The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks square off in Week 12, with the 49ers looking to build on their first win of the season. The 49ers are a 6.5-point underdog to the Seahawks, and most people don’t see this ending well for the 49ers. Whether it be straight up or against the spread picks, virtually every pick is against the 49ers. Shocker, I know.
Whether it be picks from SB Nation, ESPN, CBS Sports, USA Today, or Pro Football Talk, everybody is picking the 49ers to lose. If you’re looking for any love, it comes in the form of CBS Sports writer Will Brinson and NFL.com writer Elliott Harrison. They both picked the Seahawks to win, but they are the only two in this small sample that picked the 49ers to cover the spread.
We chatted with Field Gulls editor Kenneth Arthur to get his thoughts on this game, and the Seahawks in general moving forward. Seattle is trying to overcome a host of injuries, and finds themselves a game back of the resurgent Los Angeles Rams. Here’s what Kenneth had to say about Sunday’s game and the rest of the season.
I was pretty encouraged during the loss to Atlanta because the defense looked fairly normal to me. Don't focus on the 34 points allowed, but instead recognize that the defense really only allowed two long drives, only one of which was over 70 yards. This was as a defense that was playing without Richard Sherman for the first time since 2010, then lost their number one corner Griffin in the first quarter, and was already without Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor, and didn't have Reed or Avril, and was up against Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. I'm encouraged that they were still an above average defense without two of their three Pro Bowl secondary players and still dominant at times. So I'm still feeling like they can shut down C.J. Beathard for most of the game, even if they also have one or two significantly regrettable moments.
I assume all the playoff teams in the NFC will be above .500, yes. I am really not sure if the Seahawks can make the playoffs. I see them getting to 7-4 against the Niners but then they could lose their next three games - Eagles, @ Jaguars, Rams - and be on the brink of elimination. I could also see them winning two of three of those and being 9-5 and on the brink of clinching a wild card, maybe the division if they get another win over the Rams; technically the Seahawks still control their fate if they win as many remaining games as the Rams do and beat LA at home. If they're 8-6 going into the final two games (@ Cowboys, Cardinals) then it might require them to win out. Ezekiel Elliott will return for that Dallas game, and of course that'll be a challenge for them to win that game. I see Seattle making the postseason but I don't deny that it's murkier than it's been since 2012, mostly because the Rams are a legitimate top-5 defense with a capable offense and great special teams, and some of the other NFC wild card teams are really good too.
As you say, they also have finished strong in every season with Pete and Russell so maybe that explosion is coming again. I have my doubts because of the injuries and the lack of a running game. (Note that DeShawn Shead could return in a couple weeks, Chris Carson could return in December, and McDowell might still have a chance to play this year.)