Why the San Francisco 49ers will beat the Seattle Seahawks
49ers at Seahawks this Sunday
NBC Sports 49ers insider Matt Maiocco joins the conversation previewing the upcoming NFC West division matchup with the San Francisco 49ers (2-9) visiting the Seattle Seahawks (6-5).
Scroll through to see arguments for both why the 49ers will win (Maiocco) vs. why the Seahawks will win (our own NBC Sports Northwest Seahawks insider Aaron Fentress).
Why the 49ers will win
NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco says:
There is no question the 49ers will beat the Seahawks on Sunday . . . if just a couple things happen.
First, the 49ers will need to contain Russell Wilson. And when I write the word, “contain,” this is what I’m talking about: Wilson must drink so much chocolate milk with dinner on Saturday night that he oversleeps and misses the game. After all, the 49ers had no luck against Wilson even when they had multiple players who could rush the passer. Now, they have only DeForest Buckner.
Second, at least a half-dozen other Seahawks must read the schedule wrong and show up at Levi’s Stadium with the intent of eating turkey on the 50-yard line.
The 49ers are playing with a bunch of backups and third-stringers. There is no reason to believe that if both teams show up, the 49ers have any kind of legitimate chance against a playoff-caliber team.
But, just wait until next year. The 49ers and their No. 1 overall draft pick will take their shot next season at ending what will then be an 11-game losing streak against Pete’s team.
Why the Seahawks will win
NBC Sports Northwest Seahawks Insider Aaron Fentress says:
The only positive attribute San Francisco possesses that might give the Seahawks pause is its rushing defense, which ranks 10th in the NFL. Seattle struggled to put up impressive numbers on the ground against Chicago, Carolina and Dallas, each also ranked within the top 10 against the run.
But there is nothing else San Francisco does that should give the Seahawks any troubles. The 49ers are minus 17 in turnover differential having forced just two interceptions while allowing 23 touchdown passes. That is not going to cut it against quarterback Russell Wilson, even if Seattle’s running game has a subpar day. Wilson responded to exactly that situation at Carolina by passing for 349 yards in the win.
Bottom line: There is no way that a marginal rookie quarterback Nick Mullens leading a weak offense that’s backed only by a decent defense is going to win at CenturyLink against a Seattle team that since starting the season 0-2 is 6-3 with two of those losses coming by a combined seven points against the Los Angeles Rams (10-1).
Players to watch (SF)
Richard Sherman (CB): Playing against Wilson once again. These two got familiar with one another throughout Sherman’s Seahawks days and on the practice field. They know each others antics and ways but will Sherman get the better of Wilson this time in his debut as a 49er at Century Link Field?
DeForest Bucker (DE): One way to slow down Russell Wilson is to make sure he doesn’t escape the pocket. Two words to make sure that he doesn’t: DeForest Buckner. The 49ers defensive end will need all of his 6’7” frame, 300 lbs body, and quickness to do so. Buckner has recorded seven sacks on the season so far for the Niners.
George Kittle (TE): The second-year rookie out of Iowa is having a breakout season. Kittle has 56 receptions for 823 yards on the season so far and has proven to be a go-to receiver with good hands for rookie quarterback Nick Mullens.
San Francisco 49ers (2-9) at the Seattle Seahawks (6-5)
Location: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Kickoff Time: 1:25 PM (PT)
Line: SEA -10.0