SF 49ers vs. Seahawks: 5 reasons why Niners pull off upset
By Peter Panacy
No. 2: Seahawks run defense hasn’t been as effective as of late
Recall that figure of the Seahawks allowing opponents to rush for an average of 4.1 yards per carry so far this season, which is good for eighth best in the league.
As a whole, this would seem to be an obstacle for an SF 49ers offense predicated on the ground game, particularly with running backs Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert shelved with injuries. While there’s going to be pressure on fellow tailbacks Jerick McKinnon, JaMycal Hasty and potentially Tevin Coleman, should he be available after suffering his own knee injury earlier, recent evidence suggests Seattle’s run defense isn’t quite as imposing as the initial figure indicates.
Through the first three weeks of the season, the Seahawks allowed the Falcons, Patriots and Cowboys to rush for 72, 67 and 61 yards, respectively, which certainly deflated the yards-per-carry average and net rushing totals.
Over the last two weeks, however, Seattle surrendered 201 and 159 rush yards to the Vikings and Cardinals, respectively. The Vikings, who run an offense not unlike that of the SF 49ers, averaged 4.9 yards per attempt that game.
For a Niners team averaging 4.8 yards per carry and wishing to control the clock by imposing its will on the ground, this particular collection of stat splits factors well into the chances for a San Francisco upset.