Tonight, the San Francisco 49ers (7-4) will spend Thanksgiving hosting the visiting Seattle Seahawks (7-4) in a huge matchup between division rivals at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
The 49ers are coming off of a 17-13 victory over the Washington Redskins. The Seahawks are coming off of a 19-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Both the 49ers and Seahawks are trying to make playoff pushes with each week becoming a must-win scenario. This will be the first of two match-ups between these two teams in a span of 18 days. The 49ers have won five straight home games against the Seahawks and hope to add to the streak.
Both teams sit two games behind division leading Arizona and right now, the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker over the Detroit Lions and 49ers. If the playoffs were to start today, the Seahawks would be the 6th seed. A 49ers in over the Seahawks would change the playoff race dramatically.
This will be linebacker Aldon Smith's third game since his return from a nine-game suspension for violations of the league's substance abuse and personal conduct policies. Last week, he had two sacks against the Redskins and during last season's NFC Championship game, he sacked Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on the first play from scrimmage -- forcing a fumble and turnover.
During that game, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown. He has recently been dealing with back soreness, but is expected to play against the 49ers. Stopping him will be a tall order for the 49ers' 7th ranked run defense, who allowed Redskins running back Alfred Morris to gain 125 yards on the ground on Sunday.
While the 49ers' defense is ranked second in the league, the Seahawks defense is ranked first and allowed a season-low 204 yards to the Cardinals on Sunday.
The Seahawks will have to deal with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who rushed for 130 yards in their last meeting, and wide receiver Anquan Boldin who had a season high nine receptions for 137 yards on Sunday. It will be interesting to see if the Seahawks pair cornerback Richard Sherman more with Boldin or Michael Crabtree, who has been having a down season. A Sherman-Crabtree matchup could be interesting given how the two left things during their last meeting.
Another player who has come up big against the Seahawks has been 49ers running back Frank Gore, who has 241 yards in his last two home match-ups against Seattle. He has averaged 7.3 yards per carry in those games.
As usual, you can visit 49erswebzone.com for the latest news and updates during and after the game.
The 49ers can win their sixth straight home game against the Seahawks and their first overall meeting at Levi's Stadium.
With a win, Jim Harbaugh would improve his record against the NFC West to 15-6-1.
The 49ers could improve to 2-2 in primetime this season, 8-2 all-time on Thursday night, and 3-1-1 on Thanksgiving night.
The 49ers defense has held opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of 74.1, ranking 1st in the NFL.
With 44 career sacks in just 45 games played, linebacker AldonSmith has the highest sacks-per-game average since sacks became an official statistic in 1982 among players who have appeared in 40-or-more games.
The 49ers rank 19th with 359.4 yards per game. The Seahawks rank 13th with 340 yards per game.
The 49ers rank 2nd, allowing 300.1 yards per game. The Seahawks rank 1st, allowing 296.8 yards per game.
The Seahawks beat the 49ers 23-17 in last season's NFC Championship at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.
The game kicks off at 5:30 PM PT.
The 49ers are 1.5 point favorites.
At Yahoo! Sports, 58% of fans believe that the 49ers will win this game. Within our Pick 'em contest, 84% of fans believe that the 49ers will win this game.
Follow the Game:
You can follow the game live on NFL.com's Game Center.
You can also discuss the game with fans in the 49erswebzone.com forums. Become a fan of 49erswebzone.com on Facebook and Google+ or follow us on Twitter.
The game will be televised nationally on NBC.