49ers news: Time of possession will be key in Week 13 vs. Seahawks

Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

CBS. 49ers -3.5. 4:25 p.m. ET. 6-5. 42. Sunday, Dec. 5. 3-8. 36

The 49ers have been ball-hogs the last three weeks, while the Seahawks simply haven’t. That approach shouldn’t change in a crucial Week 13 matchup.

The San Francisco 49ers have discovered a simple identity that works.

Don’t let opposing offenses have the ball.

This strategy from head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. has worked exceptionally well the last three weeks with the Niners pulling off wins against the Los Angeles Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings by executing great ball control and sustaining elongated drives.

Dominating the time of possession as a result.

As far as that time of possession during this three-game stretch, check out what San Francisco has done on its recent three-game win streak:

  • Week 10 vs. Los Angeles Rams: 39:03
  • Week 11 @ Jacksonville Jaguars: 38:22
  • Week 12 vs. Minnesota Vikings: 37:07

Week 10 opened up with an 11-minute drive, followed by a 13-minute, five-second opening drive against the Jaguars, which set a new record for longest offensive possession in the modern NFL era.

Now at 6-5 and holding onto the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff picture, the 49ers have the opportunity to continue this trend against the league’s worst offensive-possessing offense entering Week 13, the Seattle Seahawks.

49ers can dominate Seahawks in time of possession

The prospects of a Niners road victory up in Seattle at Lumen Field are always daunting. Despite the Seahawks being 3-8 on the season and coming off an embarrassing road loss on Monday Night Football to the Washington Football Team, records may as well be thrown out the window when these two NFC West rivals face off against each other.

And the Hawks would love nothing more than to sweep the season series regardless of what their record is otherwise.

Sure, it’s going to be more challenging for San Francisco to pull off a victory without its best offensive weapon, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who’ll miss at least a week with a groin injury.

But that doesn’t change the fact possession time works in the 49ers’ favor here.

Take a look at Seattle’s time of possession over the last three weeks:

  • Week 10 @ Green Bay Packers: 20:51
  • Week 11 vs. Arizona Cardinals: 19:38
  • Week 12 @ Washington Football Team: 18:20

As the Niners, who have been trending up in this department, the Seahawks are trending down.

Related Story: 49ers vs. Seahawks: Week 13 betting odds, prediction

In total, Seattle ranks dead last in the league with an average offensive drive time of just two minutes and 13 seconds, and it’s no surprise the Seahawks are also dead last in total non-overtime time of possesion at just 24:09 per game.

And, as the three-week split above shows, it’s not just because of quarterback Russell Wilson‘s finger injury that forced him to miss three starts. Wilson has been a part of the problem, too.

So, if San Francisco wants to buck a seemingly yearly narrative of struggling at Seattle, retaining possession has to be a primary objective.

The context for this is set up nicely.

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