Seahawks versus 49ers week 17: Staff predictions are not without hope
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks and 49ers will play for the NFC West crown on Sunday. Who will win and why? Here is what our staff is thinking.
The Seahawks are in the playoffs, no matter what happens on Sunday. Whichever team wins in week 17 between Seattle and the 49ers, though, will win the NFC West and host at least one home playoff game. The other team will start on the road. Who will win this week? Here is what our staff believes will occur.
Colby Patnode, contributor and host of the 12th Man Rising podcast
There are hardly any logical reasons to pick the Seahawks in this game. The 49ers are healthier. Our offensive line is banged up and the strongest unit in San Fran is that wicked defensive line. The Seahawks have lost their Top 3 running backs. Josh Gordon and Quandre Diggs, who had a massive impact on the first game, are out of this one. On the field, it is hard to find an advantage.
Even the home-field advantage, which used to be something you can count on, has gone out the window. The only reason I’m not taking San Fran in a blowout right now is the return of Marshawn Lynch. The raw energy of Lynch’s return should re-ignite the locker room, which has seen many of their best players in the trainer room and unable to practice.
However, I’m not sure that is enough to overcome the volume of injuries Seattle is facing. I hate to say it, but I think San Fran wins this game 7 out of 10 times, so I’ll take them to clinch the NFC West, dragging their mediocre QB to a win in Seattle.
Prediction: 49ers 27 Seahawks 23
Karley Sibert, contributor
The biggest factor facing the Seahawks in this game won’t be the 49ers but their very own coaching staff– specifically Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer. Carroll has been out-coached multiple times this season and Schottenheimer needs a big game to redeem himself after the embarrassing offense he put together in week 16 against Arizona.
Seattle will have several key returns on defense along with the return of Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch on offense. In a match-up that could truly be anyone’s game, the 49ers will come away from with a close win, but not without a few injuries first.
Prediction: 49ers 24 Seahawks 20
Geoff Shull, contributor
This game has all the feels of a playoff game. Bobby Wagner states that the locker room is preparing for war. Whoever wins this game will win the division and potentially a first-round bye. No small feat. All of Seattle’s starters should be playing this week outside left tackle Duane Brown and free safety Quandre Diggs. Fortunately for Seattle, the 49ers defense has shown some cracks over the past few weeks. Over the last 7 weeks, they are just 4-3. The running game has slowed some and the pass rush has not been quite as fruitful.
I’m thinking Seattle will take advantage of a suddenly soft(er) 49ers defense and come out with a win.
Prediction: Seahawks 28 49ers 23 (See, there is hope for Seattle!)
Lee Vowell, co-expert
I think the Seahawks can beat the 49ers in this game, but when Seattle won in week 10 it was because Jadeveon Clowney played out of his mind and Seattle ran for 147 yards. Clowney will be back but is also dealing with a core injury and hasn’t played in a few weeks. Chris Carson is out for the season. Plus, the 49ers didn’t have George Kittle the first go-round and he makes a huge difference for San Francisco. Seattle is in the playoffs either way, of course, so a loss is simply the end of the regular season but not the season as a whole. I think the 49ers beat Seattle by two touchdowns. This means an 11-5 Seattle team would have gone just 4-4 at home and would end the regular season with a -2 point differential. Weird.
Prediction: 49ers 31 Seahawks 17