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49ers vs. Seahawks - Keys to Victory and Score Prediction

Matt Andruscavage
Oct 31, 2020 at 2:21 PM


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Seattle week is here! The Seahawks (5-1) will host the San Francisco 49ers (4-3) in what will likely be one of the better games of the season. Both teams come into the game banged up, but surprisingly, it's the 49ers that might be in better shape.

Seattle has injury concerns at running back with Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, and Travis Homer all being potential game-time decisions. Safety Jamal Adams is still recovering from a groin injury and is also a game-time decision.


The 49ers will be without WR Deebo Samuel, RB Jeff Wilson Jr., and safety Jaquiski Tartt. Kwon Alexander and Kentavius Street will also likely miss the game. The big news are the activations of nickel back K'Waun Wiliams and running back Tevin Coleman. Williams will be on Tyler Lockett, which will be a huge matchup. Jordan Reed has a chance to come back on Thursday against Green Bay.


Here are the keys to winning this game for the 49ers:

Where and When: Sunday November 1 at 1:25 PM PT at CenturyLink Field

1) Sustain long drives and keep Russell Wilson on the bench


At present, Seattle has an amazing offensive passing attack and at the same time, a statistically bad defense. Currently, Seattle is 28th in DVOA defensively. While the Seahawks are ranked third against the run and are second in turnovers, their weakness is clearly their pass defense.


The 49ers need to take advantage of Seattle being without Shaquill Griffin and possibly without Jamal Adams. The Seahawks' pass rush was bolstered this week with the Carlos Dunlap trade, but he will not play this week. Despite the injuries for San Francisco, there is every reason to believe the offense can wear out the Seahawks, sustain long drives, and put up points.

Russell Wilson cannot score if he is on the bench and keeping Seattle's defenders gassed all game will give the 49ers a huge chance to win.

2) Do not turn the ball over


Yes, this is an old cliché, but it rings true every week. The Seahawks give up a ton of yards, but where they have been really good is forcing turnovers. Jimmy Garoppolo may not be able to get away with an untimely throw that results in an interception this week. Hopefully he plays much like he did in Week 17 last year when he was near perfect, which included a perfect second half.

Garoppolo needs to get the ball out quickly and decisively as he has been lately, but with this being an all-important division game, he needs to bring his game up a notch. Seattle has a way of forcing very timely turnovers, which can keep them in games that Russell Wilson usually wins at the end. The 49ers must control the football and the clock in order to get a victory.

3) Be creative in the ground game


Deebo Samuel getting injured was definitely a big blow to the offense, given how effective he is in the rushing attack. Jeff Wilson is also out after the best rushing performance of his career. That said, there is no reason to panic. JaMycal Hasty looks poised to have a big day of his own and with the return of Tevin Coleman, San Francisco has what it needs to be effective on the ground.

We will see if Jerick McKinnon gets involved, but expect Brandon Aiyuk to also see some touches, even if they are technically scored as receptions. The rushing attack is extremely diverse and can adapt to any defense. Kyle Shanahan seems to deploy a different style every week and I would expect this game to be no different.

While we could see many different types of runs, it will be the effectiveness of those runs that will dictate how well the 49ers do on offense. If the ground game can keep Seattle off-balance, there is every reason to believe Jimmy Garoppolo will carve up the Seahawks secondary. George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, and Ross Dwelley should all get touches and you can count on someone being open nearly every play.

It will be the play-action that will open up that passing game, so the ground game must be effective and creative.

4) Pressure Russell Wilson


There is no question that Russell Wilson will be a problem, as will receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. That happened last year with a healthy Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner on the defensive line. San Francisco must generate some kind of consistent pressure and not allow Wilson to simply pick apart the defense.

I would expect blitzes from Dre Greenlaw, Fred Warner, and K'Waun Williams to bring some heat and hopefully force a turnover, but most importantly, get the defense off the field on third downs.

With Emmanuel Moseley and K'Waun Williams back on the field and Jason Verrett playing at a high level, the 49ers do have the personnel to cover the receivers. It will simply come down to how well the line can get after Wilson.

Don't forget about the depth at safety for San Francisco...


Prediction


This will be a difficult game, but it is a game the 49ers can win. To be honest, I thought there was no way I could predict the 49ers coming away with a win ten days ago. After the way San Francisco has played these last two weeks, how battered Seattle is, and with the Niners getting some of their players back, this game is much more doable than it was.

Jimmy Garoppolo will have his best game of the season. JaMycal Hasty will have a terrific day and the 49ers will frustrate the Seattle defense all afternoon. Russell Wilson will have a good day overall, but it will be the 49ers' offense that will outscore Seattle and the defense will do just enough to hold off the Seahawks.

49ers 34, Seahawks 28
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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