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49ers gear up for high-stakes showdown with Seahawks on short week

Nov 19, 2023 at 7:59 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers have successfully bounced back from their three-game losing streak, securing consecutive victories. While they hope to sustain this success, they face a formidable three-game stretch ahead.

With a short week to prepare, the 49ers are gearing up for a crucial matchup against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Then, they will travel to Lincoln Financial Field for an NFC Championship Game rematch against the Philadelphia Eagles, a game that has most likely been circled on players' calendars since the schedule was released in May.

The three-game stretch concludes with a home game against the Seahawks, but the immediate focus is on the Thanksgiving night clash in Seattle.

"We've got some great opponents coming up, but none bigger than Thursday night in Seattle," linebacker Fred Warner said after Sunday's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "That's a divisional opponent that's coming off a tough loss today, but they're going to be fully ready to go, and we got to win by any means. And that's what we talk about. That's what we prepare for. And however we got to do it, we got to go on the road and win in a hostile environment."

With Seattle just a game behind San Francisco in the NFC West standings, the November matchup is important.

"Yeah, it's huge," running back Christian McCaffrey admitted. "Division opponent, away on Thursday night, so we got to get our minds back, get our bodies back, get ready to go."

Entering Week 11, head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted he wasn't concerned about his players looking past the Buccaneers, even though a short week and divisional opponent followed.

"We had won one game here in the last month, and that was a big one versus Jacksonville," Shanahan said. "And I knew our guys are extremely focused on this. Once we were able to finish the game, we talked a lot about it in the locker room because of just how quick it comes. Everything's so important as soon as this ends; what we got to do to get ready for this quick turnaround."

Following Thursday night's game, the 49ers will benefit from some extra time off before facing the Eagles, who boast the NFL's best record (8-1).

"We're at that point of the season where obviously every single game is crucial. It's huge," quarterback Brock Purdy told reporters. "And so, going into a hostile environment in Seattle, with a great team that they have, it's going to be a great challenge for us, and we're excited about it.

"And obviously the history goes back with these two organizations, and to be able to play on Thanksgiving against them, with the division, with where it's at, it doesn't get any better than that, so I'm excited for it."

Purdy also expressed gratitude for being healthy heading into the matchup, unlike last season when he played with a broken rib. After his first NFL start in 2022, coincidentally against the Buccaneers at home, Purdy had to prepare for a Thursday night road game against the Seahawks while fighting through the pain of the injury.

Breaking down the unique demands of playing on Thursday night, Warner stated, "Thursday night is all about how fast can you recover to be able to play another game on such a quick turnaround. Game plan-wise, it's going to be a smaller game plan in terms of what we're putting in and preparing. I think Thursday night games are all about, obviously, health, getting healthy to be able to play on a quick turnaround. And then, whoever can play smarter football and take care of the ball and take the ball away in that game, that's what it's all about."

The enthusiasm for playing on Thursday night in Seattle could not be greater for tight end George Kittle.

"I'm very excited about Thursday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks," Kittle declared. "Short week. Shout out to the Rams (Who beat the Seahawks on Sunday). Good job, guys. Good job, [Rams offensive coordinator] Mike LaFleur. So, thankful for them. But all that means is Seattle is going to be a little angry, and it's going to be a great game up there.

"It's one of my favorite atmospheres, one of my favorite places to play. They absolutely hate us, and what a great fan base to absolutely hate us. It's really fun. It's going to be an exciting game. It's going to be a physical game, and we have to go up there and get a win."
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