "Monday Night Football."
Considering that the Seahawks and Niners split their two meetings this season and the nature of the rivalry, it's no surprise that results were nearly split down the middle on the two sides. Although it's a small sample size, Rams fans went with the upset, choosing the 49ers with 15 votes to Seattle's 13.
For the most part, it was hard to argue the logic on either side.
The majority of the voters that chose San Francisco did so on the idea that the Niners are simply playing better than the Seahawks right now. Seattle's defense has been excellent but the Seahawks have struggled to put together consistent offensive performances.
Here's a small sample of those choosing the Niners:
Those rolling with Seattle also make plenty of valid points. At the top of the list is Seattle's continued home field advantage and its outstanding defense. The idea that playing at home can sway a result is often overblown but I've been to Seattle enough to know that it's very, very real in the case of the Seahawks.
Seattle has steamrollered the 49ers the past two times the teams have met in Seattle and though past results are hardly a surefire indicator of future ones, Seattle's wins have been awfully overwhelming.
Here's a small sample of those choosing the Seahawks:
We'd be remiss to let those opting for a different kind of prediction having their say:
And another one that is probably most certain to be correct:
Before the season began, I predicted a Seattle-Denver Super Bowl so I'm probably going to stick with that prediction, though I'll wait until Saturday's playoff notes to make my final call. I do believe the Niners are playing better than just about anyone right now but also see the value in Seattle playing the game at home. I think there's one prediction I feel quite confident in making: This game should be a hard-fought, physical battle between two great teams. For those who enjoy big boy football, you couldn't ask for much more.