The San Francisco 49ers (4-2) host the Seattle Seahawks (4-2) to kick off Week 7′s great slate of games on Thursday Night Football. This marquee matchup features a pair of fearless defenses that are ranked second and third in the NFL right now in yards allowed and fourth and first in points allowed as well.
While there’s plenty of talent to go around on offense for each of these teams, the stars on defense should steal the show. They track down studs in their sleep and the depth is filthy good. 49ers star linebacker Patrick Willis and Seattle’s Booby Wagner are freaks on defense and they’re not at all the only ones.
Seattle surrendered a ton of frequent flier miles in last week’s thrilling 24-23 win against the New England Patriots, but the Seahawks’ strong secondary managed to make the most of an opportunity late in the game with a momentous interception.
The Patriots (3-3) had the ball inside the 25-yard-line of Seattle on six separate occasions and only came away with 16 points. Really any defense, especially when facing a prolific Patriots team that had lost two of their first five games, would have surrendered at least 24 points, but poor clock management by Tom Brady and company and a key INT cost the Patriots vital points.
Though the Giants did play a great game in their 26-3 win over the Niners, quarterback Alex Smith annihilated his team’s chances of coming up with the win (ended up going 19/30 for 200 yards with 3 INTs) and another poor performance could happen again if he continues to under throw to his receivers.
Smith’s arm strength is mediocre at best, but he was the NFL’s leading passer in completion percentage before last week’s letdown at home against Big Blue. Seattle’s surplus of studs in the secondary (Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner and Earl Thomas) are expected to blanket Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Vernon Davis and Mario Manningham.
If 49ers RB Frank Gore cannot find running room then this contest could be in Seattle’s favor. On the other side of the ball, it will be the skittle man himself (Marshawn Lynch) facing a 49ers defense that will load the box against rookie QB Russell Wilson, who continued to showcase his special potential in last Sunday’s win.
Wide receivers Braylon Edwards, Golden Tate, Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin have shined for the Seahawks offense in a few games that involved that clutch gene. Whether or not you put an asterisk against the team’s win over the Packers, the bottom line is in this contested conference (NFC) and surprisingly very heated division, the Seahawks have won four out of their first six contests.
A road win would be huge for the ‘Hawks since it would put the team in a great position to make the playoffs heading into the last week of October, but perhaps present the team with a tremendous chance to contend for the NFC West crown.
With their rather difficult remaining schedule, coming out on the losing end, especially in possibly blowout fashion could put them in a tailspin. Look for this contest to come down to quarterback play since both clubs shouldn’t find much running room.
Network: NFL Network
Time: 8:30 p.m. Eastern
Experts Pick: SF by 7
Danny V’s Pick: Niners 26, Seahawks 17