San Francisco 49ers: Previewing the Seahawks


This San Francisco 49ers team continues to be a baffling team for fans, experts, and even some players to try to wrap their minds around. They’ve been on both sides of blowouts, they’ve lost heartbreakers and duds. Now we can say they won a game on the back of Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick has, of course, looked absolutely atrocious on most occasions this year. Nothing personal against him, but he looked to have continued his recent downward trend of the last several seasons. He made Niners’ fans long for the days of Joe Montana, Steve Young, and perhaps even Alex Smith as he threw multiple interceptions and very few touchdowns through the first five games of the season.

As covered in last week’s preview, (note the score prediction, thanks) the 49ers were quite lucky to be facing a team going through arguably nearly as rough of a transition period as themselves. Both teams are galaxies away from their 2012 Superbowl selves, with a total of 10 out of 44 starters from the Super Bowl still playing for the same team. With the Seahawks, Rams, Falcons, and Cardinals all looming in the coming weeks, it was imperative that Kaeprnick and the 49ers continue their confident offense against the Ravens.

The Niners certainly listened to last week’s advice, with Kaepernick looking, dare we say, great out there. He had a lot of time in the pocket thanks to a new-found effort from the linemen, and when he needed to escape the pocket he used some fancy footwork to extend the play and find a receiver down field. Just two weeks ago, fans and writers alike were lamenting the fact that the line could hardly keep Kaepernick upright, and when they did, he made terrible choices. Thankfully, he seems to have rediscovered his confidence, throwing for 340 yards and several touchdowns.

To put that in perspective, he had only thrown for more than 170 yards twice all year; once in the blowout loss to Pittsburgh, and in the tough loss in New York recently. Obviously the team isn’t built to put up 500 yards of anything per game, let alone just passing yards. However, the lack of really any healthy running backs has taken a toll on the run game, and forced the team to ask Kaepernick to do more than his typical 150 yard, one score and one pick performances. Without a doubt, he stepped up on Sunday. His receivers actually ran decent routes themselves, with Anquan Boldin showing hints of long-lost speed and Quinton Patton actually getting involved on plays that were something other than a two-yard bubble screen or slant route. Torrey Smith also seemed to have fun against his old team, likely because the Niners finally used him in correctly; as a deep threat.

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  • This week, the 49ers will need to rest up rather quickly, as they have a Thursday matchup with a bird of another feather. The Seattle Seahawks come into town nursing their injuries and egos, having lost two fourth-quarter leads in their last two games. Seattle bandwagon fans aren’t used to being this far down in the standings, and likely weren’t fans back when this was a thing. With both teams sitting in the cellar of the NFC West, behind the youth movements of the Rams and Cardinals, both have something more important than rivalry bragging rights at stake this weekend; pride. San Francisco doesn’t want to get blown out anymore this year, let alone to their biggest rivals. Seattle certainly doesn’t want to lose to such a lowly and flimsy team as the 49ers, especially on the heels of two brutal late-game collapses.

    For the 49ers to win, they will need Kaepernick to power the offense down the field early and often, even if it’s just for a field goal. Seattle is far from a truly fearsome defense anymore, but they are not to be slept on. They still have Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, and Kam Chancellor –back from his petty holdout-to be wary of.

    Their offense is certainly not a high-flying one like Arizona or Pittsburgh, but the 49ers’ secondary was burnt enough last week by a meek Ravens’ receiving corps to be a concern against a crafty quarterback like Russell Wilson this Thursday.

    When it comes down to the root of the team, the Seahawks still hit hard, and play hard. They play much better than their record would indicate. However, if the 49ers can get them on their heels frequently, San Francisco will have a good chance to win.

    42. Final. 13. 36. 17

    Next: 49ers and Seahawks Meet Under Different Circumstances