Thursday Night Football- Seahawks vs 49ers Preview
Week 7 kicks off tonight a crucial NFC West divisional game as the Seattle Seahawks travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers.
The game is live on NFL Network for American viewers and will also be shown on Sky Sports 1 in Ireland.
So without further ado, here is my preview of the game.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Stadium– Candlestick Park
Kick Off- 5:20 p.m. in San Francisco/1:20 a.m. in Ireland
What to Watch
Alex Smith and the 49ers Passing Game
- Last week against the New York Giants, Alex Smith had an awful day against the Giants defense throwing three interceptions. Things don’t get much easier for Smith and the passing game this week vs a Seahawks defense which boasts one of the best secondaries in the league.
- The Niners have plenty of weapons in the passing game that can cause problems for opposing defense. Vernon Davis in particular, is one of the best tight ends in the NFL and he’ll look to show that tonight.
Frank Gore and 49ers Running Backs vs Seahawks Run Defense
- Frank Gore may be the unquestioned leader of this rushing attack, but they aren’t short of options when it comes to running the football. Backups Kendall Hunter and Colin Kaepernick both have the ability to succeed in the run game and that’s not including the injured duo of LaMichael James and Brandon Jacobs.
- On the opposite side of the ball, the Seahawks currently have the second defense in the game against the run. Expect safety Kam Chancellor and the rest of their run defense making plays again tonight.
Seahawks Offensive Line vs 49ers Front Seven
- The 49ers may have the best defense in football right now and their front seven with Justin Smith and co. could end up stealing the show. Aside from Justin Smith, Aldon Smith is a fantastic pass rusher along with linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman who are a dominate duo stopping the run.
- The Seahawks o-line must deal with these players effectively if they are going to succeed. With Willis sopping the run game and Smith coming off the edge, the Seahawks blockers are in for a long night.
Who to Watch
Frank Gore- Running Back- 49ers
- Let me start of by saying that Frank Gore is highly underused in the 49ers offense in my eyes. With Alex Smith at quarterback, there is no reason why you should be throwing the ball nearly thirty times a game when you have Gore at running back.
- A 1,000 yard rusher in five of his seven seasons as a pro, there is no question that Gore should definitely be getting more touches in the backfield. Look for him to shine tonight carrying the load in the backfield.
Patrick Willis- Middle Linebacker- 49ers
- There may only ever be one Ray Lewis, but Patrick Willis is the next best thing at middle linebacker. Ask any NFL fan about Willis and your sure to get the same reply: Patrick Willis is a beast.
- Since being drafted with the eleventh pick in the 2007 draft, he has developed into a perennial Pro Bowler and one of the best defenders at his position. Watch out for Willis tonight in stopping running back Marshawn Lynch and also getting pressure to rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
Russell Wilson- Quarterback- Seahawks
- Given his rookie status and all the question marks surrounding his game, Russell Wilson has done a phenomenal job as the Seahawks starting quarterback. Wilson has led them to an impressive 4-2 start to the new season including a 4th quarter comeback win over Tom Brady and the Patriots last week.
- It is unsure how long his success will last as the season drags on and he faces the inevitable rookie wall. If one thing is for certain, it is that Wilson faces his toughest test yet against the 49ers defense tonight.
This game will give the winner a big advantage in the battle to win the NFC West with both teams evenly matched on paper and in the standings.
The Seahawks will put up a fight, but I think it’s the 49ers who will bounce back and get back to winning ways at home win following their disappointing loss at the hands of the New York Giants last week.
Seahawks 15 49ers 24
So that’s your preview and prediction, hope everyone enjoys the big game.