Sunday afternoon will feature an NFC West battle when the San Francisco 49ers (2-9) travel to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks (6-5). The 49ers are coming off of an embarrassing 27-9 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while the Seahawks have won two straight and are fighting for a playoff spot. While they won’t catch the 10-1 Los Angeles Rams, they could sneak into a wild-card spot if they play well down the stretch. Kickoff for this one is scheduled for 4:25 pm ET.
The point spread comes in with the Seattle Seahawks being 10-point favorites at home in this one. The over/under on total points scored is set at 45.5 points.
By The Numbers
On defense, the 49ers and the Seahawks are pretty comparable. The 49ers hold the advantage in total yards allowed per game at an average of 350.4 (good for 11th in the NFL) while the Seahawks are allowing opponents an average of 359.7 yards (16th in the league). Despite these discrepancies, it is the Seahawks who are generally allowing fewer points per game. The Seahawks are tied for 8th, allowing an average of 22.1 points, while the 49ers plummet to a tie for 26th, allowing 26.6 points per game.
Offensively, it is once again comparable. The Seahawks rank 16th in total average offense at 355.3 yards per game while the 49ers are right behind them at 17th with 355.2 yards per game. Scoring, though, once again goes to the Seahawks. They are 12th in the league averaging 25.1 points per game while the 49ers are 20th in the league averaging 21.7 points.
San Francisco Decimated By Injuries
If it is not one thing, it has been another when it comes to the injury bug in San Francisco this season. Whether it is quarterback Jimmy Garappolo, Jerick McKinnon, Marquise Goodwin, Pierre Garcon or a litany of others, they are constantly dealing with injury issues. These issues have led to backups having to play starter minutes, including at the quarterback position. Coach Kyle Shanahan has announced Mullens as the starter, but it would not shock me if CJ Beathard quickly entered if Mullens struggles. On the season, Mullens has thrown for 733 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions.
His leading target has been tight end George Kittle, who has gone for 823 yards, and 3 touchdowns this season. The problem, though, is there is little else after that, especially if Garcon and Goodwin don’t play.
On the ground, Matt Breida leads the 49ers. This season, Breida has gone for 738 yards and 3 touchdowns on 127 carries. He also has 18 receptions for 158 yards and 2 additional scores.
Defensively, the 49ers are actually pretty good against the run but struggle dearly against the pass. This season, they have given up 27 or more points a whopping 8 times. The defensive leaders are Fred Warner (64 tackles), DeForest Buckner (7 sacks) and Antone Exum and Jaquiski Tartt, who both have 1 interception apiece.
Seahawks Trying To Claw Into Contention
After a slow start to the season, the Seahawks have been relatively impressive lately, winning two in a row over the Green Bay Packers (27-24) and the Carolina Panthers (30-27). Russell Wilson leads the offense, and on the season has thrown for 2,531 yards, 25 touchdowns versus just 5 interceptions. He has been sacked 34 times, though. He has also added 231 yards rushing on 41 carries.
Wilson’s leading receivers this year have been Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin. Lockett has had a great season going for 661 yards and 8 touchdowns. Baldwin, who has struggled through some injuries this season, has 366 yards and 1 touchdown.
Their biggest weapon may be their run game. They have 3 running backs who have over 300 yards, but Chris Carson leads the way with 635 yards and 4 touchdowns on 144 carries. Mike Davis (386 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Rashaad Penny (304 yards, 1 touchdown) have also had success.
The defense for the Seahawks is led by Bobby Wagner (51 tackles), Frank Clark (10 sacks), and both Earl Thomas and Bradley McDougald (3 interceptions apiece).
Just Can’t Pick The 49ers
Anytime I see a spread of 10 points in the NFL I have a hard time not taking the underdog. This is one of those times I have to take the favorites, though, as the 49ers just seem to be a train wreck as of late. While they have played the run well, all other areas have struggled. Take last week for instance. They allowed Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, who has struggled to stay the team’s starter, to throw for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns. Additionally, they only scored 9 points against one of the worst defenses in the league, a team that has allowed an average of 30.7 this season. I just can’t do it, so I am taking the Seahawks despite giving up the 10 points.