49ers vs. Seahawks: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
Sunday Night Football hits the jackpot for the second week in a row when the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks meet in an NFC West showdown and a potential preview of a playoff bout down the road.
Against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, San Francisco did nothing to cast doubt on the notion the team is headed to a second straight Super Bowl. Colin Kaepernick dissected the Packers for 412 yards through the air, choosing to forgo using his legs in a statement win, 34-28.
Seattle looked like the team that advanced to the NFC divisional round last year, earning a gritty victory on the road over Carolina, 12-7. Russell Wilson threw for 320 yards and a touchdown, but the rest of the offense, including tailback Marshawn Lynch, was bottled up by an underrated Carolina squad.
Here are the details to know between two familiar foes.
When: Sunday, Sept. 15, at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: CenturyLink Field
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Bovada)
- Over/Under: 44.5 pts
- Spread: Seattle (-3)
49ers Injury Report (via NFL.com)
LaMichael James RB Knee Questionable
Seahawks Injury Report (via NFL.com)
Which Seattle Ground Game Will Show Up?
"Beast Mode" and his Skittles are well known, and the Seattle offense goes as Marshawn Lynch goes.
Last week Seattle escaped even though Lynch only gained 43 yards on the ground with a 2.5 average. That has not always been the case. Last year in the postseason against Atlanta, the Seahawks were bounced 30-28 while Lynch only put up 46 yards on 16 carries.
Go back a bit further to Seattle's 42-13 rout of San Francisco in Week 16 of last season—Lynch bruised his way to 111 yards and a score on 26 carries.
The Seahawks understand the value that Lynch brings to the offense, as he has shouldered the load of a new and improved running game in Seattle. According to Jeffri Chadiha of ESPN.com, head coach Pete Carroll said of Lynch, "I don't know if we really had an identity before he got here. He helped give us the one we have now."
San Francisco has one of the best defenses in football, so Russell Wilson is going to need the backing of a strong ground game to make life easier through the air.
Both Wilson and Kaepernick will do damage, but a superstar back like Lynch will quietly make or break the contest for either side.
In a game with teams as talented as San Francisco and Seattle, the outcome will be decided through coaching. With that as the deciding factor, the 49ers have a major advantage.
Jim Harbaugh owns a 5-2 record over Pete Carroll counting collegiate showdowns. There's a reason for that—he's the better coach.
Which team wins?
The latest layer of Harbaugh genius? Reducing Kaepernick to a pocket passer in Week 1 and watching him erupt for over 400 yards passing. Expect Harbaugh to turn him loose against Seattle in more of a versatile running capacity.
According to Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News, Harbaugh knows the impact his quarterback can have in this battle, but he is also aware of Russell Wilson's strengths, stating, "They're both cut from the same (cloth). Each guy has everything that you want in a football player."
Seattle is at home but without a major playmaker in Percy Harvin and coming off a somewhat disappointing performance in Carolina. This isn't the Seattle team that was at full strength near the end of the season last year. It's the slow-starting team from the beginning of last season.
Lynch will get his on the ground (over 100 yards past three times these teams have met), but Kaepernick will continue to evolve and torch Seattle on the ground and through the air in a critical win.
49ers win 35-24
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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