The San Francisco 49ers take on the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara this Thursday, and it should be one of the more interesting - and heated - matchups we've seen on Thanksgiving in some time. Both of these teams are fighting to gain ground in the loaded NFC West, and a loss could mean a huge hit for one team's playoff chances. So...who has the edge?
Neither of these teams has had much success through the air this year - San Francisco is 23rd in passing yards per game while Seattle ranks 30th. The last few weeks have been interesting, though - Anquan Boldin broke out for a huge day in San Francisco's win over Washington, but the run-heavy Seahawks have continued to lean heavily on Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch had huge games against the Giants and the Chiefs, but struggled in Seattle's 19-3 win over Arizona (kicker Steven Hauschka was responsible for 13 of Seattle's 19 points). The 49ers also didn't get anything going on the ground this Sunday, with Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde both struggling to make an impact. With neither offense looking sharp going into this one, don't expect any fireworks.
Seattle has the defensive edge, but don't underestimate San Francisco's guys. Rookie LB Chris Borland has been immense since entering the starting lineup, and despite the injuries that have depleted SF's squad, they've only let one team - Denver - put up more than 25 points on them this year. Three of their last four opponents haven't scored more than 13.
Seattle's D is no mystery - the 49ers know from experience just how good they are. Arizona is no offensive powerhouse, especially without Carson Palmer, but holding a (previously) 9-1 team to just a field goal is impressive no matter how you slice it.
What To Watch For:
- Can San Francisco establish the run? If the Seahawks shut down the 49ers run game early, that creates all kinds of problems for Colin Kaepernick, a player who needs to keep defenses on their toes to be at his best. The 49ers saw what Jamaal Charles did to the Seahawks two weeks ago, and they'll try to replicate that success.
- Can Seattle sustain drives? The Seahawks are extremely tough when they can dominate time of possession and wear defenses out with their running game, but they'll need to move the chains to make that happen. San Francisco will have to prevent Seattle from dominating the ball and force turnovers - if they can't do either, they're in for a long day.
- Will Vernon Davis finally break out? The 49ers TE has been a shadow of his former self so far this year, and his teammates would love for this to be the week he breaks out of his slump.
- Both Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick get picked off in the first half
- Both defenses hold their opponent to under 300 yards of offense
- We see no less than four total turnovers
- Seattle wins a slugfest on the road, 17-14Back to the San Francisco 49ers Newsfeed