The San Francisco 49ers are currently a 6.5-point home underdog against the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers beat the New York Giants prior to a Week 11 bye, while Seattle is coming off a tough loss to Atlanta. The Seahawks have lost a host of key defensive players to injury, with Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, and Cliff Avril all out for Sunday’s game.
The 49ers played the Seahawks close up in Seattle, with a late Russell Wilson touchdown the difference. The 49ers have shown signs of progress in various areas, but is it enough to pull off an upset of the Seahawks? I think some fans think it can happen, and people are generally getting a little more excited for this game.
General manager John Lynch was on KNBR Wednesday morning, and he had a chance to discuss the upcoming game. He talked about his respect for the Seahawks, and how they were able to rally in spite of the injuries in their close loss to Atlanta. He had a great line about this game and how the 49ers need to approach it.
“It’s also the most important game because it’s the next game, and that’s how we really wanna approach it. But, absolutely they have been the standard-bearer. I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for that organization. I’ve been around those people a lot. One thing that I think’s really important, we can’t fall for that proverbial banana in the tailpipe — that hey, they’re injured — when I watched the other night, guys kept going out and whoever they brought in played at a high level. And that’s what they’ve created up there. It’s kind of a mentality and aggressiveness with the way they do things, that it doesn’t matter who’s in there, we’re gonna play to this standard.”
For those of you unfortunate souls who do not know what the banana in the tailpipe is, I present two videos of Axel Foley.
Quoting Beverly Hills Cop aside, John Lynch has a good point. The Seahawks are the proverbial wounded animal that could still pounce at any minute. The defense still has playmakers, and as long as that offense has Russell Wilson, Jimmy Graham, and Doug Baldwin, they remain dangerous.
Lynch sees this as a challenge for how the 49ers can built on their win and build on that first close game in Seattle.
“It’s a big challenge. The second game of the year, we were up in Seattle and I thought we played an incredibly physical game, I thought we really took it to ‘em. But we didn’t come out of that game on the right side. I wanna see if we’ve grown to that next step, to where we can physically hang with them, and find a way to pull it out. Those are the opportunities you get in this league that are so exciting, and we’ve got a great one on Sunday.”
The loss to Seattle was the start of their five game streak of losses by a field goal or less. The 49ers have had a consistent problem closing this year. Whether it be close losses, down in the red zone on individual drives, or just in rushing the passer, they have missed a lot of opportunities to close the deal. That’s one of the many next steps they need to take in moving this rebuilding project further forward.