San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks welcome the San Francisco 49ers to CenturyLink Field on Sunday for an NFC West matchup of two teams looking for their first win after extremely underwhelming starts to the campaign.
Seattle suffered a 17-9 loss at the hands of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, with Russell Wilson unable to get anything going through the air while the ground game also floundered as a result of another typically dismal showing from a much-maligned offensive line.
Meanwhile, the 49ers were well beaten by the Carolina Panthers, their 23-3 home loss defined by mistakes that cancelled out a resilient effort by the defense after losing rookie linebacker Reuben Foster to a high ankle sprain in the first quarter.
San Francisco’s offensive line also had issues, and that will need to change in order for them to have any chance of claiming a first win in Seattle since 2011.
Keys to the Game
The 49ers have not beaten the Seahawks in any game since a 2013 win at Candlestick Park.
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That season saw San Francisco and Seattle contest a pulsating NFC Championship game but the meetings since have been anything but exciting and, in last year’s corresponding fixture in Week 2, the game was over by the end of the first quarter as two Christine Michael touchdown runs put the Seahawks 14-0 to the good, they went on to triumph, 37-18.
San Francisco simply cannot have a similar start this time around. Thankfully a rushing defense that ranked last in the league last year looks to have improved and allowed only 116 yards on the ground in the opener.
For Seattle to be able to run the ball as they did on San Francisco last year, or be able to do anything well on offense, then the line has to play well. Wilson was harassed all game against the Packers and was sacked three times. If San Francisco can cause similar disruption after failing to register a sack against Carolina, then the Niners will have a genuine chance and concern for Seattle’s O-Line will grow.
If they cannot, then questions will be asked about the trifecta of first-round picks on San Francisco’s defensive front will be asked and the Seahawks should be able to breathe a sigh of relief on the back of another win.
The 49ers’ offensive line was just as bad in Week 1. Brian Hoyer was sacked four times but head coach Kyle Shanahan appears set to try to shore things up by replacing main culprit Zane Beadles — who conceded four hurries and the sack that led to Hoyer’s fumble, per Pro Football Focus — with Laken Tomlison.
San Francisco will hope that switch pays dividends, but look for Shanahan to try to get the ball out of Hoyer’s hands quickly to try to negate the impact of a fearsome Seattle pass rush.
Point Spread: Seattle -14
Moneyline: San Francisco +650, Seattle -1000
Odds from Bet365 via Sportsbook Review
It’s difficult to imagine either team being quite as bad on offense as they were last week. Seattle should be extremely confident given their dominance in this matchup and the homefield advantage they will have. Expect Shanahan to make adjustments to get his group going after failing to score a touchdown at home, but whatever moves he makes are unlikely to be enough to end the Seahawks’ hoodoo over the Niners.
Final Score: San Francisco 49ers: 20, Seattle Seahawks: 30