Why this game is intriguing: Defense might win championships, but that only will be the case for one of these teams in this division race. It'll still be fun to watch them slug it out. The 49ers are ranked first in scoring defense, allowing a paltry 15.6 points per game. In second place? The Seahawks, having given up one more point on the season. Still wondering why these two teams top the NFC West? Me neither. Hard to block up front, stingy against the run, able to rely on hard-nosed players instead of scheme -- both teams seem to be in position to push others around in the postseason like they have in the regular season. What makes this showdown unbelievably enticing is that neither offense is a slouch. Not by a longshot. Seattle boasts the tough-minded Wilson and "Beast Mode" Lynch. San Francisco has the multi-talented Kaepernick and bruising Frank Gore. The 49ers and Seahawks can attack teams from so many places, quietly morphing into complete teams out West. The NFC West race takes center stage on Sunday night.
Browns QB Baker Mayfield expected to need shoulder surgery following the season
Ian Rapoport reports that Baker Mayfield is expected to require surgery to repair the torn labrum in his left shoulder, but the belief is that he can deal with the injury through the season. However, incurring more damage could make that plan challenging for the Browns QB.
Colts S Julian Blackmon suffered torn Achilles, out for season
The Colts will be without safety Julian Blackmon for the remainder of the 2021 season. The team announced the second-year safety tore his Achilles tendon in practice on Wednesday. It's a brutal hit to one of the rising young safeties in the NFL.