The San Francisco 49ers battle division rival Seattle this week in a much-anticipated game for both teams.
The Seahawks have a three-game lead atop the NFC West with a record of 11-1. The 49ers, with a record of 8-4, are currently the second Wild Card team if the season ended today.
Seattle defeated the 49ers 29-3 in the second week of the season and are riding high after their 34-7 thrashing of the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. If the Seahawks play as they did on Monday, no team will be able to beat them.
However, this game is in San Francisco, and the 49ers need the win to solidify their wild-card spot. It is very unlikely they will be able to catch Seattle, even if the 49ers win on Sunday.
Seattle has played very well at home but has been less effective on the road. They average nearly 33 points per game in Seattle, while allowing only 14. On the road, the Seahawks average only 24 points per game, while allowing 17.
The point differential is also of note. Seattle averages nearly 19 points per game over their opponents at home, versus only seven on the road. The Seahawks' only loss came on the road to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 by a score of 34-28.
At this point in the season, Seattle has proven they are they better team, but that does not necessarily mean they will win this game.
The 49ers have a lot to prove this Sunday, while the Seahawks just came off a Monday night game against the Saints. That added incentive, plus the extra day of rest and home-field advantage, will tilt the balance towards the 49ers in this contest.
Let's take a look at five bold predictions for the upcoming game.