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Moore: It’s strange, but Seahawks should be rooting for 49ers this week

Jim Moore thinks the Seahawks should be rooting for the 49ers to win on Sunday. (Getty)

You’re never supposed to root for your biggest rival, right? But what if your rival is playing a team that’s right on your heels as you’re trying to win a division title? That’s the situation the Seahawks find themselves in Sunday night when the 49ers host the Rams.

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San Francisco is 2-3 and has lost all three of its games at home. Los Angeles is flying high at 4-1 and may be the best team in the NFC West even though the Seahawks’ 5-0 record says they are.

Statistically speaking, the Rams overall are a better team than the Seahawks, standing No. 4 in total defense and No. 5 in total offense. There’s not a department, offensively or defensively, where the Rams rank lower than 13th.

The Seahawks edge the Rams in most offensive categories but trail by a substantial margin in every defensive metric. Yet the standings show the Seahawks ahead of the Rams for the time being.

Maybe the Seahawks will knock off the Rams when the head-to-head matchups start against Sean McVay’s team, but they might as well build a bigger advantage in the meantime. So that’s why pulling for the 49ers Sunday night makes more sense than hoping they’ll lose for the fourth consecutive time at home.

If the 49ers looked like they were going anywhere this season, I’d hesitate to be fully on board with wanting them to win. A few weeks ago I thought that a team devastated by injuries would be right back where they were last year when they got healthy, but I’m not so sure about that anymore.

Jimmy Garoppolo and Raheem Mostert came back last week, and the Niners still got blown out by a Miami team that the Seahawks defeated two weeks ago. Here’s the other thing: Garoppolo was terrible in his return, and maybe it had to do with his high ankle sprain bothering him, or maybe he’s never going to be as good as he was last year.

There have always been questions about Garoppolo anyway, even when fully healthy. I’m inclined to think he’s slightly above average as a quarterback. When you thrown in the Super Bowl hangover that affects most teams, I don’t think the 49ers are going to be better than 8-8 this year even if they beat the Rams Sunday night.

But I get it, I understand why Brian Nemhauser of tweeted that you should “never, ever” root for your rival. I’d have to think long and hard about rooting for the Huskies, but I guess I’d have to make an exception if the Cougs needed Washington to beat another conference school for Washington State to win the Pac-12 North.

That’s what’s happening in this situation. At the end of the year, no one’s gonna review who the Rams lost to when they finish 11-5 and one game behind the 12-4 Seahawks in the division. But what if they beat the 49ers Sunday night and finish 12-4 and win the division over Seattle by virtue of a tiebreaker?

I’m pretty sure I was in my one math class at WSU long enough to know that a 5-0 team like the Seahawks will have a bigger lead over a 4-2 Rams team than a 5-1 Rams team. (By the way, I dropped that math class when I felt like the professor was speaking in a foreign language because I had no clue what was going on.)

So if you’re conditioned from previous seasons when you couldn’t stand Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers because they were your toughest competition in the NFC West, put it aside this year and root for them to beat the Rams Sunday night.

Follow Jim Moore on Twitter.

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