San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
When: 8:20 PM ET, Sunday, December 29, 2019
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
SEATTLE – The NFC West title is on the line when the first-place San Francisco 49ers visit the second-place Seattle Seahawks tonight. The 49ers can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs with a victory but a Seattle triumph would give the Seahawks the division title as they won the first meeting with the 49ers and hold the tiebreaker edge.
Seattle’s home field is one of the loudest in the NFL and San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be starting in it for the first time as he missed last season’s visit because of a torn ACL. “It’s going to be a 60-minute game,” Garoppolo told reporters. “You have to have your mind ready for that. When you get to these big games, two good football teams, it’s always going to go up until the last whistle, and we’ve had multiple experiences this year like that.”
The first meeting went to overtime with the Seahawks prevailing 27-24 and a season sweep would assure Seattle of at least the No. 3 seed. Adding to the high stakes is that the loser will be the No. 5 seed and will open the postseason on the road – against the Philadelphia Eagles or Dallas Cowboys.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: 49ers -3. O/U: 47
ABOUT THE 49ERS (12-3): Garoppolo has thrown 27 touchdown passes against 13 interceptions and needs 307 passing yards to join Jeff Garcia (franchise-record 4,278) and Hall of Famer Steve Young (two 4,000-yard campaigns) as the only San Francisco quarterbacks to reach 4,000 yards in a single season. Star tight end George Kittle is 33 yards shy of his second straight 1,000-yard campaign and needs 10 receptions to match last season’s career high total. Defensive end Nick Bosa leads all NFL rookies with 16 tackles for loss and has nine sacks as he looks to become the first rookie to post at least 10 sacks and 15 stops for loss since his brother Joey (10.5 sacks 17 TFL) did it for the then-San Diego Chargers in 2016.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (11-4): The running back situation is a mess after starter Chris Carson (hip) and reserve C.J. Prosise (arm) were hurt last week to join main backup Rashaad Penny (knee) on the injured list so Seattle signed two former team members in Marshawn Lynch (2010-15) and Robert Turbin (2012-14) to support new starter Travis Homer. “He brings a lot to the table,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of former five-time Pro Bowler Lynch, who hasn’t played a snap for anyone this season. “He’s as physical a player as I’ve ever been around, as great of competitor as I’ve ever been around. When you get to add somebody like that to your team, it only helps and enhances the mentality that we already cherish anyway.” Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (core muscle) insists he will play after missing the last two games and he returned a fumble for a touchdown and recorded a sack and forced fumble last month against the 49ers.
- The 49ers have lost eight straight visits to Seattle, including the 2013 NFC Championship Game.
- San Francisco DE Dee Ford (hamstring) was ruled out Thursday.
- Seattle LT Duane Brown (knee surgery) will miss the contest while S Quandre Diggs (ankle) could miss his second straight game.
PREDICTION: Seahawks 27, 49ers 23