NFL Week 16 Predictions: Previewing Seattle Seahawks vs. San Franciso 49ers

Jeremy HolienContributor IIIDecember 20, 2011

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 12:  Pete Carroll head coach of the Seattle Seahawks on the sideline before the game against the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field December 12, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle won 30-12. (Photo by Jay Drowns/Getty Images)
Jay Drowns/Getty Images

In order to get into the playoffs, the Seattle Seahawks need to win their final two games, and have the Detroit Lions lose their final two games. However, we’re going focus on this Saturday’s game between the Seahawks and the 49ers.


Why the 49ers will win

The 49ers have the best defense in the league. They allow the fifth fewest yards per game. They allow the fewest rush yards per game in the league—in fact, they allow 71.5 rush yards per game.

The Baltimore Ravens, ranked second in the league at limiting the rush, give up 90.0 yards per game: That’s nearly a 20 percent difference between first and second. The 49ers allow the lowest points per game in the league, with opposing teams only scoring 13.2 points against the 49ers.

Also of note is that the 49ers have yet to give up a rushing touchdown this entire season.

And while the 49ers don’t have what you’d call an explosive offense, they rank ninth in rushing yards per game, and fourteenth in points per game. But when you have a defense such as the 49ers do, you don’t need an explosive offense.

In terms of special teams, the 49ers rank second in yards per kickoff. They also rank fourth in return punt yards per game. Concerning punting, the 49ers are second in punt yardage per punt.

The 49ers are a very balanced team, as evidenced by the fact of how quickly they wrapped up the NFC West—and more recently, their dominance over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Monday night game. They recorded three interceptions against Ben Roethlisberger, and limited the Steelers to under 100 yards rushing. Their defense also caused two fumbles and they sacked the quarterback three times.

This year, the San Francisco 49ers have been very good. And if their offense picks up, they will be great.

I wouldn’t want to face them in the playoffs. However, it would not shock me in the least if the Seahawks beat them this Saturday.


Why the Seahawks will win

At the moment, the Seattle Seahawks are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They’ve won four of their last five games, and after starting the season at 2-6, they’ve won five of their last six games.

If they hadn’t blown a game at home against the Washington Redskins, they would be 8-6 right now—winners of their past six games.

In terms of defense, the Seahawks rank eighth in yards per game. They rank 13th in passing yards per game, 11th in rushing yards per game and they rank sixth in points per game.

Not exactly on par with the 49ers, but definitely nothing to sneeze it.

Concerning the Seahawk’s offense, based on numbers and rankings, there is nothing special there. However, over their last five games, the Seahawks have scored 24, 17, 31, 30 and 38 points, respectively.

Without question, they have turned it around.

Regarding special teams, the Seahawks rank third in gross punting yards, ninth in punt yards per average, second in punts inside the 20 yard line and first in punts inside the 10 yard line.Obviously, pinning your opponent deep into their own territory is an important aspect of any NFL game.

Lastly, and most importantly, the Seahawks will win this game because of where it is being played: Century Field, the loudest stadium in the NFL.

Last year, when the Seahawks hosted the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the playoffs, and the stadium was so loud after Marshawn Lynch had scored the game-winning touchdown, an earthquake was registered on the Richter scale.

Last year, when the 49ers visited the Seahawks at Century Field, the Seahawks dominated that game, winning 31-6.


Final game score: Seahawks 24, 49ers 21.