The Seattle Seahawks have dropped two of their last three games as they maintain their pursuit of the first-place Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West. Seattle hopes to keep the heat on the Rams on Sunday as it visits the San Francisco 49ers, a team it has defeated seven consecutive times.
The Seahawks dropped a 34-31 decision to Atlanta on Monday night to remain one game behind Los Angeles and are being hurt by a suspect running game as quarterback Russell Wilson (376 yards) has nearly three times as many rushing yards as offseason acquisition Eddie Lacy. “I don’t think it’s a lack of talent at running back,” Wilson told reporters. “We have some great running backs, we just have to do a little bit better, that’s all.” San Francisco lost its first nine games before giving first-year coach Kyle Shanahan his first victory and is coming off a bye. The 49ers were outscored 93-30 in the final three games of that skid before posting a 31-21 win over the New York Giants on Nov. 12.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Seahawks -6.5. O/U: 45
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (6-4): Wilson gained 86 of Seattle’s 136 rushing yards against the Falcons as the lack of production from the running backs continues to plague the offense. Wilson ranks second in the NFL with 2,801 passing yards and third with 21 touchdown tosses, but the team’s scoring has fluctuated of late as it has recorded four contests of 16 or fewer points and two of more than 40. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner ranks second in the NFL with 92 tackles and the defensive unit is tied for 10th in scoring defense (19.9 points) and ninth in total defense (314.9 yards).
ABOUT THE 49ERS (1-9): Shanahan announced Wednesday that rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard (four touchdowns, five interceptions) remains the starter as the recently acquired Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t yet ready to play. “He just hasn’t been here long enough, and I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week,” Shanahan told reporters. “I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year because that’s what guys need. But C.J. did play his best football last (game), which definitely, to me, made the decision easier.” San Francisco continues to struggle defensively as it ranks 29th in scoring defense (26 points) and 27th in total defense (379.8 yards).
1. The Seahawks squeaked out a 12-9 victory in the season’s first meeting.
2. San Francisco RB Carlos Hyde (592 yards) rushed for a season-best 124 yards in September’s matchup.
3. Seattle released seven-time Pro Bowl DE Dwight Freeney, even though he recorded three sacks in four games with the club.
PREDICTION: Seahawks 23, 49ers 13