After an upset at home against the Denver Broncos, the San Francisco 49ers jumped to a record of 3-10. Does that hinder their chances at the #1? The answer is no because the Oakland Raiders upset the Pittsburgh Steelers, so the strength of schedule tiebreaker still favors the 49ers. Two “wins” in one week for San Francisco, something we haven’t had this season.
The Seattle Seahawks will come to Levi’s Stadium this Sunday for the final matchup of the two teams for this season. If the 49ers play upset for the second week in a row, they will hurt the Seahawks chances for a playoff spot. The Raiders play the Cincinnati Bengals this week, a team at the bottom of their division. It would be possible for the Raiders to win again and the 49ers secure two wins in another week again, but don’t count on it. If they lose, they stay at the top spot for the #1 overall pick.
Let’s start the preview:
The 49ers only managed 16 points two weeks ago against Seattle. Turnovers and calls going against them really hurt their momentum to put points on the board. It also didn’t help to have Matt Breida exit the game early and not come back. They relied on Jeff Wilson Jr., who did have a solid game.
Breida is a limited participant in practice currently and he didn’t play last week. If he’s not fully healthy, I wouldn’t play him out there. I’d let Wilson continue getting carries. After all, he had 90 rushing yards against Denver’s defense last week. Also, the 49ers ran numerous screens for their running backs two weeks ago and they should do it again because it was working efficiently.
Nick Mullens threw for 414 yards and two touchdowns two weeks ago. Those numbers don’t correlate with 16 points, but Mullens played better than most expected in a haunting environment. It should suit him to be home, throwing to guys like George Kittle and Dante Pettis. Kittle is coming off a 210-yard receiving performance with a touchdown on only seven catches. Pettis is turning into the receiver the 49ers drafted him to be, getting touchdown catch after touchdown catch every week. Pettis, along with Marquise Goodwin, are also on the limited participant list on the injury report. You can’t beat Seattle without your two best performing wide receivers.
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You’re not going to win if you allow 43 points to Seattle’s offense. There’s just no way unless you have a firepower offense like the Los Angeles Rams (besides the Chicago game) or the New Orleans Saints (besides the Dallas game).
Russell Wilson completed 11/17 passes and also had four touchdowns. It was too easy for him, especially because he has a brutal rushing attack behind him. The 49ers struggled containing the #1 rushing attack which Seattle has, but played much more inspiring defense last week against Denver.
Denver’s young star running back Phillip Lindsay was held to 30 yards on 14 carries against San Francisco’s run defense. Lindsay is one of the top rushers in the league in terms on yardage. If the 49ers contain the rush like they did last week and force Russell Wilson to throw more than 17 times while making it difficult for him, the 49ers may have a chance to keep things close and pull out a win.
Some guys to watch on defense for San Francisco are D.J. Reed, who was a monster last week, as well as rookie Marcell Harris. Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon need to have some excellent coverage against these crafty Seahawk receivers. Of course, DeForest Buckner is always one to keep an eye on.
San Francisco struggles in the first half, but makes things interesting in the second. However, they come up short and lose 27-20. – Sanjesh Singh is the managing editor for the San Francisco 49ers on Full Press Coverage He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @TheSanjeshSingh Follow @FPC_49ers and Facebook.