Playing the NFL’s best defense on the road will be the toughest test yet for QB Russell Wilson, who has to deal with the 49ers after an embarrassing 26-3 loss to the Giants.
GAME: Seattle Seahawks (4-2, T1, NFC West) at San Francisco 49ers (4-2, T1, NFC West). TYPE: Regular season. WEEK: 7. WHEN: Thursday, 5:20 p.m. PT, Candlestick Park, San Francisco. MEETING: 27th (series tied 13-13). STREAKS: Seahawks W 1; 49ers L 1. HEAD COACHES: Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco; Pete Carroll, Seattle. LINE: San Francisco by 3 1/2. TV: NFLN, KONG. RADIO: ESPN 710 AM, KIRO 97.3 FM.
Two Sundays ago, in a brutal slapdown (45-3) of the Buffalo Bills, the San Francisco 49ers did something no team in NFL history had ever done. The Niners amassed more than 300 yards rushing (311) and 300 yards passing (310). An offense capable of generating such inflated numbers will present another formidable for the Seahawks, who successfully weathered a 60-pass barrage by New England’s Tom Brady.
Seattle and San Francisco play the first of two NFC West contests Thursday at Candlestick Park. Both are 4-2 and join Arizona atop the division, but the stakes are larger for Seattle, given that both Seattle defeats have been to division opponents (Arizona, St. Louis). San Francisco has yet to play a divisional game. The 49ers, however, have amends to make after a 26-3 loss to the New York Giants Sunday.
“It’s a huge NFC West game that we have to play our best football in,” said quarterback Russell Wilson, who will face in the 49ers a defense statistically as good as Seattle’s. The Seahawks allow 15.5 points per game, the 49ers 15.7. “More than anything its a huge game because its our next one. Thats the way we have to look at it.”
Seattle’s defensive unit allows 12.8 points per game to rank No. 2 in the NFL while the Niners yield 14.3 to rank third.
“They have tremendous talent on the defensive side of the ball,” Wilson said. “They fly around and make so many plays. Their front seven is extremely strong and extremely talented.
“This game will probably be a little bit different (than against New England). Tom Brady threw the ball 60 times. This will probably be more run oriented with the play action in there as well.”
Wilson played his best game so far, throwing three touchdown passes with no interceptions. He compiled a passer rating of 133.7 (158.3s is perfect). His previous high was 112.7 against Dallas.
San Francisco features the NFL’s fourth-ranked offense (387.0 yards per game) and the No. 1 rushing offense (176.8 yards per game).
“They have been very efficient,” said Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. “They obviously like to run the ball. They’ve had 50 explosive plays and I think 27 of them were running plays. We have a lot of respect for Frank Gore. Playing him over the last couple of years, I think really high of him.
“He hits the hole right where it needs to hit it every time, and hes going 100 mph every time. If youre not in your gap . . . a couple of years ago in 2009 he had like 190 yards rushing against us, one was for 70 and one was for 80. He hit it just perfect.”
The Seahawks have dropped three straight to San Francisco and haven’t won in the Bay Area since Oct. 26, 2008, a 34-13 victory.
SERIES: Dates to Sept. 26, 1976, when the 49ers won 37-21 at the Kingdome in the third regular-season game in Seattle franchise history. The Seahawks have dropped three consecutive games to San Francisco, most recently a 19-17 setback Dec. 24, 2011 at CenturyLink Field in a game in which David Akers of the 49ers kicked four field goals. Seattle’s TDs came on a 13-yard pass from Tarvaris Jackson to Doug Baldwin and a four-yard run by Marshawn Lynch.
LAST MEETING (49ers 19, Seahawks 17, Dec. 24, 2011): In addition to the four field goals by Akers, the 49ers received a four-yard TD run by Gore, who finished with 83 rushing yards. Steven Hauschka kicked a 19-yard field goal for Seattle. The 49ers won on Akers’ last field goal, from 39 yards.
Seahawks: 4-2-0, T1, NFC West; scored 110 points (18.3 per game), ranking 26th; allowed 93 points (15.5 per game), 2nd; differential of +17 points ranks 13th. 49ers: 4-2-0, T1, NFC West; scored 152 points (25.3), ranked 11th; allowed 94 (15.7), 3rd; differential of +58 points ranks 3rd.
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll (51-51-0 career, 18-20-0 Seattle) is in his third season. In 2010, he directed Seattle to the NFC West title, the Seahawks becoming the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing (7-9) record. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Carroll served as head coach at Southern California, where his Trojans won seven Pac-10 titles.
SEAHAWKS QUARTERBACKS: Russell Wilson — at Arizona — 18 of 34 for 153 yards, 1 TD, one INT, 62.5 passer rating; vs. Dallas — 15 of 20, 151 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 112.7 rating; vs. Green Bay — 10 of 21 for 130 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 99.3 passer rating; at St. Louis — 17 of 25, 160 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 45.8 passer rating; at Carolina — 19 of 25, 221 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 82.2 passer rating; vs. New England, 16 of 27, 293 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 133.7 passer rating . . . Matt Flynn — at Arizona, DNP; vs. Dallas, DNP; vs. Green Bay, DNP; at St. Louis, DNP; at Carolina, DNP; vs. New England, DNP.
SEAHAWKS STATS / NOTES
TEAM OFFENSIVE RANKINGS
|Total Yards||1804||23||Total Yards||2322||4|
|Yards / Game||300.7||23||Yards / Game||387.0||4|
|Rush Yards||786||7||Rush Yards||1061||1|
|Rush / Game||131.0||7||Rush / Game||176.8||1|
|Pass Yards||1018||31||Pass Yards||1261||26|
|Pass / Game||169.7||31||Pass / Game||210.2||26|
|Points / Game||18.3||T23||Points / Game||25.3||8|
TEAM DEFENSIVE RANKINGS
|Total Yards||1768||8||Total Yards||1655||5|
|Yards / Game||294.7||8||Yards / Game||275.8||5|
|Rush / Allw.||420.0||4||Rush / Allw.||556||12|
|Rush / Game||70.0||4||Rush / Game||92.7||12|
|Pass Allw.||1348||18||Pass Allw.||1099||5|
|Pass / Game||224.7||18||Pass / Game||183.2||5|
|Points Allw.||93||2||Points Allw.||94||3|
|Points / Game||15.5||2||Points / Game||15.7||3|
SEAHAWKS OFFENSIVE LEADERS
SEAHAWKS DEFENSIVE LEADERS
|Tackles||Wright 43, Chancellor 43, Wagner 42|
|Sacks||Clemons 5.5, Irvin 4.5, Jones, 2.5|
|Quarterback Hits||Clemons 12, Irvin 8, Branch 4|
|Interceptions||Sherman 3, Browner 1, Thomas 1|
|Passes Defensed||Sherman 10, Clemons 4, Thomas 4|
|Forced Fumbles||Browner 2, 5 tied with 1|
|Fumbles Recovered||Mebane, Browner, Branch 1|
49ers NOTES: The 49ers defeated Green Bay (30-22), Detroit (27-19), the New York Jets (34-0) and Buffalo (45-3) and lost to Minnesota (24-13) and the New York Giants (26-3) . . . . Quarterback Alex Smith ranks seventh in the NFL in passer rating at 96.6 . . . Frank Gore is the league’s eighth-leading rusher, averaging 78.3 yards per game. He’s scored four touchdowns . . . Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree are San Francisco’s two leading receivers, averaging 56.7 and 56.2 yards per game, respectively . . . San Francisco roster includes one former University of Washington player, safety Dashon Goldson.
49ers QUARTERBACKS: Alex Smith has completed 113 of 167 passes (67.7 percent) for 1,287 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions for a passer rating of 96.6. He has had one 300-yard passing game, throwing for 303 and three TDs vs. Buffalo Oct. 7. He threw for just 200 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions last week in a 26-3 loss to the New York Giants.
49ERS HEAD COACH: Hired Jan. 7, 2011, Jim Harbaugh is in his second season as coach of the 49ers. In his first season, Harbaugh led the 49ers to a 13-3 record, the club’s best since 1997. A 15-year NFL veteran quarterback, Harbaugh had a four-year run as head coach at Stanford. He graduated from the University of Michigan.
KEY DATES: Nov. 18 — Seahawks bye week; Jan. 5-6, 2013 — Wild card weekend; Jan. 12-13 — Divisional playoffs; Jan. 19-20 — Conference championships; Jan. 27 — Pro Bowl (Honolulu); Feb. 3 — Super Bowl, New Orleans. Feb. 20-26 — NFL combine (Indianapolis); April 25-27 — NFL draft.
NFC West Standings
|Arizona||4-2||1-1||Sunday at Minnesota|
|Seattle||4-2||0-2||Thur. at S. Francisco|
|S. Francisco||4-2||0-0||Thur. vs. Seattle|
|St. Louis||3-3||2-0||Sunday vs. Green Bay|
COMING UP: Seahawks are off until Oct. 28 when they travel to Detroit to face the Lions at 10 a.m., PT. Seattle’s next home game is Nov. 4 against Minnesota.
2012 Seahawks Preseason Schedule
|8/11/12||vs. Tennessee||7 p.m.||Q13||W||27-17||1-0|
|8/18/12||at Denver||6 p.m.||Q13||W||30-10||2-0|
|8/24/12||at Kansas City||5 p.m.||Q13||W||44-14||3-0|
|8/30/12||vs. Oakland||7 p.m.||Q13||W||21-3||4-0|
2012 Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule
|9/9/12||at Arizona||1:25 p.m.||FOX||L||20-16||0-1|
|9/16/12||vs. Dallas||1:05 p.m.||FOX||W||27-7||1-1|
|9/24/12||vs. Green Bay||5:30 p.m.||ESPN||W||14-12||2-1|
|9/30/12||at St. Louis||10 a.m.||FOX||L||19-13||2-2|
|10/7/12||at Carolina||1:05 p.m.||FOX||W||16-12||3-2|
|10/14/12||vs. N. England||1:05 p.m.||CBS||W||24-23||4-2|
|10/18/12||at S. Francisco||5:20 p.m.||NFLN||—||—||—|
|10/28/12||at Detroit||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|11/4/12||vs. Minnesota||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|11/11/11||vs. NY Jets||1:05 p.m.||CBS||—||—||—|
|11/25/12||at Miami||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/2/12||at Chicago||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/9/12||vs. Arizona||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/16/12||*at Buffalo||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/23/12||vs. San Francisco||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/30/12||vs. St. Louis||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
* in Toronto
2012 Seahawks Capsules
Aug. 11 Seahawks 27, Titans 17 (at Seattle) — Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson ran for a touchdown and passed for one, leading the Seahawks over a Tennessee Titans team featuring two quarterbacks with strong local ties, ex-Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck and ex-Husky Jake Locker. Hasselbeck threw two interceptions while Locker completed 7 of 13 for 80 yards.
Aug. 18: Seahawks 30, Broncos 10 (at Denver) — Starting his second straight exhibition game, QB Matt Flynn failed to seize control of the quarterback job, finishing 6 of 13 for 31 yards with no TDs or INTs. But Wilson made a case for himself by completing 10 of 17 for 155 yards, two TDs and a passer rating of 28.5. The Seahawks finished with 228 yards rushing, led by Sutton’s 48 yards on three carries.
Aug. 24: Seahawks 44, Chiefs 14 (at Kansas City) — Wilson completed 10 of 17 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. With Wilson playing into the second half, Seattle scored 21 points, overcoming a 10-9 halftime deficit. Earl Thomas made the big defensive play, returning an interception 75 yards for a touchdown. Flynn did not play due to injury.
Aug. 30: Seahawks 21, Raiders 3 (at Seattle): Flynn, getting most of the snaps, completed 11 of 13 passes for 102 yards. Seahawks outgained the Raiders 334 yards to 101.
Sept. 8: Cardinals 20, Seahawks 16 (at Phoenix): Despite seven tries inside Arizona’s red zone in final minute, the Seahawks could not score the game-winning touchdown. The Seahawks overcame a tepid first half offensively thanks to an 83-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return by Leon Washington.
Sept. 15: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 7 (at Seattle): The Seahawks took a 10-0 lead in less than five minutes when Michael Robinson forced Felix Jones to fumble the opening kickoff, leading to a short field goal, and Malcolm Smith blocked Chris Jones’ punt and Jeron Johnson returned it for a touchdown. Marshawn Lynch ran for 122 yards and the defense allowed the Cowboys only 34 yards and three first downs in the second half.
Sept. 24: Seahawks 14, Packers 12 (at Seattle): Russell Wilson and Golden Tate hooked up on a wildly controversial 24-yard touchdown pass as the clock ran out, giving the Seahawks a dramatic victory. As Wilson’s pass reached the end zone, Tate committed a pushing penalty that wasn’t called. Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball and Tate tried to wrestle it away. One official ruled no touchdown, another signaled TD. After review, Tate was awarded the touchdown. The Seahawks had eight sacks in the first half, a record-tying four by Chris Clemons.
Sept. 30: Rams 19, Seahawks 13 (at St. Louis): Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein booted four field goals, including a club-record 58-yarder which he later topped with a 60-yarder, as the Rams handed Seattle its second NFC West loss. Zuerlein also was a perfect decoy on the biggest play of the day — a fake field goal that turned into a two-yard touchdown pass from punter Johnny Hekker to Danny Amendola. The score put the Rams (2-2) ahead 10-7 late in the first half. Marshawn Lynch ran for 118 yards and a touchdown,Seahawks, but Russell Wilson threw three interceptions.
Oct. 7: Seahawks 16, Panthers 12: (at Charlotte): The Seahawks used a series of big defensive plays, the best pass of Russell Wilson’s NFL career, and a planned safety in the final minute to edge Carolina. Cornerback Brandon Browner made two of the three biggest defensive stops. With Carolina at the Seattle 27-yard line in the third quarter, Browner stripped the ball from DeAngelo Williams, giving the Seahawks a chance to take the lead after they had fallen behind 10-6 on Wilson’s worst pass of the season. Less than three minutes into the second half, Wilson threw behind intended receiver Anthony McCoy, and Carolina’s Captain Munnerlyn snatched the ball and raced 33 yards for a touchdown that put the Panthers ahead 10-6. But after Browner stripped Williams. Wilson, on a third-and-eight from the Carolina 13, rocketed a slant pass to Golden Tate for a touchdown.
Oct. 14: Seahawks 24, Patriots 23: Russell Wilson threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 1:18 to play to give the Seahawks a come-from-behind victory. The Seahawks trailed 23-10 in the second half, but Wilson fired touchdown passes to Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards before finding Rice with the game-winning throw.