Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

‘I bet you it comes down to the last series’: 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan says Seahawks better than their record

Dec 3, 2021 at 11:52 AM--

On Thursday, tight end George Kittle shared a key stat in the rivalry between his San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. The latter has won 16 of the last 19.

That record dates back to 2012 and includes the playoffs. While Kittle acknowledges that none of the players on the roster were around back then, he declared the stat "not acceptable."

"This week's an opportunity to make it 16 for 20," Kittle told reporters. "So that's what we're going to try to do out there, is win, because they've had our number a lot over my career and years before that. So we just want to go out there and win this game."

San Francisco last beat Seattle during Week 17 of the 2019 season, which featured linebacker Dre Greenlaw making a massive stop in the closing seconds and lifting the 49ers to a division championship. The Seahawks have won the three games since and emerged victorious in four of the last five, including a Week 4 contest at Levi's Stadium this season.

This weekend, the 49ers will travel to Lumen Field to face a Seahawks team that looks nothing like the dominant division foe over the last decade. San Francisco is 6-5 and riding a three-game winning streak, while Seattle is 3-8 and has lost three in a row. It looks like a mismatch, but 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan isn't being overly confident about his team's chances on Sunday.

"I can't remember playing Seattle when they've had a losing record," Shanahan said Friday on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "So that just shows how good they've been over this last decade. But it doesn't matter with Seattle. Even watching their games this year, it's coming down to the end. They had a rough game on Monday night [against Washington], offensively, but they still had every opportunity to win that at the end. They missed a two-point conversion. They got an onside kick with an illegal formation. That definitely should have gone to overtime, and they didn't play their best ball."

Russell Wilson is clearly affected by the finger injury that most expected to cost the Seahawks quarterback six to eight weeks. Instead, he missed just three games.

The 49ers coach doesn't expect Wilson's shaky play to continue. At some point, the star quarterback will return to doing Russell Wilson-type things on the football field.

"And you know Russell's going to play a lot better," Shanahan said. "You know the competitor he is. You know all the great things he's done."

Shanahan added, "They missed Russell for a number of games where they struggled, and they haven't been great since he's come back, but I know he's going to get that rhythm. He's too good of a player not to. And that's why I expect this game, no matter what happens, I bet you it comes down to the last series."

Seattle's defense currently ranks No. 30 in total yards allowed. The 49ers coach says that doesn't tell the whole story, though.

"They have a top-10 defense, in my opinion," Shanahan shared. "They're ranked seventh in points [allowed]. They're ranked second in giving up explosives. They're ranked seventh in third down. I think they're sixth in red zone. All the things that really matter, they're in the top eight at.

"Where they've been unfortunate is, their defense has been on the field too much. They have 150 more plays on defense than our guys do, which means they've played two more games defensively. Yet, they only give up five yards a play. Look at their offense. Their offense has been historically bad on third down, and that's why they're just struggling with that. But that's not going to last forever."

Hopefully, for Shanahan and his Niners, it lasts just one more game.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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