Seahawks vs 49er preview: A win could put Seattle in the #2 seed for playoffs
image courtesy of yahoosports.com

Seahawks vs 49er preview: A win could put Seattle in the #2 seed for playoffs

The Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1) head to the bay area to take on the San Francisco 49ers (2-13) for the last regular season game of the year. A Seahawks win and an Atlanta Falcons loss would put the Seahawks in the precious # 2 spot for the NFC playoffs, however, a loss could put the Hawks behind the 8 ball in a playoff scenario. The 49ers have been awful this year, but as we saw with the Cardinals game last week, if the Seahawks underestimate this San Francisco squad, they could potentially lose playoff positioning.

The San Francisco 49ers have the worst record in the NFC, but are coming off their 2nd win of the season. They beat the LA Rams 22-21 and are looking to play of pride. While their roster is in utter shambles, expect the rivalry game to be a fight.

Former Duck is in control for the 49ers

Defensive end DeForet Buckner was the first round draft pick for the San Francisco 49ers.  Buckner reached his preseason goal of producing six sacks, and only three rookies have more: Joey Bosa (San Diego Chargers, 9.5 sacks), Yannick Ngakove (Jacksonville Jaguars, seven) and Leonard Floyd (Chicago Bears, seven — including two against the 49ers).

Buckner’s 71 tackles as a defensive lineman is impressive. He is 2nd only to Damon Harrison of the New York Giants in that category. DeForest has 941 snaps which is second only to Olivier Vernon (of the Giants), and if you include special-teams, Bucker eclipses even Vernon in that category.

Yes there are other players on better teams who will be considered over him; however, one can make a strong argument that Buckner should infact be the defensive rookie of the year.

“I don’t know how he’s not going to be considered for the defensive rookie of the year,” Defensive coordinator O’Neil stated. “If you look at his numbers compared to every defensive tackle in this league, he leads the NFL in tackles for all defensive tackles. He’s at the top in sacks. He’s played the most plays of any defensive tackle in the NFL. He’s done an unbelievable job.”

Keep Rawling Rawling Rawling

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 20:  Running back Thomas Rawls #34 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before an NFL game against the Philadelphia Eagles at CenturyLink Field on November 20, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Thomas Rawls, image courtesy of NBCsports.com

Yes as Limp Bizkit might say “keep Rawling rawling…” The Seahawks had thrown all-in as a run first team. This year has been an unmitigated disaster as the hawks have been unable to get things going and it shows in horrific showings against the likes of Tampa and Arizona.  The Seahawks have averaged 100.3 yards per game (23rd in the NFL) which is quite unlike them.

Injuries to Thomas Rawls, Troymaine Pope, C.J Prosise, and even QB Russell Wilson has been the undoing of this ground attack. The identity of this team has quite literally been robbed of them. While that may seem like hyperbole—as this team is 9-5-1—it is still important as the Hawks audition for the playoffs in this last game of the season.

Thomas Rawls may be back and his penchant for injury will need to be remedied if the Hawks are to make a run in the playoffs. Last week, Rawls got injured yet again (the 3rd time this year).  Rawls had an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the issue. He initially injured his shoulder in the second quarter against Arizona. After trying to get his shoulder loose by shaking and rotating his arm, Rawls was replaced for the remainder of the game by Alex Collins.

When healthy Rawls is simply dominant, unfortunately this year, he has not been on the field long enough to impose his will on the opponents. They say that one of the more important abilities in the NFL is dur-ability, and for this Seahawks squad, that seems incredibly true. With Earl Thomas and Tyler Lockett out for the year, the Hawks will need to rely on the legs of Thomas to get them through. The question is “will he be available?”

Just the stats

The offenses for both teams are just plain bad. The 49ers are the 27th worst scoring team (19ppg) and have the 32nd ranked passing game (181 ypg). The Seahawks have a hard time boasting much better averaging 21.9 ppg (20th) and 255.9 ypg (15).  This will be a battle of the awful vs the mediocre.

The Seahawks may relinquish their streak of 5 consecutive years with the best scoring defense as an Arizona Cardinal offensive explosion last week drew them to 2nd place (17.9) in points allowed per game. The Hawks do boast a solid 8th ranking in pass defense (228 ypg) and 8th in run defense (95 ypg) though.

As bad as the 49ers are on offense, they can boast an equally awful defense allowing a league worst 30.3 (32nd) points per game to go with their 408.4 yards allowed (32nd).

SSU prediction

On paper this should be a blowout, then again the Seahawks should have taken the Arizona Cardinals to task. Right now, 49er coach Chip Kelley is fighting for his coaching life, we should expect him to pull out all of the stops to make this close. Ultimately, the Seahawks prevail 28-14.

Standings

  NFC Team W L T Pct PF PA Conf Pct Non-Conf
1. Dallas Cowboys 13 2 0 .867 408 279 9-2 .818 4-0
2. Atlanta Falcons 10 5 0 .667 502 374 8-3 .727 2-2
3. Seattle Seahawks 9 5 1 .633 329 269 5-5-1 .500 4-0
4. Green Bay Packers 9 6 0 .600 401 364 7-4 .636 2-2
5.  New York Giants 10 5 0 .667 291 274 7-4 .636 3-1
6. Detroit Lions 9 6 0 .600 322 327 7-4 .636 2-2
7. Washington Redskins 8 6 1 .567 386 364 6-5 .545 2-1-1
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8 7 0 .533 337 353 6-5 .545 2-2

 

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News Reporter
Abraham DeWeese is an avid local sports fan and a “Man-About-Town” in the Seattle sports scene. He's a lifelong resident of the Seattle area, living in the beautiful Greenlake neighborhood.