As the disappointing 2018-19 season comes down to its final stretch, the San Francisco 49ers will prepare to face the Seattle Seahawks for the first time this season. The two divisional rivals are on two completely different paths this season: San Francisco is vying for the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, while the Seahawks are in a race to get a NFC Wild Card spot for the playoffs.
With Jimmy Garoppolo coming in last year and the 49ers playing better than they have been in a long time, many were excited to face the Seahawks this season. The Seahawks had a terrible offseason, losing guys like Richard Sherman to the 49ers, and others like Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett. Seattle was supposed to be the team with a struggling 2018-19 season, but its been the complete opposite.
This was the season where the 49ers were supposed to end their drought of constantly losing a team which they haven’t beaten since 2013(!). With the way things have gone, that drought may continue for another season.
The game was supposed to be a Sunday Night Football match-up, but the NFL decided to flex it out and instead, the game will kick-off at 1:25 PM PST.
Nick Mullens will need to have a really, really good game to give the 49ers a chance. He didn’t against a bad Tampa Bay defense and the 49ers offense only mustered nine points. That definitely is not acceptable against the Seahawks, or any team really unless you have a better defense, which the 49ers don’t have right now.
The Seahawks defense allows 238.4 pass yards per game. Mullens averages 244.3 per game, so it’s almost even. A downfall to this stat is that the 49ers will be without Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin again this week, so receivers like Dante Pettis and Kendrick Bourne will need to step up. Pettis showed last week he can and deserves more targets his way.
The best way for the 49ers to get things going on offense is through Matt Breida, who is coming off another 100-yard rushing game on only 14 carries. Seattle’s run defense is 22nd in the league, allowing 121.4 yards per game. The 49ers, on the other hand, average 134.9 a game, fifth in the league. It’s been one of their strong suits this season and Breida has been a big part of it.
San Francisco’s defense has been the most inconsistent unit this season. They clearly have the talent, but most players haven’t played up to standards, or like how they ended last season.
Seattle’s offense comes in averaging 25.1 points per game, good for 12th in the league. The 49ers defense allows 26.6 points a game, ranking 27th in the league.
Looking at the passing game, Russell Wilson is still one of the best in the game. Wilson’s also gotten solid production from Tyler Lockett, who is showing he’s more than a special teams man, as he leads their team in catches, yards, and touchdowns. Doug Baldwin is still a big threat, despite some injuries. David Moore has been the biggest surprise for the team this season, with a whopping 18.8 yards per catch and five touchdowns. The corners for San Francisco will need to play a great game against underrated receivers.
The Seahawks also have the best rushing attack in the league, ranking number one with 147.1 yards a game. That’s due to the fact that all three of their primary running backs are averaging 4.4 yards or more per carry. Chris Carson has been their main back, while former 49er Mike Davis and youngster Rashaad Penny are getting their fair share of carries. Wilson’s mobility has always been a trouble for the 49ers defense, and it looks like it might hurt them again, unless they have a plan to stop it. The 49ers have the 10th best rush defense in the league, allowing 102.7 yards a game.
This looks like it could be a close game on paper, but due to the fact there is too much to overcome on the 49ers side of things, they will most likely fall on the road.
Prediction: 49ers 16, Seahawks 27