NFL 2019 (Week 10): Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 10): Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

By Jesse Pierson

Special to Pro Football Guru

Since Pete Carroll took over as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, Seattle has won the division four times, which is the most in the division in that span. Since the NFL realigned in 2002, Seattle’s eight titles nearly overshadow their rivals combined (the 49ers, Rams, and Cardinals each have three). However, since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the San Francisco 49ers have won 19 division titles, which is far and away the most of any team to have played out west (even Atlanta and Carolina, somehow). So any way you slice it, these teams have been the class of the NFC West from both historical and recent perspectives. And this matchup looks to be a doozy, pitting leading MVP candidate Russell Wilson against leading Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Nick Bosa. These teams are a combined 15-2, and neither has dropped a division game. Whoever wins has the inside track to the division crown (and a possible home field advantage come January), though they will meet again in the season finale.

Seahawks: Wilson has been stellar this year, and his 118.2 passer rating leads the league on the strength of his 22:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has been sacked 22 times, which is a bit of a concern, but that is the only knock on the offense through nine games. On top of the passing game, Chris Carson, Wilson and Rashaad Penny have already combined for over 1100 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. On the other side of the ball, things are slightly less rosy. For the first time in a long time, Seattle’s defense is no more than average. Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman play elsewhere now, and a lot of productivity has left with them. The Seahawks are in the top five in the league in both turnovers forced and total turnover differential, but are no better than 13th in yards allowed (rushing, passing, or total), sacks, or points allowed. They will need a herculean effort to stifle Kyle Shanahan’s multi-faceted offensive attack.

49ers: Shanahan’s group is the last remaining undefeated team, although they are now getting into the meat of their schedule. After Seattle, San Francisco plays Arizona (whom they beat by only a field goal on Halloween), Green Bay, at Baltimore, and at New Orleans. To remain undefeated, they will need outstanding play, good health, and a little luck. At least on the health front, things may be starting to falter. Linebacker Kwon Alexander was placed on injured reserve this week, tight end George Kittle is listed as doubtful and starting offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchy are questionable. If nothing else, this fearsome pass rush can keep the 49ers in any game. Bosa, Arik Armstead, Dee Ford and DeForest Buckner all have at least four sacks and one forced fumble. They are a quarterback’s worst nightmare. If an opposing passer can somehow get a throw off, the aforementioned Sherman may be lurking around to add to his eight pass breakups and three interceptions. This group will certainly test Wilson’s accuracy and mettle.

Prediction: Bosa and company make several plays in the Seattle backfield, but Jimmy Garoppolo is unable to hold up his end of the bargain. The Seahawks steal one on the road and allow Mercury Morris to enjoy his annual glass of champagne.

Seattle Seahawks 24, San Francisco 49ers 18

Jesse Pierson (@jessetpierson) is a former teacher and high school football coach who has written about the Colts for over a decade. He loves football, dogs, food, and comedy, and you can follow his work on his Facebook page, Jesse Pierson, Mediocre Writer.


NFL 2019