We have reached the end of the season. Week 17 was supposed to be for the NFC Championship or playoff seeding between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Still, injuries, namely high-ankle sprains, ended the Niners' playoff hopes months ago and have been nagging ever since.
San Francisco will be without Brandon Aiyuk and Trent Williams as both players are out with injury. The team will also be without a handful of other starters against their rival Seahawks. Seattle opened up as 5.5-point favorites over the Niners, totaling the game set at 46. The Seahawks likely won’t rest their starters as they can still win the No. 1 seed in the NFC, though they’ll need some help.
After an outright win over the Cardinals, the 49ers are 6-9 against the spread this season. Seattle is 8-7 against the spread. Since this is a “home” game for the 49ers, this is where they’ve struggled. San Francisco’s lone home win this season came against little brother Sean McVay. The circumstances have been unlike any other season, but only winning one “home” game is an outlier for this team and will be a reason why many pundits will be higher on the 49ers heading into next season.
Seattle is 4-3 on the road and 3-2 in the division. Their Week 16 victory over the Rams was the only double-digit win in the NFC West. However, this time around, they’ll face a Niners squad without their left tackle, one of the team’s best players, their best receiver, who was on the brink of breaking Jerry Rice’s franchise rookie record, and a third-string quarterback.
The last time these two teams met was the same story as most of the season. The defense started strong, the quarterback turned the ball over, and everything went downhill from there. Seattle’s defense smelled blood in the water once they knew the 49ers offense couldn’t threaten them. They were on the attack and began to blitz and send pressure. The offense was handicapped because of this and didn’t move the ball until later in the game when Nick Mullens came in.
JaMycal Hasty led the team in rushing with 12 carries for 29 yards. It was that kind of day for the 49ers. Nothing went right until it was too late.
On the other side of the ball, Emmanuel Moseley found out the hard way how good DK Metcalf was. Tyler Lockett didn’t have to do much, as Metcalf did all of the heavy lifting on his way to a 12 reception, 161-yard performance with two touchdowns. This time around, Jason Verrett and Ahkello Witherspoon will have the task of slowing down a high-powered Seahawks passing attack that wants to stretch the field. Based on Verrett’s performance against DeAndre Hopkins, that should make for a fascinating battle:
Jason Verrett was targeted 9 times against DeAndre Hopkins and allowed 5 catches, and his longest gain was 9 yards. Targets don't always tell the full story of how dominant a performance was.— KP (@KP_Show) December 28, 2020
Watch Verrett out-physical Hopkins, undercut these routes, and beat Nuk to his spot. pic.twitter.com/vkyRjO7tLo
Will the 49ers keep it close, or will mistakes haunt the team one last time this season?