Make or break time is officially here. The 49ers have hung around the incredibly weak NFC West playoff race in spite of losing two of their last three games and dropping to 4-8. They're two games back of first with four games remaining and we could get closure on this disaster of a season this week. In what can only be laughed at at this point, on Sunday the 49ers could either be eliminated from playoff contention or they could actually move to within a game of first place in the NFC West.
If the 49ers lose to Seattle they are officially eliminated from the playoff race. A loss means they can finish no better than 7-9 and the Seahawks would be guaranteed to finish no worse than 7-9. However, the Seahawks would hold the tiebreaker due to head-to-head sweep. On the other hand, if the 49ers win, they would move a game back of Seattle. Additionally, St. Louis is traveling to New Orleans and if they drop this game, they'd also be only a game up on San Francisco.
At this point, I find myself dealing with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I would still love to see the 49ers make the playoffs. It's been over seven years since the 49ers last sniffed the playoffs and I'm getting sick and tired of it. Furthermore, once the playoffs start, anything can happen. While it's true that the 49ers would be the long shot in January, crazier things have happened and the 49ers have hung close to some quality teams this season.
On the other hand, I'm fast reaching the point where I wonder if somebody just needs to end this madness and call the patient. I generally am one to root for a win, but there is some argument for a loss in this case. If the 49ers can just put an end to this charade of a season the sooner the team can move forward from its current situation. I suppose if Singletary could somehow will this team back from the brink maybe there's some value. But my faith in Coach Singletary is about as shaken as it could be at this point. His press conferences look like hostage videos. It's getting a little depressing seeing this proud man reduced to a bit of a mess.
I'm rooting for the win, but there is upside to a loss.
Once again I've attached a prediction poll. Head after the jump for random tidbits about this matchup.
The 49ers return home to Candlestick Park to face the Seattle Seahawks in a pivotal NFC West division showdown, setting up the winner of the game with a prime chance to take the division crown. After spending the past two weeks on the road, San Francisco will look to get back on track with its recent success at Candlestick. Seattle owns the overall series record, 13-10, with the Seahawks earning the most recent victory earlier this season in Seattle (9/12), 31-6. The Niners are 2-2 in the past four games at home vs. Seattle. The upcoming match up marks the first of three divisional games in the final four games of the season.
In below freezing temperatures, the 49ers fell on the road at Green Bay this past week, 34-16. TE Vernon Davis set a new career-high with 126 yards receiving while also pulling in one TD. His 126 yards receiving were also a game-high among all receivers. Davis hauled in a 66 yard TD reception in the 2nd quarter, marking the 49ers longest play from scrimmage this season.
- 49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari held the same title with the Seahawks from 2008-2009.
- 49ers special assistant to the head coach, Bill Nayes, was the administrative assistant/football operations (1999-2000) and the football operations coordinator/team travel (2000-2006) for the Seahawks.
- Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, a native of San Francisco, CA, coached for the 49ers from 1995-1996, serving as the defensive coordinator during that time span.
- Seahawks tight ends coach Pat McPherson served as the 49ers quality control coach/defense (1996).
- Defensive line coach Dan Quinn served as the quality control/defense (2001-2002), and defensive line coach (2003-2004) for the 49ers.
- Seahawks senior personnel executive Scot McCloughan rejoined the Seahawks after spending the previous five seasons with the 49ers, most recently as general manager.
- Seahawks assistant special teams coach Jeff Ulbrich is currently in his first season on the coaching staff in Seattle after spending 10 season as a linebacker on the 49ers (2000-2009).
SEAHAWKS-NOR CAL CONNECTIONS: RB Marshawn Lynch (2004-06), RB Justin Forsett (2004-07), G Mike Gibson (2006-07), TE Cameron Morrah (2005-08), and DT Brandon Mebane (2003-06) played at Cal.
FORMER 49ERS: Seahawks RB Michael Robinson spent four seasons with the Niners, including the last two years as a special teams captain ... Seahawks DE Kentwan Balmer was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the 49ers in 2008 ... Seahawks senior personnel executive Scot McCloughan rejoined the Seahawks after spending the previous five seasons with the 49ers, most recently as general manager ... Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. played 7 years at linebacker with the 49ers from 1994-2000 ... Seahawks assistant special teams coach Jeff Ulbrich is currently in his first season on the coaching staff in Seattle after spending 10 seasons as a linebacker on the 49ers from 2000-09.
TROJAN TIES - 49ers G Chilo Rachal and S Taylor Mays were coached at USC by Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll at USC. 49ers G Chilo Rachal played with Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu and WR Mike Williams during the 2004 season.
HOTTY TOTTY! - 49ers LB Patrick Willis played at Mississippi with Seahawks C Chris Spencer from 2005-07.
PANTHER PRIDE - 49ers TE Nate Byham played at Pittsburgh with Seahawks CB Kennard Cox from 2006-07.
"THE" BUCKEYE BROTHERS - 49ers QB Troy Smith, WR Ted Ginn, and Seahawks DE jay Richardson all played together at Ohio State University.
Series Record: Seahawks Lead Series 13-10
49ers Home Record vs. Seahawks: Seahawks lead series 6-4
First Meeting: 9/26/79, 49ers win, 37-21, at Seattle
Last Meeting: 9/12/10, Seahawks win, 31-6, at Seattle
Current Streak: Lost 2
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 3 (11/25/85-12/8/91)
Longest Seahawks Win Streak: 6 (10/12/03-12/11/05)
Most 49ers Points: 38 (9/25/88): 38-7, at Seattle
Most Seahawks Points: 42 (11/7/04): 42-27, at San Francisco
49ers Shutouts: None
Seahawks Shutouts: 2 times (Last: 11/12/07): 24-0, at Seattle
SAN FRANCISCO 6 SEATTLE 31
At Seattle, WA, September 12, 2010
The 49ers traveled to Seattle with high expectations for their opening game of the 2010 season, only to come up with more questions than answers as they fell to their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers started off in commanding fashion with a defensive unit that appeared to set the tone of the game as CB Nate Clements intercepted Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck on the first play of the game.
The 49ers featured two rookie starters on the offensive line of opening day (T Anthony Davis and G Mike Iupati) for only the 4th time in franchise history, and the first time since 1958. After WR Josh Morgan was unable to come down with both feet in the end zone on a spectacular throw by QB Alex Smith on the first drive of the game, the 49ers were forced to settle for 3 points. With a field goal by 49ers K Joe Nedney with 4:35 left to go in the first quarter, the 49ers were on the board. It had been the first time since 2006 that the 49ers scored on their first possession of the season, the last being a 31-yard TD pass from QB Alex Smith to TE Vernon Davis at Arizona. (9/10/06).
The 49ers offense was able to consistently move the ball down the field in the first half, holding possession for 12:46 in the first quarter. However their attention to detail lacked as they were unsuccessful when it came to getting into the end zone. The 49ers would get another strong chance to put it in for 6 on a 3rd-and-2 situation that left FB Moran Norris a yard shy as he rushed for a 1-yard gain before getting stopped at the 1. After the Seattle stop and a 5-yard delay of game penalty, Nedney put it through the uprights from 23 yards out for 3 points, his second FG of the game.
That would be all the scoring the Seahawks would allow from the 49ers for the rest of the day. After starting the game up 6-0, the 49ers would have the momentum shift to the home team. On the very next drive, the Seahawks were able to score a touchdown off of a 1-yard scramble by QB Matt Hasselbeck. The scramble was set up by a 35-yard pass from Hasselbeck to WR Mike Williams. Less than 50 seconds later, offensive miscues by 49ers Alex Smith and WR Michael Crabtree led to an interception by Seattle, and with 1:33 left to go in the half, Hasselbeck connected with Deon Butler on a 13-yard pass for a touchdown. 49ers miscues and mistakes would cost them 17 more points by the Seahawks in the second half with a final score of 31-6.
|49ERS (rank)||SEAHAWKS (rank)|
|4-8 (3rd NFCW)||Record||6-6 (t-1st NFCW)|
|16.9 (30th)||Points per game||20.0 (24th)|
|316.0 (24th)||Total Offense||305.3 (28th)|
|109.7 (15th)||Rushing Offense||84.8 (30th)|
|206.3 (22nd)||Passing Offense||220.4 (17th)|
|29:10 (22nd)||Possession Avg||26:59 (30th)|
|21.6 (17th)||Points allowed/gm||24.1 (21st)|
|324.6 (11th)||Total Defense||389.3 (30th)|
|101.4 (t-10th)||Rushing Defense||121.3 (21st)|
|223.2 (18th)||Passing Defense||268.1 (30th)|
|27 (t-12th)||Sacks||29 (t-10th)|
|46.0 (6th)||Punting Avg (Gross)||43.2 (22nd)|
|-6 (t-25th)||Turnover Differential||-6 (t-16th)|