It’s been nearly a decade for the Thanksgiving rematch. The San Francisco 49ers are playing on Turkey Day in 2023 and it’s a reset of the 2014 game between the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. The difference is this game is in Seattle, and we can only hope the 49ers win this one. This will be the final Thanksgiving game of the night on NBC Sports. Mike Tirico has the play-by-play and Cris Collinsworth will be providing commentary.
The 49ers have rebounded from their three-game losing streak in dominant fashion. They first went to ruin the party for the Jacksonville Jaguars who were on their own winning streak, then hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for another dominant victory. There remains much to work on mostly on defense.
Quarterback Brock Purdy put up a perfect passer rating last week against the Buccaneers. The first 49er to do it since Joe Montana in 1989. While a perfect passer rating isn’t exactly elite company when you see who’s managed to pull the feat off, the fact that it happened against a top-10 defense in the Buccaneers is what makes it impressive. Furthermore, it could be argued that despite the rating, Purdy still didn’t play the best game of his career.
On the defensive side, the 49ers will have a new challenge. Safety Talanoa Hufanga went down with a season-ending ACL injury. Rookie Ji’Ayir Brown will be stepping in. Brown was the 49ers’ first selection in the 2023 NFL draft (3rd round, 87 overall). Brown got a “Welcome to the NFL” moment early on, but then made a crucial interception in the redzone that ended the Buccaneers chances of making a comeback.
The Seahawks are playing for their playoff future at this point. They have had a three game stretch where they were crushed by the Baltimore Ravens, struggled against a weak Washington Commanders team, and then lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Los Angeles Rams after a missed field goal. They do have a wild card spot if the season were to end today, but a loss to the 49ers could potentially put them a single game ahead of several NFC teams. A second loss and that spot could slip through their fingers.
The defense has shown up in stretches, but quarterback Geno Smith has had some issues in those games turning the ball over. Against the Rams he was much better, but Smith has definitely come back to earth a bit after his impressive 2022 campaign.
The 49ers play the Seahawks twice in three weeks and can hit the verge of wrapping up the division with two wins over their old rival. Obviously, the Seahawks don’t want that to happen. The 49ers may have more inspiration with this being a Thanksgiving game. The last Thanksgiving game between these two teams marked some controversial post-game moments and the end of the Jim Harbaugh era.
The 49ers may get guard Aaron Banks back Thursday. Offensive lineman Spencer Burford is questionable and the Thursday start time might make him out for the game. Newly signed Ben Bartch may play Thursday night.
On the Seahawks side, Geno Smith is questionable. He left the Rams game with an injury but returned later. Running back Kenneth Walker has an oblique injury and is listed as doubtful. Offensive tackle Abraham Lucas is also questionable.
Date: Thursday, November 23rd, 2023
Kickoff: 5:20 PM PST, 8:20 PM EST
Location: Lumen Field, Seattle, WA
Play-by-Play: Mike Tirico
Color Analyst: Cris Collinsworth
For more betting information, please visit DraftKings Sportsbook.