A year or two ago, games between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks might have been viewed with a little more attention and interest given the two franchises were atop the NFL’s best in recent seasons.
The Seahawks, stumbling after their 27-23 loss to the Carolina Pantherslast week, having blown the lead during the fourth quarter in all four of them, will face a 49ers team gaining offensive momentum and coming off a 25-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
The prime-time Thursday Night Football matchup doesn’t bode well for Seattle as is so typical for traveling teams on a short week. Still, the 49ers haven’t been able to match up favorably against their NFC West rivals in recent seasons, so this contest is about as intriguing as it gets despite the sub-.500 records.
What is clear is whichever team comes away with the victory in this contest likely retains the slim hope of making the playoffs. And the loser, as Grant Napear of Sacramento’s KHTK 1140 stated Tuesday, is “done” for the season.
San Francisco’s Week 6 victory over the Ravens was a continuation of the 49ers’ strong offensive efforts stemming from their Week 5 loss against the New York Giants.
One of Kaepernick’s touchdown passes came on a 76-yard hookup with wide receiver Torrey Smith. Baltimore’s secondary, especially former 49ers cornerback Shareece Wright, was continuously exposed by the 49ers aerial attack.
Smith and fellow wide receiver Anquan Boldin haunted their former Ravens team with a combined 198 yards and eight receptions. And fellow wideout Quinton Patton got in the mix with his first NFL touchdown, which proved to be the game-winner.
Seahawks vs 49ers NFL Football Free Signup Game Tv
On the flip side, San Francisco’s defense was good enough not to lose nor give up a last-second touchdown as had been the case against the Giants. But the 49ers continue to struggle with their pass rush. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco wasn’t sacked, and San Francisco recorded just one quarterback hit.
As a result, the 49ers gave up a total of 343 yards—137 of these to veteran wideout Steve Smith—and two touchdowns. Although the defense recorded two interceptions off Flacco, San Francisco will need to find a way to clamp down on opponents’ offensive efforts.
The conclusion of Week 6 marks the time in which San Francisco could add an additional three players to its 53-man roster.
Center Daniel Kilgore (ankle) and wide receivers Jerome Simpson (suspension) and DeAndre Smelter (knee) are all eligible to return to practice after not being listed on the roster for the first six weeks, per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
Out of the three, Simpson seems the likeliest to return. Per Maiocco, the 49ers coaching staff is pleased with Simpson’s efforts during his six-game suspension.
The 49ers may elect to take a more cautious approach with Kilgore as he continues to recover from his ankle injury suffered last season. And Smelter, feasibly, may not return at all in 2015 unless San Francisco feels rushed to add him to the roster.
Last week versus Baltimore, the 49ers received a minus-4.6 pass-rushing grade from Pro Football Focus, which is a continued example of just how much this aspect is struggling.
If there is a good sign, the Seahawks have allowed a whopping 26 sacks already on the season—highest in the NFL. And, as a unit, Seattle’s pass-protection efforts can boast of a minus-34.9 PFF grade, which is also the worst in this category.
Seattle versus San Francisco may not have the same lore compared to seasons prior, and the fact both teams are struggling in 2015 means the context of this matchup will be a little different compared to what was seen in 2013 or 2014.
Some, like Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, downplayed the rivalry. Yet offensive guard Alex Boone feels differently as seen in this video courtesy of CSN Bay Area.