Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks a ‘good challenge’ for 49ers, says Jimmy Garoppolo

Dec 1, 2021 at 2:41 PM--

Jimmy Garoppolo will lead the San Francisco 49ers into Lumen Field on Sunday and try to get his team its first victory there since that memorable Week 17 division-winning battle in 2019. The Seattle Seahawks won each of the three games since and have won four of the last five meetings between the two NFC West rivals.

On Wednesday, Garoppolo was asked to share his memories of playing in Seattle.

"Some good, some bad," Garoppolo responded. "Obviously, the first one that pops in my head is when Dre [Greenlaw] made the big play on the goal line. But yeah, they've gotten the better of us these last couple of times.

"So, this will be a good challenge for us, going into their home turf. It's going to be a hostile environment. We know that, whatever the records are. But we'll be ready for it."

Garoppolo recalls that 2019 battle at Lumen Field being one of his most memorable. Greenlaw's big stop in the closing seconds ensured the victory and an NFC West title. The win was pivotal in San Francisco's playoff push and eventual Super Bowl appearance.

"That was a dog fight of a game, man. It really was," Garoppolo said. "Just all 60 minutes. We knew it. It always is with these guys. But yeah, just that atmosphere, that was one of the coolest atmospheres I've ever played in. I can remember, pre-game, sitting there, and just kind of soaking it in for that split-second moment. But it'll be a dog fight. We know that going into it, so we have our minds right."

The 49ers enter the game with a 6-5 record. The Seahawks are an unimpressive 3-8. No one is taking Seattle lightly, though. Garoppolo, maybe more than anyone on the roster, knows that the Seahawks defense comes to play whenever the two teams meet.

"They're just always flying around, honestly," Garoppolo said. "It's the way they move, the way they chase the ball. They're sound in their coverage. They don't do too much to complicate things. But it's just they're very sound, and they tackle very well in space. So all that added together makes for a good defense."

The 49ers are currently 3.5-point favorites. Garoppolo has played well over the last five games, and San Francisco has won four of those games, including the last three.

Garoppolo didn't have to deal with the loud Lumen Field crowd in their last meeting in Seattle. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented fans from attending. Sunday will be a bigger challenge.

"They get after it up there," Garoppolo said. "But it's a good challenge. We try to embrace it, get the silent count going. It'll be a little different than last year. It was a nice luxury without the crowd last year. But yeah, it's a tougher spot to play."

Sunday's kickoff between the 49ers and Seahawks is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. PT.

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