5 Burning Questions For The 49ers in Week 13

Nov 26, 2014 at 12:22 PM


On Thanksgiving night the best rivalry in the National Football League will fire up once again when the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium. They will bring identical 7-4 records into the game, and with Philadelphia taking on Dallas earlier in the day a 49ers victory will push them into a playoff position due to holding the tiebreaker advantage.

A lot has been made of the 49ers recent struggles on the road in Seattle, but the Seahawks have been even worse in San Francisco. The Seahawks last road win against the 49ers came on October 26, 2008, their first game under the great Mike Singletary.

With that as a backdrop here are 5 burning questions to which the answers will be key to the outcome of the game.

1) Can Colin Kaepernick get it together against the Seahawks? - To say that Colin Kaepernick has struggled against the Seahawks would be an understatement. The 49ers quarterback has a career completion percentage over 60, but against Seattle it drops to around 52. To make matters worse he has thrown 17 interceptions in his career and seven of those have come in his four starts against Seattle. The 49ers will need a clean game from their signal caller to come out with a win.

2) Will Frank Gore carry the load? - In the 49ers three losses to Seattle since 2011 Frank Gore has averaged under 9 carries per game and gained only 2.2 yards per carry. In the four 49ers victories Gore carried the ball just over 19 times per game and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. In the 49ers last two home victories over Seattle, Gore has carried the ball 33 times, averaged 7.3 yards per carry, and his 51 yard burst late in the fourth quarter set up the game winning field goal.

3) Can the 49ers defense contain Marshawn Lynch? - Lynch has been in "Beastmode" quite often against the 49ers. Lynch has eclipsed 100 yards in four of his last six games against San Francisco, and missed making that five of six by only 2 yards when he went for 98 in week two a year ago.

The 49ers defense has allowed three backs to eclipse 100 yards already this season.

4) Will Vernon Davis show up? - Davis has been able to haul in only 8 passes for 84 yards and 1 touchdown in the 49ers last five matchups with Seattle. So far this season the 49ers tight end has averaged under ten yards per reception and only one touchdown on 21 receptions.

If Davis can't get it going, it will be important for Kaepernick to be able to get the ball underneath to the 49ers running backs. Seattle will often give up the short underneath throw and force the offense to work its way down the field and then stiffen up in the red zone. The 49ers worked this to near perfection in the first meeting of 2012 when they went 8-8 for 77 yards and a touchdown.

5) Make Russell Wilson beat them from the pocket? - Russell Wilson can beat you in a variety of ways, and keeping him in the pocket does not guarantee success. Wilson's touchdown throw to win the NFC Championship game came from the pocket. This is more about limiting his ability to beat you with his legs.

The only quarterback to face pressure more than Wilson this season has been Robert Griffin III. Unlike Griffin, Wilson does a very good job of moving around and keeping the play alive. On the season Wilson has carried the ball for 644 yards. To put that in perspective, Wilson is only 40 yards behind Frank Gore.

The 49ers defensive front must maintain their pass rush lanes, force Wilson to play from the pocket, and knock him around if they are to be successful on Thursday.

Prediction Time:

49ers 16 Seahawks 14
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


7 Comments

  • Monsterniner
    I think that both defenses will do the same: 8 men in the box to stop the run challenging the QB to beat them with his arm. Seattle´s WR´s aren´t very good this year and our WR´s aren´t better than their secondary and that´s why Stevie Johnson is so important in this game. If Roman is a little bit smart he is gonna use him in ways that their secondary hasn´t seen from him this year and that could be the key to win the game.
    Nov 26, 2014 at 4:18 PM
    0
  • AES
    Good stuff Hammer. Hopefully CK is not put in a position where he has to drive the team down for the winning points on the last series. Kap had a great 1st half against the hawks in last year's championship game, but he faltered in the 2nd half when the outcome of the game was still in balance. We will need a total team effort tomorrow by all 3 phases of the team to beat the hawks. We have yet to play our best total team game this season and tomorrow would be the perfect time to do it.
    Nov 26, 2014 at 4:12 PM
    0
    Response: Thanks AES. It should be a fun one tomorrow.
  • Razoreater
    I would also add that Mr. Hyde could be that factor catching the ball out of the backfield. If they could get him the ball in open space, he could do some damage with that head of steam....
    Nov 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM
    0
  • Razoreater
    To Scooters' point about the question that's burning at number five, I would point to Mr. Wilsons' propensity to roll right to escape the bite of The Condor, and find an open receiver down field. The 49ers now have a very fleet footed rookie quarterback hunter that will be The Lynch-Pin in negating that avenue of escape. The 49ers must not allow the receivers to get behind them or risk Mr. Wilson stepping up in the pocket to make a deep play. Kaepernick should have more time in the pocket than previous meetings due to the Seahawks diminished sack totals by upwards of 50%. Good write up Hammer....
    Nov 26, 2014 at 3:12 PM
    0
    Response: Thank you. "Lynch-pin", I like that one.
  • Scooter_McG
    Burning question #5 is an important one. The Seahawks receivers aren't good this year, so keeping Wilson in the pocket, and preventing him from extending plays, will go a long way to shutting the Seahawks offense down.
    Nov 26, 2014 at 1:56 PM
    0
  • Lucky Phil
    Jack, You have got five burning questions, I have five burning answers. 1. Yes 2. No 3. Yes 4. Yes, VD is a bitch. Always use protection. 5. No. The key to this game is the field goal kickers. Watch them closely, this will be a war of attrition. If you like to watch field goal kickers, and I know I do, this is the game for you. To be serious for a change, it will be key for the Niner running game to create as many 3rd and short situations as possible. I would like to see Roman and company exploit an aggresive Seahawks defense on 3rd down and send VD down field. If we can get over the top of the Seahawks D, one or two big plays will be enough to win this. Go Phil Dawson! This is your game.
    Nov 26, 2014 at 1:33 PM
    0
  • KY49ER
    Is Ellington available. If Kaep needs to get the ball to his back out of the backfield, Ellington needs to get some of those touches.
    Nov 26, 2014 at 12:37 PM
    0
    Response: I think I see where you're going, and would say that Boldin and Crabtree are often used on those routes.

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