Both Seattle and Arizona have won five of their last six games heading into Week 16, and both are sitting at 7-7 on the season. In any other year in the NFC West, this record would have been leading to a division title. Then again, who saw San Francisco going 11-3 and meandering into a first round bye?
So the Week 16 match-up between the 49ers and Seahawks suddenly becomes interesting, as the red hot Cardinals knocked off the 49ers two weeks ago, and equally hot, if not hotter, Seattle may pose an even more potent threat to the 49ers' chances of that first round bye.
Out of nowhere, the Seahawks have a good running game, young and talented defense and a quarterback that is managing a pretty decent game these days.
Well done, Pete Carroll?
However, the best thing about this 49ers' team is the fact that while previewing these games, we can always count on one thing: San Francisco's opponent will not be able to run the ball.
It is near a fact these days.
Also, for every young and talented defensive player Seattle seems to boast these days, San Francisco has two....and Aldon Smith.
The 49ers/Seahawks clash in Seattle will be as physical a test as San Francisco has seen all season. Add in that Seattle's stadium is the loudest the NFL has to offer, and we have a real even match-up on our hands.
Both Tarvaris Jackson and Alex Smith will manage the game effectively, as has been the case over the last few weeks. The same goes for Frank Gore and Marshawn Lynch, who will both be held severely in check in this week's game. But the game will ultimately come down to the defense, most notably the game of turnovers.
Both defenses can create turnovers, and it will be the defense that creates the most that will win this game. The noise created in the stadium will be huge for the Seattle defense and should create more opportunities for them. However, San Francisco's relentless pressure at the quarterback is always a turnover threat these days.
With the game ultimately coming down to the defenses, it would be fitting to suggest that the game equally holds its own on field position. No team in the NFL is better at creating the field position game better than the 49ers, and with a presumedly low-scoring fest, we should see Andy Lee win another Special Teams Players of the Week Award.
49ers win 20-13