Game Preview: 49ers-Seahawks

NorthwestFootball.net
Posted Sep 10, 2010


Protecting veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will be one of the keys to a Seattle Seahawks' win on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers (0-0) at Seattle Seahawks (0-0)

Time & Place
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Qwest Field
Seattle, WA
1:15pm PST


Regular Season Series: Seahawks lead the all-time season series 12-10. The two teams split the 2009 season series, with the Seahawks beating the 49ers 20-17 on December 6, 2009 at Qwest Field.

Notable Newcomers

San Francisco: QB David Carr, LB Travis LaBoy, RB Brian Westbrook

Seattle: Head coach Pete Carroll, OT Stacy Andrews, TE Chris Baker, DL Kentwan Balmer, DE Chris Clemons, FB Quinton Ganther, OTs Chester Pitts and Tyler Polumbus, RB Michael Robinson, RB Leon Washington, WR Mike Williams

2010 NFL Draft Class

San Francisco

1.11 – OT, Anthony Davis, Rutgers
1.17 – OL, Mike Iupati, Idaho
2.49 – S, Taylor Mays, USC
3.91 – LB, NaVorro Bowman, Penn State
6.206 – WR, Kyle Williams, Arizona State
6.173 – RB, Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State
6.182 – TE Nate Byham, Pittsburgh
7.224 – DB, Phillips Adams, South Carolina State

Seattle

1.6 – OT, Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
1.14 – S, Earl Thomas, Texas
2.60 – WR, Golden Tate, Notre Dame
4.111 – CB, Walter Thurmond, Oregon
4.127 – DE, E.J. Wilson, North Carolina
5.133 – S, Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech
6.185 – TE, Anthony McCoy, USC
7.236 – DE/LB, Dexter Davis, Arizona State
7.245 – TE, Jameson Konz, Kent State

Stats & Rankings (2009)

San Francisco

Offense

Total: 27th (290.8 yards)
Passing: 22nd (190.8 yards)
Rushing: 25th (100.0 yards)
Scoring: 18th (20.6 points)

Defense

Total: 15th (326.4 yards)
Passing: 13th (229.4 yards)
Rushing: 6th (97.0 yards)
Scoring: 4th (17.6 points)

Turnover Ratio: 5th (+9)

Seattle

Offense

Total: 21st (316.8 yards)
Passing: 15th (218.9 yards)
Rushing: 26th (97.9 yards)
Scoring: 25th (17.5 points)

Defense

Total: 24th (356.4 yards)
Passing: 30th (245.4 yards)
Rushing: 15th (111.0 yards)
Scoring: t-25th (24.4 points)

Turnover Ratio: t-26th (-8)

Injury Report

San Francisco

Out: LB Ahmad Brooks (lacerated kidney), C Eric Heitmann (fibula), WR Kyle Williams (toe)
Doubtful: CB William James (ankle)
Probable: LB Diyral Briggs (concussion)

Seattle

Out: OT Russell Okung (ankle)
Questionable: OT Chester Pitts (knee)
Probable: DE Raheem Brock (back), TE Anthony McCoy (ankle)

Vegas, Baby. Vegas: 49ers -3 (o/u 37)

Seahawks’ Keys to Victory

Protect Matt Hasselbeck – If the Seahawks are going to do anything in Carroll’s first season in Seattle, they’re going to need to keep Hasselbeck for a full 16 games. With first-round offensive tackle Russell Okung out with a high ankle sprain, that responsibility falls to Chester Pitts or/and Tyler Polumbus. Tight ends Chris Baker and John Carlson will play a role in pass-protection, as will the running backs and Hasselbeck and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who’ll need to call plays that keep the quarterback out of harm’s way.

Stop Frank Gore – Gore has run for 1,000 yards in each of the last four seasons, and much of that protection has been aided by big games against the Seahawks. Gore holds the top two single-game rushing performances in 49ers’ history, and both have come against Seattle (212 yards on 11/19/06, 207 yards on 9/2/09). The Seahawks beefed up their defensive line, which should allow Lofa Tatupu, Aaron Curry, David Hawthorne, and Lawyer Milloy to make plays and keep Gore out of the second level of their defense.

Win on Special Teams – The Seahawks can boast that they have Pro Bowl-caliber personnel at kicker (Olindo Mare), punter (Jon Ryan), and kick returner (Leon Washington). Seattle has several punt return options with game-breaking potential (Justin Forsett, Golden Tate, Walter Thurmond) and have picked up running back Michael Robinson, who captained the 49ers’ special teams units the previous two seasons. Seattle should be able to use their edge in third phase of the game to tilt field position in their favor, helping the offense puts points on the board and forcing the 49ers to work harder for scoring opportunities.

Prediction

With the focus on the uncertainty along the Seahawks’ offensive line, it’s worth noting that the 49ers are starting two rookie offensive linemen, are without their starting center, and Qwest Field is still one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. Seattle’s run defense has shown signs of being stout, and a few false start flags could put the 49ers into 3rd-and-long situations that will help Chris Clemons and Aaron Curry put pressure on Alex Smith.

The Pick: Seahawks 24, 49ers 19

In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you’d like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.


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