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49ers vs Seahawks: Who wins, and why?

The Niners Nation staff predicts Monday night’s score

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

It’s a big one Monday night as the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks in a pivotal NFC West matchup. Here are our predictions for tonight’s game.


Not having George Kittle will prove to be Kyle Shanahan’s most significant challenge to date this season. It’s odd to say the 49ers can get by without their best player—especially considering the Seahawks are 26th in DVOA at defending tight ends—but Seattle is a “bend and probably break defense,” and Shanahan will take easy yards all night.

I will pick the winner based on the most significant mismatch. Despite Russell Wilson’s greatness this season, Seattle’s line has struggled, while the 49ers defensive line continues to lead the way for San Francisco. I don’t see that changing it what will be a high scoring game due to big plays. 27-23, Niners.

El Pato

No George Kittle? No problem. The 49ers have shown they can beat the Seahawks at Levi’s with Nick Freaking Mullens, they should be able to beat them without George Kittle. The loss of Kittle makes things much tougher. Especially against a Seattle defense that may struggle against tight ends.

But that’s a defense that can also struggle against runs as shown by the Baltimore Ravens. I expect a lot of play action. Don’t be surprised to see Jimmy Garoppolo take off a few times himself in this chaos. The 49ers have this in a close game 27-24, Niners.

Josh E

Every home game this season has felt like “the biggest, most important game at Levi’s to date.” It’s easy for that to be true given the putrid beginnings we’ve seen in Santa Clara, but in what seems to be the new normal we have yet another marquee matchup with playoff implications at Levi’s (it is, after all, the biggest and most important home game to date).

Kyle Shanahan will be getting some key pieces on offense back - Joe Staley, Mike McGlinchey, and Kyle Juszczyk, to be exact. George Kittle was downgraded to doubtful and, thus, is not expected to be available - it was Juszczyk, though, who was quoted as saying that Shanahan’s playbook allows for players to essentially be interchangeable position-to-position so look for an all-hands-on-deck approach when it comes to the scheme on offense. The defense will have its hands full trying to contain MVP-candidate Russell Wilson. I expect Seattle to make some big plays to keep things close but, ultimately, San Francisco will continue its undefeated start.

49ers 35, Seahawks 28

Mark (taoish)

You just know there will be painful moments, improbable touchdowns on Russell Wilson bombs, and at least one string of three consecutive double-digit Chris Carson runs. You can’t plan to stop Wilson and Tyler Lockett unless you sack the Artful Dodger so hard and often that he’s limping by halftime (which is entirely possible). But Seattle can’t stop much of anybody this year, either, so I think San Francisco starts pulling away by the end of the 4th quarter and doesn’t let up, aided by a late pick-six. 45-27 Niners.

Joe the Wizard

I am guessing Carroll will load the box to shut down our running game and try to cut off the short passes, leaving them vulnerable to the deep threat. I am expecting fans to walk away wondering why Jimmy G and Goodwin haven’t been doing this all season. A couple of big plays should open up the run game, which in turn will allow us to throw over the top again.

Our defensive line is just too overwhelming for anyone at the moment. I think Seattle will unsuccessfully try to exploit Greenlaw, but he will utilize a fundamentally sound technique just to do his job. Seattle stays close in the first half but cannot stay with the 49ers in the second. Our four-man rush, once we have a lead, is one gigantic knockout punch.

49ers 42 Seahawks 17


I hate to give the Seahawks credit for anything, but Russell Wilson is playing at an MVP level right now. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t play defense. Their line has had trouble getting to the QB, and with how fast Jimmy releases his throws, I just can’t see how they stop us. 49ers win this one 33-17.


Russell Wilson has been playing at an MVP-level, and it’s always scary to play against quarterbacks of his caliber. On the flip side, his offensive line has been a work in progress, and their 27th-ranked defense (per DVOA) is going to give head coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the freedom to shred them all evening.

San Francisco might be without tight end George Kittle, and that may be their biggest challenge. Regardless, the 49ers are at home, are the more complete team, and have the most dominant unit in the game — their defensive line. 49ers find a way to sneak out of this week undefeated.

49ers, 28-24.

Jeff Medina

I just don’t see how Seattle’s defense is going to stop the 49ers offense, even without Kittle. Shanahan has had 11 days to gameplan for this matchup, and I expect success both on the ground and in the air early and often.

I’d like to say that I have the same confidence in the defense, but Russell Wilson’s mobility could be an issue. The 49ers have also struggled against the run, and the Seahawks will no doubt be serving up a heavy dose of Chris Carson.

The final concern is the 49ers safeties. Ward and Tartt have been fine, but they have also been lucky, and at some point, that luck is going to run out. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are going to test them deep, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they give up a big play or two.

In the end, I expect a close game, but the 49ers will pull it out, most likely thanks to a big play on special teams or a timely turnover. The streak stays alive, say hello to 9 and 0.

49ers win, 31-27