As the San Francisco 49ers (2-4) try to muster up their first wining streak of the 2015 season, it won’t be easy as they face a familiar divisional foe in the Seattle Seahawks (2-4). Two 2-4 teams who have been struggling all season long, it will be a matchup in which the game will be won down in the trenches.
A task easier said than done for the 49ers offense as second-year RB Carlos Hyde continues to nurse a sore foot, it will be interesting to see if rookie RBs Jarryd Hayne and RB Mike Davis can fulfill that heavy workload.
The 49ers currently rank 18th in the NFL in rushing, as they dropped a few spots from last week’s game, but should try to get back to their smash-mouth ways, as they try and win the time of possession. The Seahawks defensive front is not as formidable as in year’s past, but they are still a very strong unit and will look to contain the 49ers rushing game as the two teams are mirror images of each other.
If the 49ers are to have any offensive success, they will need to run the ball for four-quarters, as that will then open up the passing game for QB Colin Kaepernick to thrive. Kaepernick is not a one-dimensional offensive quarterback where he can single-handedly win games with his arm, so the 49ers better have a balanced attack or it could mean disaster for the struggling offense.
With the 49ers trying to move the chains on the offensive side of the ball, it will be the defense where I have my doubts. No disrespect to ILB NaVorro Bowman and ILB Michael Wilhoite, but those two backers have not done the best job in pass-coverage and I’m sure the Seahawks are well aware of this weakness. Look for Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham to finish with a fantasy dream stat line, as he has a knack for playing well against the 49ers.
In four career games against San Francisco, Graham has racked up 24 catches for 253 yards and four touchdowns. Look for him to finish with a stat line around 8 catches for 90 receiving yards and two touchdowns, as the six-year veteran will be QB Russell Wilson’s security blanket all game long.
49ers DC Eric Mangini will do his best to mix up the coverage in order to provide a favorable matchup in his 3-3-5 stack, but no player on the 49ers defense can matchup one-on-one with Graham, making this a matchup nightmare.
If Graham gets going that will then open up the running game, leaving RB Marshawn Lynch to carry the workload for a big game. He is another player who does well against the 49ers, and I don’t expect things to change this time around as Lynch should finish with a stat line around 20 carries for 103 rushing yards and one touchdown.
With the 49ers looking for their first winning streak of the 2015 season, I just don’t see that happening, as the Seahawks stingy defense should keep the 49ers last ranked scoring offense in check. A defensive struggle early on, look for the Seahawks to come out on top as I predict them to win 30-13.
Sakamoto: 26-12 (Over/Under)
With the total points set at 42, I would slightly take the under. A game in which I foresee a defensive struggle early on, it can turn out to be a low scoring affair especially if the 49ers offensive line can’t protect Kaepernick in pass protection.
Sakamoto: 21-17 (ATS)
With the 49ers being -6.5 point underdogs, I would take the Seahawks.
Fantasy Football (40/119)
As you know we select three players each game who we think will score touchdowns (quarterbacks omitted). Here are this week’s picks.
TE Jimmy Graham (twice)
RB Marshawn Lynch
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