Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers: Full Report Card Grades for Seattle

The Seattle Seahawks are making 19-3 victories seem routine as they finished off another dominant victory over an NFC West division rival. The Seahawks offense continued to do enough while the defense appears to have found the mean streak that made them an elite unit a year ago.

The San Francisco 49ers were held to 164 yards of offense, with 31 of them coming on an all-out garbage-time drive. The low score for Seattle is a bit deceiving, as they cost themselves prime opportunities due to penalties. Paul Richardson had a touchdown reception nullified by a penalty call as well.

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick appeared to be off kilter from the get-go; throwing several passes high, low, behind and out of reach throughout the night.  

 

 Final Game Stats

Seattle Seahawks Category San Francisco 49ers
379 Total Yards 164
222 Passing Yards 100
8.5 Yards Per Attempt 3.0
157 Rushing Yards 64
4.6 Yards Per Attempt 3.6
14-105 Penalties 3-20
0 Turnovers 3
5-14 Third-Down Conversions 4-11
35:19 Possession 24:41

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Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse’s Post-Week 13 Fantasy Reaction

It may be Thanksgiving, but playoff spots are on the line in fantasy leagues everywhere. Luckily for owners of Russell Wilson, the quarterback posted standout numbers against the San Francisco 49ers.

Unfortunately, neither Doug Baldwin nor Jermaine Kearse has been on the receiving end of many passes against a stout secondary. Desperate owners might still want to start them in the postseason or at least during the first week.

Wilson has made his impact in the passing game with an early touchdown to Robert Turbin. Rather than using his legs early in the matchup, Wilson kept his eyes down the field and earned several crucial points in the passing game for owners.

Around the NFL notes one area where Wilson thrived on Thursday night:

The touchdown pass to Turbin was a nightmarish situation for owners who started Baldwin or Kearse. Though they are limited flex options this week and struggled to get any production, both have a chance to post decent numbers next week.

All three players have value against a porous Philadelphia Eagles defense. Philly ranks 30th in passing yards per game and total touchdowns to opposing offenses, giving both receivers opportunities down the field.

Expect both Wilson and Baldwin to put up solid point totals against the Eagles, but Kearse remains a question mark. If Baldwin is still available, pick him up and spot start him at a flex spot against the Eagles.

 

All fantasy stats courtesy of NFL.com.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

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Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers: Live Score and Analysis for Seattle

The implications of this game could not be any more grandiose for the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. The Detroit Lions improved to 8-4 in their matinee victory over the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving, adding even more pressure to these two clubs to pick up a win.

The 49ers have won six straight home games in a row against the Seahawks and will look to keep that trend in motion for Thanksgiving’s prime-time game. Seattle’s offensive line allowed seven sacks last week to the Arizona Cardinals and will need to keep linebacker Aldon Smith and Co. out of the backfield to keep quarterback Russell Wilson upright.

A win for either team will allow them to keep pace with the Lions in the playoff race and possibly move to within a game of the Cardinals should they lose on Sunday. 

You can catch all the action at 8:30 p.m. ET on your local NBC affiliate. Leave it here for live analysis, scoring updates and more throughout the game. 

 

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Trench Battle Between Aldon Smith and Russell Okung Critical in NFC West Race

When he’s healthy and behaving, San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith brings a combination of strength and burst off the line matched by few other pass-rushers in the NFL.

Whenever he hasn’t torn or broken something, Seattle Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung consistently seals off the blind side for his quarterback with his sturdy base and mobility.

On Thanksgiving night, the two titans of their respective positions will clash grills, with Smith often lined up across from Okung. Their individual battle has wide-ranging implications for the NFC West division title, the NFC wild-card race and two teams looking to avoid failed seasons.

The Smith and Okung faceoff is the most significant matchup between the 49ers and Seahawks, with cornerback Richard Sherman vs. wide receiver Anquan Boldin a close second.

Why? Because with two stonewalling run defenses likely to cancel each other out and two limping passing offenses (ranked 24th and 30th), a fight for field position is coming.

And nothing says favorable field position quite like repeated pressure. The kind that forces repeated failure.

In one corner, then, we have Smith and his 44 sacks over 45 career games. That includes two in Week 12 during only his second game back from a suspension, and his first game of the season that was in fact an entire game—or close to it, as he played only 77.1 percent of the 49ers’ defensive snaps in Week 11 and 94.6 percent Sunday in a win over the Washington Redskins.

As always, using sacks alone leads to only a half-truth about a pass-rusher and his effectiveness. Disruption is critical, as it forces the quarterback to abandon his reads and the timing of the passing game is altered.

Smith has been on the field for only 66 pass-rushing situations this season, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). However, he’s still recorded those two sacks along with seven hurries and four quarterback hits.

With how little Smith has played so far, it may be difficult to grasp just how quickly he’s returned to full crush mode. So let’s try to paint that picture of quarterback pain this way:

That’s Smith alongside the league’s sack leaders. Note the massive chasm between the pass-rushing snaps accumulated by Smith and the far greater opportunities for sacks, hurries and hits the other two have benefited from.

Then observe that Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston is only two QB hits ahead of Smith, and their hurries per game are identical (3.5 each).

Even more impressively, Smith has matched Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil in hits on 240 fewer snaps.

Of Smith’s 12 sacks in 2013 over 14 games including the playoffs, four came against the Seahawks. But only one of those sacks came with Okung in the game to do his protecting and pancaking. Smith took Wilson down twice after Okung left injured in Week 2, and one of his sacks during the NFC Championship Game came on a rolloutdon’t do those to Smith’s side.

So in the other corner, there’s Okung, and you’ll notice something about his snap count too. Look at the really large number below first. Then take some time to process the zero beside it:

Okung is currently one of only three tackles who haven’t allowed a single sack while being on the field for at least 50 percent of their team’s offensive snaps. And he’s done that while playing with a torn labrum after missing most of training camp and the preseason following surgery to repair a ligament in his big toe.

Staying healthy isn’t easy for Okung. At nearly the end of his fifth regular season, he’s already missed 19 games. But when he’s in one piece, or at least sort of close to it, swatting away the league’s best pass-rushers is very much in his job description. And he’s pretty good at it.

Going a little further back, Okung has been a pass-blocker on 1,229 plays since the beginning of the 2012 season, per PFF (including playoffs). For one season of that period, he was in front of a rookie quarterback learning how to manage an NFL pass rush.

How many sacks did Okung allow? Five. Fun fact: That number over a nearly three-year period is lower than the total times Wilson went down in Week 12.

The one sack Okung allowed to Smith in 2013 was mostly a product of the coverage downfield after Wilson couldn’t pull the trigger, even with nearly four seconds to scan for an open target. But Smith’s immense strength and arsenal of pass-rushing maneuvers were still on full display.

During the NFC Championship Game, Seattle had possession just past midfield and lined up with a bunch set (two pass-catchers tight to the line on both sides). Wilson was in shotgun, with running back Marshawn Lynch to his right.

At the snap, everything was going according to plan for Okung, as it often does. His kick-slide took him out far enough that he could wait on Smith, and he maintained a wide, solid base:

But Smith can turn one minor stumble into a sack and wasted play. That’s all it takesjust a single, fleeting mistake.

On this play, his opening came from Okung’s hand placement. The tackle still had that strong base, but when he engaged, his hands were just a touch too far apart when they landed on Smith.

That led to Okung losing his leverage for only a brief second. It was plenty for Smith, who was able to plant his back foot and thrust, breaking through Okung’s arms while sending the tackle stumbling backward:

After that, Okung’s base was gone. He tried to anchor again with his right foot, but he was leaning. Tossing him aside before finishing the job was too easy:

The offensive lines for both the Seahawks and 49ers have been feeble this season. The Arizona Cardinals sacked Wilson seven times in Week 12, and Colin Kaepernick is the league’s most sacked quarterback (34).

That’s why even with the mobility of each quarterback and the bruising power in each backfield, a game that could put the loser’s playoff hopes on life support will be decided by which offensive line breaks first.

Okung hasn’t done much breaking against Smith…yet?

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Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers Betting Odds, Analysis, NFL Pick

NFL bettors can give thanks for a blockbuster NFC West matchup on Thanksgiving night when the Seattle Seahawks visit the San Francisco 49ers in the next chapter of their epic rivalry.

The Seahawks have covered the spread in the last six meetings with the 49ers, who are 15-1-1 straight up in their past 17 home games against divisional opponents.

Point spread: The 49ers opened as one-point favorites; the total was 40 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 25.4-20.5 Seahawks

 

Why the Seahawks can cover the spread

Seattle is the defending NFC West, conference and Super Bowl champion playing its biggest rival in prime time, which alone is enough for some to back the team in this spot. However, the Seahawks have also played well as road underdogs over the last few years with a 9-3-1 mark against the spread in their past 14 games under that scenario.

They do not need any extra motivation to play San Francisco here and know what is at stake, especially after beating the Arizona Cardinals 19-3 last week as 7.5-point favorites. Despite Arizona’s hot 9-2 start, the division is up for grabs, and Seattle has the inside track based on past experience and the mental edge possessed over its opponents.

The 49ers have not been great at home lately and ride a 1-6 ATS home streak into this game, per the Week 13 NFL trends sheet.

 

Why the 49ers can cover the spread

Like the Seahawks, the 49ers know they cannot afford to lose this game, especially at home if they have any hopes of winning the NFC West. They need to forget the final result of last year’s NFC Championship Game loss at Seattle and focus instead on what they can change now, getting revenge and making a statement in the process.

San Francisco has underachieved in the first year playing at new Levi’s Stadium, and the team may have been caught looking ahead to this game last week in a 17-13 victory against the Washington Redskins as 9.5-point favorites.

There is no more looking ahead and past this week’s foe, and the 49ers should be more than ready for them.

 

Smart Pick

The line on this game is right where it should be considering the Seahawks have struggled a bit on the road this year while San Francisco does not currently possess a strong home field.

What bettors should know about these two teams when they play each other if they do not already is that points are at a premium. The total has gone under in five of the past six meetings, including each of the previous three.

The under is also 5-2 in Seattle’s last seven road games against NFC West opponents and 3-0 in the past three home matchups with divisional foes for the 49ers. No matter who wins this one, it will be a low-scoring affair with the combined score dipping below the total again.

 

Betting Trends

Seattle is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games

San Francisco is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games at home

 

Note: All spread and odds data powered by Odds Shark—follow us on Twitter for injury updates and line-move updates.

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