49ers vs Seahawks Week 17 preview

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle yells into a phone while celebrating after the 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams in an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Check out my YouTube live preview of the 49ers-Seahawks game:

And check out my Periscope pregame show:

And listen to my interview on ESPN Honolulu:

This article has 89 Comments

  1. You make a good point about sticking with their TE/FB heavy sets even if teams are lining up to take away the run. The whole point of having guys like Kittle and Juice, as well as pass catching RBs, is that they provide a mismatch in the passing game if teams sell out to take away the run. Should be able to stick with their under centre offense but pass more often to take advantage of it.

  2. If not now, when? No guarantee another opportunity like the one before them now ever comes around again. It’s not do or die, but it’s win or cry. Getting Tartt back will help the pass rush, and I expect at least one interception from Wilson and a Lynch or Turbin fumble….

  3. Damn, they got Tartt listed as doubtful. Hopefully that’s gamesmanship on Shanny’s part, but if we’re going by precedent, he’s not playing. That sucks, but maybe the hard hitting Harris is better suited for this type of game, and the Seahawks fat rb’s.

    1. Tartt is made of glass , no surprise he’s missing this game or every game here out …. team needs to invest in safety position come draft time . How good would Earl Thomas have looked back there Sunday

  4. Seahawks desperate?

    Adam Schefter

    Former Seahawks’ LB Brian Bosworth will raise the 12 Flag prior to Seattle’s game vs. the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.</em

  5. Thanks Iggy….great breakdown as always bro…

    This game will be close= a lot closer than folks think…last game Clowney was unstoppable….at least we have Kittle back and a kicker but Seattle has the 12th man so should be exciting

  6. I don’t get this idea that Shanny is gonna have to help with Clowney. I think what goes around comes around. The tables have now turned, and it’s Staley and McGlinchey’s turn to take full advantage of a wounded and rusty Clowney….

  7. Revenge game
    NFC West tittle on the line
    1st round bye on the line

    This is the best type of game for football fans. It doesn’t get any better than this!

    49ers 28
    Seahawks 9

  8. I agree. The Seahawks will sell out to stop the run, and try to make the Niners one dimensional. However, this time, the Niners will have Kittle and Sanders all game, and like Jack mentioned, the Niners should not drop 9 passes. JG should have better ball security, and Staley and McGlinchey have been improving.
    Hopefully, they will activate Wilson, to gash them up the middle, and Richie James can run the option, along with getting more targets.
    The Niners should establish the running game with 12 and 22 personnel, then spring some play action strikes down field. They should take advantage of the Seahawk defensive speed, by doing counters, misdirections and reverses. They should attack the edges with Deebo fly sweeps and bubble screens.
    The Niners should signal in a play, but run something totally different, since the Seahawks may be stealing signals.
    There are several new Seahawk players, so I hope the Niners attack them, and try to confuse them.
    Personally, I hope the Niners can take care of business, secure this win, and get that first round bye. Making it twice as hard to win is counter productive, and self defeating.

    1. Also, as an Ogasawara I must at least acknowledge I am a complete moron.
      Personally, I hope you can forgive my constant stupidity on this blog.
      I am who I am.
      GO NINERS!!

    2. Could sf just mimick The Rams’ game plan? Screens. Bootlegs. They’ve had great success with the three screens they’ve ran all decade…

      Clowney isn’t going to give this team time to drop back. You’ll have to keep a back in to block -Coleman. I am not a fan of his running, but he is better at pass protection. I’d like to see them mimic what McVay tight them. Then send him a holiday basket after the game for the assist.

      1. I don’t get all the hand wringing over Clowney. He had the best game of his life against two OT’s that were coming off injuries, and hadn’t played football in weeks. Big whoop de doo! Now our OT’s are back to full strength and Clowney is the one that’s hurt and rusty. He will get dominated, and probably not even finish the game after we rough him up….

        1. I like the bravado, Razor. My biggest concern is injuries to our team. I can’t remember a game against the ‘Hags where we haven’t had injuries. Wasn’t it the game at home this year where they took out DJ Jones just like they took out Ian Williams several years back.

          1. Truth Cubus…..
            always seem to lose a big player when playing these seahaks.
            Carrol always has his teams playing physical.
            How about SF playing with violence like Salah preaches and turns the tide and deplete their team for once.
            Would be nice, and hey they’re do.
            And that’s if there has to be injuries, I’m not rooting for injuries.
            So calm down snowflakes who might take it overboard

          2. For our defense, it’ll be all about getting back to those 3 and outs. That’s how you stay fresh and reduce the chances for injury, especially when your rotational depth has been decimated.

            What I need to see is verification that Shanny/Saleh have been playing somewhat “vanilla” the last two weeks in anticipation of this game, and they have a gameplan up their collective sleeves that catches Carroll/Norton Jr. off guard. How much will they be willing to show, given the temptation to hold some things back for the playoffs? That’s anyone’s guess….

        2. Neutralize Clowney, and JG will have time to pick apart the depleted Seahawk defensive backfield.
          With a 2 TE set, the TE can chip Clowney, and give the OTs enough help, so Clowney does not get by them.
          The TE can also allow JG to roll out, like Goff did to the Niners last game. Kittle does best when he looks like he is blocking, then goes out on a pass pattern to be wide open for a pass.

            1. That is Football 101. Congratulations on figuring that out.
              The 2 TE set was not done the last game they met, because Kittle did not play. Chipping Clowney may prevent him from wreaking havoc, like he did the last time they met.
              Yup, I will be happy if the Niners win by one point.
              Niners 24-23. Under this scenario, the Seahawks may score more times, but the Niners will score TDs, and not settle for field goals.

              1. Oh, look. Ohio State scored 5 times, with 2 TDs and 3 field goals, and lost. Clemson scored 4 TDs and won.
                The Niners should be bold, and not settle for field goals.

    1. I guess it should be noted SF has not scored more than 20 pts in Seattle in this decade so scoring more than 30 would be huge.

  9. They must have built Levi Stadium on sacred Indian burial ground. The grass claims another acl. That field is like the Cookie Monster of ACLs.

    It is a shame about Taylor, but also exciting to finally see Givens’ opportunity.

      1. Through all of the shuffling on the d-like this year. They are blind to find the diamond in the rough.
        Maybe just maybe he was overlooked and comes out strong

    1. That’s not good.
      If Griffin and Clowney were out and Seattle had all their running backs healthy I’d be much happier. Rb’s are easy to replace de’s and safeties… not so much.
      I might have to change my pick given that.

  10. Niners 27 Seattle 13
    Analysis: Seattle’s longest drive in the Week 10 game was 45 yards. Seattle scored twice on short field turnovers – Clowney strip sack and INT after Bourne bobbled the ball. Niners played without Kittle and Sanders was injured (ribs) after 1 quarter. Furthermore Goodwin and Pettis were target 6 times and managed 0 receptions. Those targets will go to Kittle, Deebo and Sanders.
    Point of concern: Witherspoon covering Metcalf could be trouble. Week 10 Mosely did a pretty good job . Hopefully Saleh will make a change if necessary.

  11. Lot of bad mojo in Seattle with Wilson 3-0 vs Niners at home. It’s been forever since we won one at Seattle. also with Turbin and Lynch back its a good time for the Niners to get this jinks off our backs.
    Niners need to limit Seattle to 40 offense plays counting 5 sacks and 10 dropped passes and 67 yards rushing, 104 yards passing.
    Niners 209 yard rushing, 367 yards passing and no turn overs.
    Final score Niners 34 Seahags 3.

  12. Salah reportedly linked to Jags HC job?
    Well he’s got a stud and IMO the most underrated defensive rookie this year in Allen.

  13. 49ers to wear all-white 1994 throwback jerseys in Seattle vs. Seahawks
    By Matt Maiocco December 24, 2019 2:21 PM

    At least Jimmy will be able to read coverages better against a background of all blue Seattle jerseys!***

  14. My first post after following you for a long time
    A wise man once said that you will know a smart person because whenever they say something you learn something. So I thing you are a smart man. Keep up the good work.

  15. Grant, or anyone:
    It’s been 14+ months (Oct 14th, 2018) since either Robert Turbin or Marshawn Lynch have played in an NFL game.
    Both Turbin and Lynch passed their physicals, but has anyone seen any news, or information, on what kind of shape either one are in? Do you, or anyone you know, have information that either one has been working out?
    Lynch is 33 Y/O, 4 months short of his 34th birthday. I don’t see him being in football shape to contribute much to Seattle’s game plan, other than providing an emotional lift for the first quarter of the game?
    * Asked what’s realistic to expect from Lynch and Turbin, Carroll gave a strong hint that neither will be asked to carry the load. He said the Seahawks will “lean on” rookie sixth-round pick Travis Homer, who was their No. 4 option before Penny went down and their only healthy tailback by the end of last weekend’s game.
    Travis Homer gained 16 yards on five attempts against Arizona……..

    1. Practice pics out of Seattle had Lynch looking closer to an offensive lineman than a RB… I’m sure they’ll use him mostly as a short yardage back and a trusted blocker. Not sure about Turbin but the only player the Niners need to worry about is Wilson…. Not to state the obvious but you never know with Saleh.

  16. Heavy dose of running and screens should serve the Niners well against Seattle’s aggressive front. As for the D, they need to keep the focus on Wilson as he’s the only one capable of beating them… Pressure, pressure, pressure and if you can’t get to him with 4 against that porous OL then blitz him, Saleh. Sit back in coverage, continue playing undisciplined and he’ll beat you by two scores.

  17. NFL Combine: Which player did the most bench-press reps on Saturday?
    Posted Mar 02, 2019

    Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence bench-pressed a 225-pound weight bar 36 times. Lawrence is a 342-pound defensive tackle from Clemson.

    Penn State’s Kevin Givens and Houston’s Ed Oliver tied for third with 32 reps.

    By Mark Inabinett | minabinett@al.com

    2019 NFL Draft stock report: Defensive prospects winners, losers of March
    A look at which defensive players helped and hurt their stock in critical month of March.

    By Kent Lee Platte@MathBomb Apr 1, 2019, 9:00am EDT

    Kevin Givens, DT, Penn State: Givens had a decent Combine, but not a great one for an undersized tackle (6-foot-1 1/4, 285 pounds). Still, he measured out great in explosiveness metrics and his tape shows a guy who can blow up the interior both against the run and the pass.


    1. Shanahan on Givens

      Givens won this week’s “scout team player of the week,” so this is an even bigger reward for the rookie. I’m excited to see him play (after Givens was promoted from PS to face Seattle), even if it is in limited action.”

      Via Niners Nation

  19. Marshawn Lynch may be out of shape, but his best asset is giving the Seahawks hope. They will try to run him, but the Niner defense is fast enough to not allow him to build up a head of steam.
    However, I envision the Seahawk O line holding like crazy, and the refs letting them. If the O lineman has a hold of the shoulder pads, the Niner defender should slam an elbow into his solar plexus. That might get the blocker’s arms inside the pads.
    When Wilson does his option plays, I hope the Niner defender acts like he is going to tackle the RB, but at the last second, he should swerve to tackle Wilson, so he cannot roll out where he is most dangerous.
    I hope they put Moseley on Lockett and Witherspoon on Metcalf, and let Sherman be the SS.

    1. You are such an amazing strategist. You must have been a 5 star general by the age of 19. Please, tell us more about your key maneuvers to propel us to victory Sunday, old wise one.

      1. Well, I do consider myself smarter than you, since you probably never thought of this.
        I also consider myself smarter than the President, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and everyone in the Pentagon, including all the 5 star generals. Why? Because I consider the Pentagon to be the Maginot Line of the 21st Century. The Maginot Line was supposedly the bulwark against Germany and was considered impregnable, and a huge deterrence to any aggression.
        What happened? The Germans rampaged through Belgium, and bypassed the Maginot line, making all those extensive fortifications useless. The Pentagon has a big bulls eye on it, and Bin Laden attacked the Pentagon, giving us plenty of warning, of what our enemies want to do. Since it is along the coast, The Potomac can be struck by a submarine missile in 15 minutes. This concentration of political, judicial and political power, is like putting a bunch of battleships in Pearl Harbor. The smart thing to do is disperse the various branches of government, so everything is not vulnerable to a single sneak attack. It would be smart to put the leadership of the military, inland, so they have plenty of warning against a missile attack.
        Build something in the Rockies, under several mountains for the military. Logistically, it would be difficult to move the Congress, but the Presidency is one person, so build a brand spanking new White House in the middle of the plains. The Supreme Court could also be moved, maybe along the Mississippi.
        Convert the Pentagon into 5 various departments of government, like Housing, Labor, Interior, Health and Commerce. There would be plenty of room. Let the Vice President reside in the old White House.
        Yes, being a 5 star general could be interesting, but I would rather talk about the Niners. Trying to defend the indefensible, is not astute. Every 5 star general should be advocating a dispersal of leadership, because this world is getting more dangerous. It might not even take a missile, if some ship could tow a nuclear device and set it off in the Potomac.
        No, it does not take a genius to think of something so important, just like it does not take a genius to realize that by running the ball, the Seahawks were powerless to stop the clock, thus guaranteeing a tie. Sometimes, it just takes common sense.

  20. TomD’s Defense vs. Seattle to 49ers coaching staff:

    Against scrambling QB’s first and foremost I have advocated using 5 man fronts.
    The extra lineman prevents Seattle from double teaming Bosa or Buckner.

    So far the 49er front office hasn’t listened….But they finally did listen to TomD and promote Kevin Givens who destroys O-linemen, lining up between them and disrupting the backfield.

    Charlie Casserly went a step further advocating 6 D-linemen vs Seattle:

    “Once the 49ers’ D-line secures the run and realizes the play is a pass, it can focus on keeping Wilson in the pocket. That’s accomplished by players staying in their lanes and maintaining disciplined spacing between one another so holes don’t open for Wilson to run.”

    “There are also times when Wilson scrambles when he doesn’t get his first read, but if the 49ers can stay disciplined, they can prevent him from making big plays with his legs. Then, that’s when they can get the sacks. Look for the 49ers to pressure Wilson by bringing five or six rushers because the fifth and sixth guys would have no other responsibilities than simply rushing the passer. The original front four are assigned with keeping Wilson in the pocket.”


  21. I find the excitement of promoting a guy that looked good in preseason and has since been on the PS all year despite a raft of injuries at his position pretty strange. Maybe he ends up being good, but more likely he ends up being an acceptable rotational player at best. It reminds me of the way people built Mike Purcell up based on preseason play.

    1. Scooter- McG,

      Exactly, he will be an intregal part of the rotation to spell Armstead, Buckner or Sheldon Day.

      As I have noted–posting several links to his Penn State days—Givens has experience at every position on the D-Line, even lining up at DE at Penn State for a Season.

      Above, I posted NFL.Com’s, Brian Baldinger’s analysis of Givens.

      In that video Givens was given a start vs. Kansas City’s starting offensive line and spent the entire first half in KC’s offensive backfield, destroying KC’s linemen.

      With the addition of DE, Anthony Zettel, Given’s and 8 days of rest, the 49ers will live in Seattle’s backfield this weekend making Russell Wilson’s outing a bad one.
      If Baldinger thinks highly of Givens, so do I.

      One alignment I envision on 3rd and 8 is a 5-man front:…Using 5 D-Linemen means that Seattle can not double team Bosa with an extra lineman.

      LDE–Zettel, LDT–Armstead, LDT–Anthony Givens, NT–Sheldon Day, RDT–Buckner, RDE–Bosa

      1. Well, I said it likely at best he becomes an acceptable rotational player, not that I thought he will be an integral rotational piece.

        For all his “impressive” college play he went undrafted. For all his “dominant” preseason play (and despite Baldy’s video on him) he didn’t make anyone’s 53 and has spent all year until now on the 49ers PS even while the team has suffered numerous blows along the DL.

        The hype train you and a couple of others have been trying to give the guy well exceeds what anyone should realisitically expect from him. He’s this year’s Mike Purcell, and to be perfectly frank if he has a career like Purcell’s he’ll have done very well from where he has started.

    2. I see this irrational exuberance quite often among fans. A PS player may often step in and be quite productive in certain system/plug-and-play positions like Kyle’s RB position. Unlikely to work with linemen.

      1. Yeah, its not a new thing that’s for sure. I just find it amazing after all this time, and the overwhelming number of times these preseason/ PS heroes don’t eventuate into being much, that fans continue to have such expectations. I really hope he does play well and has a long and good career. But realisitically that is unlikely.

        1. Over at Niners Nations, they have had this running joke in the form of a battle cry about TC and preseason warriors that goes “So and So is Our Future”! I started several seasons ago with KSIOF — Kory Sheets!
          I do like Givens’ quickness and agility in small spaces. But he’s raw and post-season (this game will have the intensity of a playoff game) is not the place to expect him to shine on debut.

          1. Ha, yeah, I have seen that!

            Givens showed some promise in preseason, no doubt, but its a big step up from preseason to regular season, and even bigger step up to post season. I wish him the best, but tbh I don’t really expect him to even see the field much unless there is another injury. Day, Street, Thomas and Zettel are likely the guys that will rotate with the big three of Buckner, Bosa and Armstead for the most part.

  22. On paper this game should be a mismatch. Something along the lines of 34-17. The Forty Niners are just flat out a better overall team, even accounting for injuries, which both teams have endured. However, it’s in Seattle, where the Niners have lost 8 straight, some of which was with the better team, on paper. Somehow, Wilson always manages to perform at his best against SF. I have to assume he will this game also. To think otherwise would be foolish. I could go through all the obvious cliches, but I’m sure Capt. Obvious aka Professor Duh has them all covered in one of his 12 paragraph diatribes instructing Kyle how to manage the game, so I’ll save you the impending eye roll and skip it. :)
    I agree with those of you that think it’s going to be a close one. It shouldn’t, but it most likely will be. God I hope I’m wrong. I’d love to see them play to their full potential and smoke’em! Probably going to stay away from wagering on this one, but if I had to? Hmmm……
    I actually think the Niners will cover the 3 (My “friend” has it at 3, though the paper this morning was at 3 1/2). As far as the O/U (47), the Niners haven’t scored more than 30 in forever up there so I’d take the under most likely. So there it is! SF -3 and the under (47)

    SF 26 SEA 20

    Let the tension begin!! Enjoy the game!

      1. I’m not liking CeeDee Lamb’s body language after Hurts throws a ball behind him.

        Bengals will be getting themselves a true franchise quarterback. Best prospect at his position since Luck.

    1. Burrow has looked as good this season as any college QB I can recall watching. His numbers are not manufactured by a dink and dunk gimmick offense, nor from facing awful defenses all year. There is nothing such as a sure fire QB coming out of college, and his meteoric rise as a senior does make me wonder why we didn’t see this last year, but the Bengals would be pretty crazy not to take him.

  23. Givens and Zettel may get some snaps, but Solomon Thomas and Kentavius Street need to be productive, in order for the Niners to win.

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