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Seahawks vs. 49ers: 3 things to watch for in Seattle's Thursday Night Matchup

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Last time Seattle played San Franisco - those were two different teams with different players. Things have changed now, especially on the 49er side. Is it illegal to say that I almost kind of miss Jim Harbaugh in the division? Guess a new era starts tonight.

Here are three things to watch tonight.

Richard Sherman

"They come in bunches", Sherman once said, speaking about interceptions and turnovers in general. Sherman has yet to have an interception this season, but he's right: they come in bunches. Last time Seattle played the Niners in San Fran -- Sherman picked off Colin Kaepernick twice. Sherman ended the 2014 season with four interceptions.

That was a happy thanksgiving for Seahawks fan. Watch to see if Kaep dares to throw to his side -- and how Sherman responds in coverage.

Tyler Lockett

Lockett hasn't had a play that made you say "wow" in a few games now. He's gotten open several times -- but for whatever reason Russell Wilson hasn't seen him on time and they haven't connected. Lockett has the speed to get behind the Niners' secondary -- and I believe this will be the game Russell finally connects with him for a long one. Look for these two to develop a stronger connection moving forward.

Additionally, watch to see if the Niners choose to kick to Lockett - maybe they won't even give him the chance to return one.

Bobby Wagner's impact on the defense as a whole

Wagner was absent from the Panthers' game with a pectoral injury and he looks to be ready to go for tonight. The importance of Wagner's presence cannot be overstated -- as many claim him to be the "general" of that defense. That defense is not the same in the run game or in coverage when Bobby is missing.

Seattle needed him back. And they got him. Will Seattle be able to hold a lead come the fourth quarter tonight? We shall see.

Go Hawks.