San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks Prediction and Preview –

Aiming for a fourth straight win, Elijah Mitchell and the 49ers aim to improve their playoff position when they take on the slithering Seahawks in Seattle

Two rivals to NFC West kick off their December schedule on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks clash at Lumen Field in Seattle. These two teams met at Levi’s Stadium in Week 4, and the Seahawks won that game by a score of 28:21. That game was supposed to be on Sunday Night Football, but due to the Seattle Free Fall, the NFL has postponed it until late afternoon.

San Francisco (6-5) continued its playoff upswing with a 34-26 win over Minnesota last Sunday in style. The offense showed a great balance with 215 yards and 208 on the ground. Elijah Mitchell led the 49ers’ complex rushing attack with 133 yards, 27 carries and one touchdown. Debo Samuel scored two dazzling touchdowns running 66 yards that day. The possession time made a big difference, as the offense held on to football for over 37 minutes, which really paid off in the third quarter. Azeez Al-Shaair led the defense with eight tackles and one interception. San Francisco did a great job against the run as well, limiting the Vikings to just 67 yards. Minnesota only went 8-2 down to third, which helped the 49ers defense stay fresh for the entire game.

Seattle (3-8), on the other hand, likely saw its faint hopes of ending the playoffs with a 17:15 road loss to Washington on Monday night. Normally, in a close game, you would expect the stats to reflect an evenly played competition. However, this matchup was not as close as the end result suggested. Washington had 26 first downs and sustained football for more than 40 minutes, playing 79 games that night. Russell Wilson showed some signs of improvement, making 20 of 31 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns, but those numbers are also misleading as the offense never posed a threat to take control of the game. The offensive line failed to produce a consistent running game as the Seahawks managed 34 yards on 12 tries, which is not good enough.

Although the Seahawks had the option to level the game late with a two-point conversion, they failed to convert and extended their losing streak to three games. The Seahawks now find themselves with the second worst record in NFC.

San Francisco (6-5) in Seattle (3-8)

Kicking off: Sunday, December 5 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Spread: 49er -3.5

Three things to see

1. Attack by the 49ers
Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive schedule should be the most stress-free of the season as it doesn’t have to be very complicated. Mitchell can set the tone while the game is in progress by heading for another 100-yard game on Sunday. Jimmy Garoppolo will benefit from an effective run attack as he can get the ball to George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk in the passing game. Samuel is a critical part of this offensive but will miss Sunday’s game with a groin injury. This will take away some of the creative aspects of this attack. But with Seattle struggling (giving up a total of 371 yards to Washington, 152 of them on the ground), San Francisco is unlikely to be too badly affected by Samuel’s absence. In the end, the mission for this offensive is simple: play clean football out on goal, and it should result in a fairly stress-free win.

2. The Seahawks’ broken offensive
At this point in the season, there is nothing to lose for anyone involved in this offensive before the final six games. The current offensive approach is more than broken, as shown by the team’s only 10 first defeats in their loss to Washington. To put the disastrous performance even further in context, the Seahawks only delivered three more first downs than the NHL’s Seattle Kraken scored in goals in a 7-4 win over the Buffalo Sabers that same night. The Pacific Northwest NFL team has also scored a total of three touchdowns in their last 31 ball possession, which is overwhelming that this offensive team rivals the 1992 team because of their ineptitude. DK Metcalf got his first reception late in the fourth quarter on the last trip. The lack of targets for Metcalf is the misconduct of the coach and quarterback of Wilson and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.

Now the overarching question is how to fix it from Sunday onwards. First you need to add more pace and force Wilson to throw easy passes at Tyler Lockett, Metcalf, and the tight ends. The whole deep passing game has to be put on hold until Wilson proves he can regain his accuracy. On top of that, you have to imagine the toll the loss of Trevor Moawad, Wilson’s mental coach who passed away earlier this season, took. It appears to have had an impact on his game as he misses readings like the unsuccessful two-point conversion where he opened Metcalf for a seemingly easy close in the back of the end zone that would have tied the game late.

3. Defense of the 49ers
Patience is the name of the game this week as San Francisco doesn’t need to be complicated against a battered offensive in Seattle. The 49ers must fire up Wilson on the defensive front to get their offensive behind the sticks. That should be happening lately given the Seahawks’ offense and Nick Bosa’s good performance (four sacks in the last three games). If San Francisco can exert constant pressure, it will ease the side issue in its efforts to contain Lockett and Metcalf.

Seattle is so desperate for running back performance that the team has signed 36-year-old Adrian Peterson to the training roster. Don’t be surprised if he is added to the active list by or on Sunday. So if you’re the 49ers, you might as well dare the Seahawks to play the ball. Putting Seattle into an early hole will likely force Waldron to give up again, giving Bosa and Co. more pass-rushing opportunities.

Final analysis

San Francisco has its fate in its hand and currently holds the sixth seed in the NFC franchise. The 49ers definitely can’t afford to miss this chance against a downtrodden Seattle team. The Seahawks have likely resigned themselves to their fate of missing out on the postseason, but additional losses won’t help their draft positioning either (if you like the tank idea) as the Jets own their first round selection next year, courtesy of the trade of Jamal Adams. Seattle still has a lot of pride and this is a division game, a rivalry, so don’t expect Pete Carroll’s team to just flip. But San Francisco will have yet another victory, as even without Samuel, the 49ers have too much offensive firepower to shut down this battered Seahawks defense for four quarters.

Prediction: 49ers 20, Seahawks 10

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