The San Francisco 49ers have a chance to enact some revenge in Week 15, looking to finally beat the Seattle Seahawks after losing two weeks ago. Here are some key matchups to watch.
Two weeks ago, the San Francisco 49ers continued their elongated losing streak to the Seattle Seahawks — one that dates back to 2013 at home and 2011 on the road — by falling 43-16 in a lopsided blowout.
That Week 13 contest was the third in what’s turned into a four-game win streak for the suddenly surging Seahawks, who visit the Niners this Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. At 8-5, Seattle is in prime position to push for a Wild Card berth this postseason, while the 3-10 49ers can hope to play spoiler just like they did against the Denver Broncos last week.
It won’t be easy. According to Odds Shark, the Niners enter this contest as 4.5-point underdogs. It’s notably better than the long odds San Francisco received heading to CenturyLink Field in Seattle. But still.
For an upset to occur, the 49ers will have to avoid some of the numerous mistakes made all throughout their Week 13 debacle. Perhaps the win over Denver will garner some momentum here, but head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad is still a long ways away from legitimately threatening to knock off the Seahawks on a regular basis.
If it does happen, though, the Niners will have to win out in a number of key matchups throughout the game.
One of them in particular, Seattle’s rushing attack, will be one to watch.
No. 5: 49ers Run Defense vs. Seahawks Rushing Attack
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson didn’t need to make a lot of throws during his team’s previous victory over the Niners. He needed only 11 completions for 185 yards to be effective, although his four passing touchdowns surely helped.
Instead, Seattle gouged San Francisco for a whopping 168 yards on the ground, averaging 5.8 yards per carry in the process. Running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny rushed for 69 and 65 yards, respectively, reinforcing the notion the Seahawks are perfectly comfortable being a tough, physical run-first team.
No wonder their 2,000 rush yards in 2018 ranks tops in the NFL entering Week 15.
Despite the 49ers’ woeful defensive performance here, their defense still ranks 10th best allowing just 4.1 yards per attempt. The Niners did an excellent job bottling up Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay last week, holding the NFL’s leading average-yards-per-carry ball carrier to a mere 2.1 yards per attempt last Sunday.
Replicating those efforts will be key behind any San Francisco chance at an upset.