No. 1: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Russell Wilson
Ultimately, one of the biggest focal points for this contest will be which quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo or Russell Wilson, performs better. Whoever does likely finds himself on the winning side, as that was essentially the case when Seattle pulled off the overtime win back in Week 10 over San Francisco.
San Francisco 49ers
Wilson is a bona fide MVP candidate this season. Although, as mentioned earlier, his stats haven’t exactly been the best over recent weeks. Outside of an exceptional effort in Week 15 against the lowly Carolina Panthers, in which Wilson went 20-of-26 for 286 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 137.7, Wilson hasn’t enjoyed a 100-plus passer rating since Week 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And during that stretch, he’s thrown four interceptions, which stand in contrast to having tossed only one during all games leading up to that point.
We mentioned the increased sacks Wilson is taking as of late, too.
Garoppolo, meanwhile, had his up-and-down moments during the 49ers’ Week 16 home win against the Los Angeles Rams, looking rather shoddy at times for the first three quarters before coming through in the clutch in the fourth quarter, particularly those two 3rd-and-16 first-down conversions.
Garoppolo had a 66.2 passer rating the last time he faced off against Seattle, losing key turnovers, which led to Seahawks points. It’s anyone’s guess, and easily a true X-factor, whether or not the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field will have an impact on Jimmy G’s efforts.
The 49ers and Seahawks square off on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 8:20 p.m. ET.