The Seattle Seahawks are set to end the regular season on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, needing a win and an Atlanta Falcons loss in order to reclaim the two-seed. Regardless of how the Falcons do against the New Orleans Saints though, the Seahawks just need a win. A big one. A convincing one. One to remind the fans how good Seattle can be on their best days.
The 49ers fanbase probably expects the Seahawks to get a convincing win after the season they’ve had. Especially with such a banged up offensive line.
To get more insight on the state of the Niners health, David Fucillo of Niners Nation sent over an evaluation of how the injury report is looking headed into Sunday:
The offensive line is the big story. Center/guard Marcus Martin and guard Andrew Tiller have both been ruled out for Sunday with ankle injuries. Left tackle Joe Staley is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Staley suffered the injury during practice three weeks ago, and finally got back to practice this week in limited fashion all three days. He is expected to play on Sunday, barring any setback this weekend.
The 49ers opened the season with an offensive line of LT Joe Staley, LG Zane Beadles, C Daniel Kilgore, RG Joshua Garnett, and RT Trent Brown. When Staley got hurt, Beadles moved to left tackle and Martin moved in at left guard. When Daniel Kilgore then got hurt, Martin moved to center and Tiller came in at left guard. Martin then got hurt in Week 15, and then missed Week 16. Beadles moved to center, Trent Brown moved to left tackle, and rookie John Theus moved in at right tackle. This week, Beadles will likely play center again, and then either Alex Balducci (rookie UDFA) or Andrew Gardner (in-season signing) would play left guard.
The other notable piece of news is the addition of rookie cornerback Rashard Robinson with a hamstring injury. He was not listed Wednesday or Thursday, but then was listed as limited on Friday. His status will be something to track. If he does not play, Keith Reaser would start in his place opposite Tramaine Brock. Robinson took over as a starter when Jimmie Ward went on IR. Robinson has been a bright spot in the secondary, and is looking like a real find as a fourth round pick.
Fooch’s score prediction?
The 49ers showed some signs of life last week, but considering it was against the Los Angeles Rams, it is hard to take too much from it. After all, they seem to be the only team the 49ers can beat. Prior to that, the 49ers had looked horrendous for far too long in their previous three games against the Falcons, Jets, and Bears. And so, I don't think we see the 49ers build on their win over the Rams.
I don't think Seattle runs them entirely out of the building, but I think the Seahawks cover the 9.5-point spread, and win by something like a final score of 26-10. Kaepernick will have one or two nice runs, but there are just not enough weapons on the field to fend off this Seahawks defense. Newly extended Michael Bennett and the rest of that group will get some sacks, and have their way up the middle against a questionable interior of the line. As for the Seahawks offense? They won'y look spectacular, but I think Thomas Rawls ends up with a big game, as is often the case for opposing running backs against the 49ers. They won't need a lot from the passing game to take care of business in this one.