SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (10-3-1)
at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-5)
Kickoff: Sunday, 8:30 p.m. EDT
Line: San Francisco -1, Total: 39
The top two teams in the NFC West will close out Week 16 when San Francisco looks to retain its dominance over Seattle on Sunday night.
The Niners have won four straight meetings SU, but the Seahawks have covered in each of the past two matchups. When the teams met in San Francisco in Week 7, the 49ers smothered Russell Wilson in a 13-6 victory, as the rookie went 9-for-23 for 122 yards and an interception. Alex Smith was still under center for San Francisco at that point, but new starter Colin Kaepernick has added a new dimension to their offense. The team is 4-1 SU and ATS with Kaepernick under center, including last week’s impressive win at New England when he threw 4 TD passes. The Seahawks are also surging too, scoring 131 points (43.7 PPG) during a three-game win streak with back-to-back 50-point outbursts. This game features the top-two scoring defenses in the NFL, each allowing 15.6 PPG.
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Kaepernick has a 104.6 QB rating in his five starts, throwing for 1,088 yards (8.5 YPA), 7 TD and 2 INT while running for another 202 yards and two scores. He could have a tough time repeating these impressive numbers though, as Seattle ranks third in the NFL in total defense (304 total YPG), able to defend both the pass (198 YPG, 3rd in NFL) and run (106 YPG, 10th in league). Although Kaepernick has never faced Seattle's defense in his career, he's sure to get plenty of notes from RB Frank Gore who has played 13 times against the Seahawks, totaling 1,632 yards from scrimmage (126 YPG) and 5.4 yards per carry. In the Week 7 matchup, Gore ran for 131 yards on just 16 attempts (8.2 YPC), while adding five receptions for 51 yards. The Niners don't turn the ball over much, with 10 games of 0-or-1 giveaways this year. But the Seahawks have a slew of playmakers, forcing 17 turnovers in the past six games (5-1 SU) including 11 in just the past two weeks. However, the secondary is a mess, as they could be missing top CB Richard Sherman, who is waiting on his appeal of a four-game suspension for PEDs, the same reason CB Brandon Browner will not play on Sunday night. Two other CBs are also questionable with hamstring injuries -- Walter Thurmond and Marcus Trufant.
Seattle rookie QB Russell Wilson had a tough night in San Francisco in Week 7, but he has been outstanding ever since that game. In the past seven contests, Wilson has a 111.3 passer rating, completing 66% of his throws for 1,467 yards (8.2 YPA), 13 TD and 2 INT. He has also rumbled for 283 yards on 6.6 YPC during this stretch, rushing for 3 TD in last week's 50-17 trouncing of the Bills in Toronto. Seattle has an NFC-best 33.4 PPG during these seven games. RB Marshawn Lynch has also been running very well lately with six 100-yard outputs in his past eight games, totaling 830 yards (5.8 YPC) and 8 TD. In five career meetings with San Francisco, Lynch has rushed for 406 yards on 5.1 YPC, including back-to-back 100-yard efforts. In the Week 7 visit to San Francisco, Lynch rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries (5.4 YPG). But the Niners are not an easy team to gain yardage against, as they rank 2nd in the NFL in total defense (293 YPG), allowing just 202 passing YPG (5th in league) and 91 rushing YPG (3rd in NFL). However, star DL Justin Smith (elbow) is doubtful to play in this game after injuring himself last week.