SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-0)
at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (1-0)
Kickoff: Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET
Line: Seattle -3, Total: 44.5
The 49ers head to Seattle on Sunday night to take on the Seahawks, who beat them 42-13 the last time they played at CenturyLink Field last December.
Last season, San Francisco defeated the Seahawks 13-6 at home, but the Seahawks were a much different team towards the end of the season. Seattle won seven of its final eight regular season games, including the blowout victory over the 49ers at home on Dec. 23 when QB Russell Wilson threw for 171 yards and four touchdowns. RB Marshawn Lynch added on a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown of his own while piling on 130 total yards in that blowout. San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick struggled against the Seahawks secondary, going 19-of-36 for 244 yards with just one touchdown and an interception. Kaepernick and RB Frank Gore combined for just 59 rushing yards on a day where Seattle outrushed San Francisco by a hefty 94 yards (176 to 82). Over the past three seasons, the Seahawks are 20-7 ATS (74%) against conference opponents and 13-3 ATS (81%) at home. They are also 3-0 ATS in the past three meetings in this series. However, since Jim Harbaugh was hired as the Niners' head coach, his team is 24-13 ATS (65%) in all games, and 11-3 ATS (79%) where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points.
Who will win this NFC West titanic clash on Sunday night? For the answer, connect to NFL Best Bets for all the StatFox Experts picks throughout the 2013 season and playoffs. During the 2012 campaign, the experts combined for a 52% ATS success rate in NFL Best Bets, highlighted by StatFox Brian's 60% ATS mark (36-24-2 ATS) and StatFox Dave's 53% ATS accuracy (44-41-4). StatFox Scott and StatFox Gary dominated NFL Totals, with Scott going 57% (38-29-1) and Gary cranking out a 56% clip (28-22-1) during the season, capped off by a perfect 4-0 run in the postseason.
The 49ers were challenged last week against Green Bay, but came out on top and sent the league a message. After beating the Packers in the playoffs last season behind Colin Kaepernick’s 181 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, the quarterback found a new way to pick apart Green Bay. This time he attacked their secondary using his cannon for an arm and went 27-of-39 for 412 yards and three touchdowns. Kaepernick averaged 10.6 yards per pass and absolutely decimated a Green Bay secondary that many have high praise for. TE Vernon Davis caught six passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, but WR Anquan Boldin was the story of the game. Boldin finished with 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown in his Niners debut, displaying uncanny chemistry with his quarterback despite it being their first regular season game together. Green Bay was able to put up 28 points on the 49ers defense, but San Francisco was able to force two turnovers and get stops when they really needed them. This battle on Sunday could potentially be a preview of the next NFC Championship game.
The Seahawks were able to win 12-7 on the road last week in Carolina, but it was not a pretty offensive performance. QB Russell Wilson performed well for Seattle, going 25-for-33 for 320 yards, but he found the end zone only once on a 43-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse. Seattle struggled with its running game all day against Carolina, getting just 43 yards on 17 carries (2.5 YPC) from their superstar RB Marshawn Lynch. One of the bright spots for the Seahawks offense was the performance of WR Doug Baldwin, who caught seven passes for 91 yards. Despite the lack of scoring for the Seahawks offense, the defense looked like it was in prime condition. The unit allowed just one touchdown and 253 total yards against an offense led by Cam Newton that can be very dangerous. They caused two turnovers in the game and allowed just 5.4 yards per pass. Seattle is an early season favorite by some to win the Super Bowl, but must find a way to get the ball into the end zone more to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a championship.