Thursday Night Football should be the centerpiece of every NFL fan's week, but the scheduled Week 7 edition of the show featuring the battle between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers could be the best of 2012.
While a few of the Thursday night games have been boring this year, this week’s will feature an intense NFC West divisional showdown.
This may look like an easy win for the 49ers, but San Francisco is coming off a tough loss and is facing off with a Seahawks team that just stunned the New England Patriots.
Thursday’s action will be too great to miss!
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco
When: Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8:20 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen: Online at NFL Audio Pass
Seahawks Player to Watch: Russell Wilson, QB
While the Seattle Seahawks are a run-first offense with rookie Russell Wilson under center, the team was forced to open it up through the air in Week 6 and it paid off. Wilson finished the day with 293 passing yards and three touchdowns.
The Seahawks will need that kind of performance from the young QB and not his three interception performance like he had against St. Louis Rams in Week 4.
If Seattle’s offensive line can give Wilson the kind of time in the pocket he needs to be effective, the rookie can hand a 49ers' defense that looked invincible last year their third straight mediocre performance.
49ers Player to Watch: Frank Gore, RB
The Seahawks enter this game as the No. 2-ranked rush defense in the NFL, allowing just 70 yards per game, but they will square off with one of their toughest tests of the year, bruising 49ers' running back Frank Gore.
Despite being held in check in Week 6, his low numbers were part of his team’s efforts to dig out of the hole San Francisco’s defense left them in. With 14 rushes for 106 yards and a touchdown the week before, Gore is ready to return to prominence.
If the 49ers’ offensive line can make the proper blocks against the tough Seahawks’ front seven, Gore will find just enough room to make him the difference-maker in Thursday's game.
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 24, Seattle Seahawks 17
While each of these teams sit at 4-2 on the season and are tied for first in the NFC West, there is no comparison between the talent on each roster; the San Francisco 49ers are the better team on paper.
These games aren’t played on paper, though.
As good as the 49ers have been in 2012 and will continue to be, the Seahawks have been playing smart, fundamental football throughout the year and will make Thursday’s game much closer than San Francisco fans will like.
While Seattle will eventually lose, this is the kind of divisional battle that makes football the most popular sport in the United States. This will be an all-out war!
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