Kyle Shanahan has been around for the past three games of the Seattle Seahawks’ dominance over the 49ers.
He'd prefer not to be reminded of an ongoing streak next season.
“Regardless of whether I’ve been here for two years or since 2013, I don’t like having to answer that question,” the coach said on "49ers Game Plan," which airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3).
“I don’t want to hear it for another year, that it’s been that long since the 49ers have beaten them. I’d like to only have to talk about that until Sunday and then not have to talk about it again.”
For the record, the Seahawks have beaten the 49ers in 10 consecutive head-to-head matchups, beginning with the victory in the NFC Championship game after the 2013 regular season. The Seahawks blasted the 49ers 43-16 two weeks ago in Seattle.
Here are four 49ers players to watch in the rematch Sunday at Levi’s Stadium:
QB Nick Mullens
Mullens threw for 300 yards against the Seahawks just two weeks ago.
Let’s clarify: Mullens threw for 300 yards against the Seahawks just two weeks ago ... in the second half.
Mullens finished with 414 passing yards, but nearly three-quarters of those yards came after halftime when the 49ers were hopelessly behind. Mullens will make his sixth consecutive start when the Seahawks come to Levi’s Stadium, and the 49ers must get off to a better start.
Mullens has thrown for 746 yards in the past two weeks. He ranks behind only Jimmy Garoppolo for most passing yards in his first five starts, and he has placed himself in an advantageous position to challenge C.J. Beathard for the backup role next season.
He even has caught the eye of Hall of Famer Joe Montana, who recognized that Mullens generally has been making good decisions.
“He knows he has to continue to do the things that he knows he can do and not try to become a player that he’s not,” Montana said.
SS Marcell Harris
Harris made his first NFL start two weeks ago in Seattle. It was a rough outing, as he missed three tackles, but his play dramatically improved last week with some big stops in the 49ers’ win over the Denver Broncos.
Harris will play close to the line of scrimmage, and he figures to be a major factor in the 49ers’ bid to slow down the Seahawks’ running game.
“I’m going to redeem myself with tackling, most definitely,” Harris said. “The first game I came out of, I felt like I didn’t do well. From here on out, that’s one of my biggest keys. Keep moving forward and keep stacking these games on top of each other.”
NT D.J. Jones
Jones replaced veteran nose tackle Earl Mitchell in the starting lineup last week, and he appeared to add some spark with his young legs. Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay was one of the hottest runners in the league, but the 49ers held him to 30 yards on 14 carries.
The 49ers’ defense will face a challenge against the Seahawks after yielding 168 rushing yards to them two weeks ago. Running backs Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis all have been used with success. Quarterback Russell Wilson also is a threat with his legs.
Jones likely will see the most action at nose tackle on base downs for the remainder of the season to show whether he's capable of being a starter next season.
TE George Kittle
After his 210-yard receiving game against the Broncos, Kittle isn't sneaking up on anyone. He already has put together the most prolific season for any tight end in 49ers history.
Kittle has been the 49ers’ most consistent offensive threat with 69 receptions for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns. Two weeks ago in Seattle, he caught six passes for 70 yards.