For the first time under the Jim Harbaugh era, the San Francisco 49ers will be double-digit underdogs as they face the hated rival Seattle Seahawks. Two teams who are clearly going in opposite directions, as the 49ers can’t seem to buy a win while the Seahawks are hitting their mid-season form, it looks like to be a lop-sided one in Seattle. However, if the 49ers can somehow regain their identity as a smash-mouth team, this game should be closer than expected.
The 49ers who are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Oakland Raiders, could not score nor generate a pass-rush on the defensive side of the ball. A team that looked defeated from the start, they are clearly not the same as in year’s past. Whether using an empty backfield or five wide-receiver sets, the 49ers offense has no identity as it changes from week-to-week. And although they have the weapons to make the necessary changes, it’s clearly creating confusion messing with the team’s chemistry. This is why I believe they should go back to what they do best, run the football.
The 49ers rank dead last on first-down efficiency, as they average a lowly 4.95 yards. Last year, they ranked fourth in that category with an average of 6.6 yards. What’s the difference? The 49ers ran the ball more than any other team on first-down last season whereas this season the running game has been somewhat non-existent. Good things happen when you run RB Frank Gore, stacked box or not, so if the 49ers want a fighting chance of salvaging the season, it will have to start with Gore and that power-running scheme. Will 49ers’ OC Greg Roman and Harbaugh use it? That remains to be seen.
The Seahawks who continue to look strong on both sides of the ball, will look to sweep the 49ers in 2014 while diminishing their playoff hopes. Starting with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and RB Marshawn Lynch, it will be those two studs that will make life difficult for the 49ers defense. Lynch, who seems to have career games against the 49ers should go over the century mark as I predict him to have a stat line around 25 carries for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
Look, we can talk about how the 49ers can get back on track. But let’s face it, until they run the ball effectively, there’s little to be analyzed as who should win this football game. In November football it’s all about running the ball and stopping the run, and while the 49ers are hitting on one of those, it’s the Seahawks who are capitalizing on both.
With the 49ers trying to stay alive in the playoff hunt, I don’t see that happening against the Seahawks and the 12th man as I predict a blowout 34-6.
NinerFans.com 10-3 (Over/Under)
With the total points set at 38, I would take the under. Although my total points hit 40, I would believe the 49ers put up some kind of fight as they hold the Seahawks to field-goals on some of their drives.
NinerFans.com 6-7 (line)
With the 49ers being -10 point favorites, I would pick Seattle. Not an easy pick here and I would stay away but the way the 49ers have been playing, the Seahawks should have an easy blowout victory.
Fantasy Football (9 out of 34)
As you know we select three players each game who we think will score touchdowns (quarterbacks omitted). Here are this week’s picks.
QB Russell Wilson (rush)
RB Marshawn Lynch
WR Jermaine Kearse
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