The 49ers are getting a lot of messages from the universe that the Seattle Seahawks aren’t going to be a problem for them. First, the league flexed their game out of Sunday Night Football and into the late afternoon window. Then, Seattle fell flat on their face against Washington on Monday night. But if you’re worried about the Niners reading their own press clippings this week and laying yet another egg in Seattle, let this quote from Azeez Al-Shaair on KNBR allay your fears.
“I could care less about Seattle’s record, I know who they are. Obviously it’s not like them and what their history has been for their record to be what it is. I know one thing for sure: whenever you line up against them you’ve got to be ready to go. I think when the 49ers and Seattle play...I don’t care what the record was. You look at last year when our record wasn’t as good, and even that last game, it came down literally to the last play. I don’t think it’s ever about a record or sleeping on anybody...I don’t care who you’re playing, you’re in the NFL so you’d better show up.”
As I said in today’s 49ers in Five podcast, he’s absolutely right. Given the recent history of this rivalry, now is certainly not the time for the team to take their foot off the gas. Since being drafted in 2012, Russell Wilson is 16-4 against the 49ers- including a win earlier this season (and the infamous NFC Championship game in 2013).
If that in and of itself wasn’t motivation enough, San Francisco could also essentially end the Seahawks’ playoff hopes by sending them to their ninth loss of the year. As bad as the NFC is, it’s unlikely that a team will make the playoffs with a losing record (despite the presence of the 5-6 Washington Football Team as the seventh seed right now). Additionally, Seattle missing the playoffs could also potentially close the book on the Russell Wilson/Pete Carroll era. Considering the problems the Seahawks are having this year (and the fact that his agent released a list of teams he would be willing to play for during last offseason), it’s not inconceivable that a home loss to a division rival cements the changes that need to be made in the Emerald City.
So, yeah, I’d say the 49ers have plenty to prevent them from falling into a trap game this weekend. For more on that and why Brian Baldinger thinks a win this week does even more for San Francisco, check out today’s 49ers in Five podcast. It’s available everywhere you can possibly download a podcast.