Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Kragthorpe: Seahawks the pick over 49ers in NFC

First Published Aug 31 2013 03:31 pm • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:33 pm

The San Francisco 49ers reached the 5-yard line in their quest to win the Super Bowl and become the first team ever to fulfill my preseason choice as the world champion.

They failed to score, losing to Baltimore. My response? Making their NFC West rivals, the Seattle Seahawks, my pick to win it all this season.

At a glance

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

I’m motivated by more than bitterness. The Seahawks were surging at the end of last season, and they improved themselves as much as any NFL team. Their offseason additions enhanced a defense that already could make a case as the NFL’s best, and they have the hunger that stems from coming close the previous year.

They’re almost exactly where the 49ers were as of last September, except they already have their dynamic, young quarterback in place. Thanks largely to Russell Wilson’s development, the Seahawks won their last five games of the 2012 regular season — including a 42-13 rout of San Francisco — to finish 11-5, then beat Washington in a wild-card playoff game before losing 30-28 at Atlanta in the divisional round.

Seattle added defensive linemen Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to solidify a group that will miss Bruce Irvin during a four-game suspension. The Seahawks’ other free-agency prize, receiver Percy Harvin, is out until about Thanksgiving following hip surgery, but a big chunk of the season will remain.

Harvin’s absence will not affect the Seahawks as much as receiver Michael Crabtree’s injury will hurt the 49ers, because Harvin is a bonus piece, not already vital to the offense.

Wilson will keep improving, and a defense anchored by second-year middle linebacker Bobby Wagner of Utah State will remain ferocious. The Seahawks have every opportunity to win the NFC West and gain home-field advantage for some portion of the playoffs, and CenturyLink Field is an intimidating venue for visitors.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.comTwitter: @tribkurt

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.