Seattle (7-2; 4-5 ATS) at San Francisco (8-0; 5-3 ATS) (Monday night)
Early line: Niners (minus-6 points). Total: (46)
SEA 4TH OFF; SF 1ST DEF
SEA 8TH RUN; SF 14TH vs. RUN
SEA 9TH PASS; SF 1ST vs. PASS
SEA 7TH PTS; SF 2ND PTS ALLOWED
SF 7TH OFF; SEA 25TH DEF
SF 2ND RUN; SEA 13TH vs. RUN
SF 22ND PASS; SEA 28TH vs. PASS
SF 3RD PTS; SEA 22ND PTS ALLOWED
SEA T3RD TO/TA; SF T7TH TO-TA
Seahawks lead all-time series 25-16-0, but these NFC West rivals split season series in 2018. Seahawks won first game last season 43-16 in Week 13 at Seattle, despite being outgained 452-331. Seahawks outrushed SF 168-66 and registered 3 takeaways, including an INT that was returned 98 yards for Seattle’s final score by MLB Bobby Wagner. Niners turned tables on Seahawks in Week 15 at SF with a 26-23 win in OT on 36-yard FG with 3:06 remaining in extra period by Niners PK Robbie Gould, who connected on 4 of 4 FGs (28, 33, 45, 36) in a game in which Seattle outgained SF 385-351. Seattle has won four of its last five trips to SF and a win would move the Seahawks only one-game behind in the division race. Entering Week 10, Niners are league’s only remaining undefeated team.
QB Russell Wilson was brilliant again, throwing for five touchdowns in SEAHAWKS’ 40-34 Week 9 home win in OT over the pesky Bucs, who made Seattle sweat big-time.
Wilson now has 22 touchdowns and just one interception through nine games. But the fact Wilson needed such a starring performance to outlast the two-win Bucs is another indication of the tenuous line SEAHAWKS are walking.
SEAHAWKS’ schedule gets drastically tougher beginning this week with Monday-night clash against unbeaten San Francisco. Seattle has six games against teams with winning records over the final seven weeks.
SEAHAWKS’ offense that gained almost 500 yards (492 to be exact) in Week 9 was offset by leaky defense that allowed Bucs 418 total yards and 6-of-14 3rd-down conversions.
The connection between Wilson and SEAHAWKS’ top two wide receivers is seemingly unstoppable at the moment. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are on the cusp of huge seasons while still playing in an offense that is predicated on establishing the run.
Lockett had a career-high 13 catches on 18 targets for 152 yards and 2 TDs vs. TB. Metcalf was nearly as good, with 6 catches for 123 yards and a 53-yard TD in the 4th quarter. And SEAHAWKS are about to add WR Josh Gordon to the mix after claiming him off waivers last week, although head coach Pete Carroll is tempering expectations for what Gordon could add (check Gordon’s status).
Lockett became the first SEAHAWKS wide receiver since Brian Blades in 1995 to have at least 150 yards receiving and 2 TD catches in the same game in Week 9. Lockett is on pace for 104 catches for 1,363 yards and 10 TDs. The catches and yards would both be franchise records for the Seahawks.
While overshadowed by the Lockett-Metcalf duo, there was no denying the Week 9 impact of SEAHAWKS TE Jeff Hollister, who finished with 4-37-2 receiving on 6 targets, including his game-winning 10-yard TD catch in overtime.
SEAHAWKS’ O-line had one of its best all-around games against the Bucs. Seattle rushed for 145 yards, the most allowed all season by TB’s top-ranked run defense.
Despite two fumbles, SEAHAWKS RB Chris Carson rushed for 105 yards and became the first back to top 100 yards against TB this season. And in the pass game, Wilson had time and clear passing lanes to throw. He was sacked three times, but only once in the second half and overtime.
On the downside, SEAHAWKS’ pass rush continues to be a noticeable disappointment. The signing of DE Ziggy Ansah and the trade for DE Jadeveon Clowney, combined with what Seattle already had, was supposed to create havoc for opponents.
Clowney has done his part for SEAHAWKS, even if the sack numbers are disappointing. He has found a way to be stout in the run game and create pressure on the passer, even if the QB hits and sacks aren't there.
But Ansah has been invisible for SEAHAWKS outside of a few key plays. Ansah played just 52% of the snaps against Tampa Bay and recorded only one tackle.
Another major disappointment for SEAHAWKS has been PK Jason Myers. He missed two FGs and an extra point vs. TB. All 3 kicks missed were to the north end of CenturyLink Field, the last coming on the final play of regulation from 40 yards and would have kept Seattle from having to face overtime against the Bucs.
Myers is just 3-of-8 from 40 or more yards this season and 5-of-9 for all kicks in Seattle. Those are not the numbers SEAHAWKS expected after making such a hefty commitment to Myers.
In addition to Gordon, check status of SEAHAWKS Ss Quandre Diggs (hamstring; DNP in Week 9) and Delano Hill (hip; DNP in Week 9)) and DT Quinton Jefferson (oblique; DNP in Week 9).
In SEAHAWKS’ Week 13 win over Niners last season, Wilson had 11-17-185-4 TDs-0 INTs while getting sacked 3 times (140.9 QB rating) and 4-14 rushing and a long of 7, Carson had 13-69 rushing and a long of 23 and 3-39 receiving on 4 targets and a long of 27, RB Rashaad Penny had 7-65-1 rushing and a long of 20 (TD), WR Jaron Brown had 3-67-2 receiving on 3 targets and a long of 45, Lockett had a 52-yard TD catch and Wagner had a sack-FF-FR, 2 PBs, 2 TFLs and a team-high 12 tackles, in addition to his aforementioned INT.
In SEAHAWKS’ Week 15 loss to Niners last season, Wilson had 23-31-237-2 TDs-0 INTs (117.3 QB rating) while getting sacked 3 times and 5-15 rushing and a long of 5, Carson had 22-119-1 rushing and a long of 26, WR Doug Baldwin (retired) had 4-77-2 receiving on 6 targets and a long of 35 (TD) and DT Jarran Reed had 2 sacks, 4 hurries and 3 tackles.
NINERS, who have been the NFL's biggest surprise in the first half of the 2019 season, start what figures to be a much more challenging second half of their schedule with perhaps their toughest test yet on the road in Seattle.
Two years to the day that QB Jimmy Garoppolo arrived in San Francisco to join an 0-8 team, he played perhaps his best game with the NINERS in 28-25 Week 9 Thursday-night home victory over Cardinals to improve team to 8-0 at the halfway point of the season after five years of struggles.
NINERS head coach Kyle Shanahan joined Tom Landry and Marvin Lewis as the third coach to start a season 8-0 for a franchise after previously losing the first eight games of the season.
With NINERS’ run game that had been surprisingly potent stopped and the defense tired on a short week, Garoppolo went 28-for-37 for 317 yards and 4 TDs and was at his best in key spots. He went 13-for-15 for 160 yards, and all four of his TD passes came on third or fourth down, with his conversion to TE Ross Dwelley sealing Week 9 victory.
NINERS offense gained 411 total yards and converted 11-of-17 3rd downs in Week 9 win over Cardinals. RB Matt Brieda led 31-101 ground attack with 15-78 rushing and a long of 31, and WR Emmanuel Sanders led receiving corps with 7-112-1 receiving on 9 targets and a long of 32. Pro Bowl TE George Kittle pitched in with a 30-yard TD catch.
NINERS’ top-ranked total defense (241.0 ypg) was off its game, allowing Cardinals 357 total yards and registering zero takeaways, and unit suffered what could be a big blow in Week 9 win when LB Kwon Alexander suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle.
NINERS CB Emmanuel Moseley had been outstanding since stepping in for the injured Ahkello Witherspoon, allowing just five catches on 15 targets for 40 yards in his first four games in the lineup, according to SportRadar. But Moseley wasn't as effective vs. AZ and made a bad read on a pass to Andy Isabella that led to an 88-yard touchdown.
CB Richard Sherman, who performed at an elite level most of his time in Seattle before joining NINERS last season, had a PB and 5 tackles in Week 9 win over Cardinals.
Kittle hurt his knee in Week 9 game and was unable to play on final drive, but Shanahan was hopeful he would be able to practice this week. NINERS should also be getting several key players back from injury soon, including starting OTs Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, FB Kyle Juszczyk and Witherspoon. (check status off all these players).
In NINERS’ Week 13 loss to Seahawks last season, QB Nick Mullens had 30-48-414-2 TDs-1 INT (95.3 QB rating), WR Dante Pettis had 5-129-2 on 7 targets with a long of 75 (TD), Kittle had 6-70 receiving on 9 targets and a long of 28 and DRT DeForest Buckner had 2 sacks and 7 tackles.
In NINERS’ Week 15 win over Seahawks last season, Mullens had 20-29-275-1 TD-0 INTs (110.6 QB rating) while getting sacked 3 times, Brieda had 96 total yards (17-50 rushing, 5-46 on 5 targets receiving), Pettis had 5-83 receiving on 5 targets and along of 30, TE Grant Celek had a 41-yard TD catch and Buckner had 2 sacks, 3 hurries, 4 TFLs and team-high 11 tackles.
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