The San Francisco 49ers, coming off their third win of the season over the Denver Broncos, now set their sights on the team’s Week 15 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. It’s the second time the two teams have met in three weeks, the 49ers falling to the Seahawks 43-16 at CenturyLink Field. They’ll get a shot at redemption on Sunday, this time at Levi’s Stadium in the second of three-straight home games for Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers.
Here are five players to watch when the 49ers battle the Seahawks on Sunday:
QB Nick Mullens
Mullens threw for over 400 yards against the Seahawks two weeks ago. Unfortunately, three-fourths of his production came in the second half when the game was essentially out of reach for the 49ers. The former third-string quarterback completed 30 of 48 passes for 414 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a quarterback rating of 95.3 against the Seahawks. An impressive feat, nonetheless, one that Mullens will need to repeat If they’re to keep pace with Russell Wilson and the always unpredictable Seahawks offense.
DT DeForest Buckner
Buckner was the 49ers’ only real defensive standout against the Seahawks in Week 13. He racked up seven total tackles, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and two sacks, bringing his season-total to nine. Buckner has already set a personal best when eclipsed his six sacks as a rookie and is now one away from double-digits. The vulnerable Seahawks offensive line coupled with Wilson’s tendency to give plays time to develop will give the 49ers’ star defender a chance to add to his impressive total.
TE George Kittle
Kittle fell just five yards short of the setting the all-time record for yards in a single game by a tight end against the Broncos. The 49ers’ star, already having a standout year, moved into the realm of elite after catching seven passes for 210 yards and a touchdown in Week 14. Kittle did, however, set the 49ers’ franchise record for yards in a season by a tight end, as well as the first to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark. Kittle’s 1,103 yards so far in 2018 ranks second in the NFL behind Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. He was held to six catches for 70 yards the last time he faced the Seahawks.
SS Marcell Harris
Harris made his starting debut against the Seahawks in Week 13 with mixed results. The rookie safety totaled five tackles but missed three, contributing to the defense giving up a season-high 168 rushing yards in Seattle. Harris rebounded against the Broncos, racking up seven tackles and two tackles for loss, including an impressive fourth-down stop of running back Phillip Lindsay late in the fourth quarter. With 2019 implications to close out the season, Harris will look to redeem himself against the Seahawks and put together back-to-back strong performances.
DB D.J. Reed Jr.
Harris wasn’t the only rookie to shine against the Broncos. Reed, in replacement of starting nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams, might’ve been the 49ers’ most significant defensive standout in Week 14. Reed was all over the field against Denver, with 12 total tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one quarterback hit and one forced fumble. Williams is still questionable with the knee injury that sidelined him against the Broncos, and if inactive Sunday, will provide another opportunity for Reed to prove his worth. Even if Williams is suits up, it seems likely the 49ers find a way to get Reed on the field after his Week 14 performance.