Three things to watch for during Seahawks vs 49ers

The Seattle Seahawks (7-4) are battling for their playoff lives against the San Francisco 49ers (7-4) on Thanksgiving night, at Levis Stadium. Seattle is coming off of its best game of the season, a 19-3 win over division leading Arizona, that saw the Seahawks look like the defending Superbowl Champions.

The tip

Richard Sherman’s tip sent Seattle to the Super Bowl the last time these two teams played each other. (Courtesy of SF Examiner)

Seattle and San Francisco are both two games behind Arizona (9-2) in the NFC West, with San Francisco currently a tied with the Seahawks and Detriot Lions — Seattle has the tiebreaker, for now — for the second Wildcard spot. Tonight’s game is going to help the winner keep pace in the playoff hunt, while the loser will be a full game back and not have the tiebreaker advantage.

The winner of this game will have the advantage heading into the last four games of the regular season. Especially with the majority of Seattle’s games NFC West opponents coming during the home stretch; including another match-up between these two teams in Seattle to close out the season.

Oh, and let’s not forget that this match-up is one of the best (if not the best) rivalry in the NFL right now.

3) Richard Sherman vs. Michael Crabtree

Sherman and Crabtree have been publicly feuding for  a while now, and it became public after the NFC Championship game during Richard Sherman’s post game (on-field) interview. Which was, coincidentally, the last time that these two played on the same grid iron.

Both players are to of the more talented athletes at their respective positions, with Sherman being a key component of the “Legion of Boom” and Crabtree being one of 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s favorite targets. It is likely that both players will be matched-up at some point during the game…it should be interesting to see how the off-field hatred shows up during the game.

2) Pass rush vs. pass protection

Seattle and San Francisco have two of the best defensive units in the game, especially both front sevens. Both defensive lines have edge rushers that can, and will, generate pressure on the quarterback by obliterating the outside blockers. Therefore generating pressure in the backfield, and crippling the offenses’ ability to move the ball.

This game is going to come down to the pass protection provided by the Seahawks’ and 49ers’ offensive lines. The better the protection, the more time Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and Kaepernick will make better decisions in the pocket.

1) Where’s Marshawn?

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch has been battling back issues all season long. It appears that these issues have altered the Seahawks’ play calling and personal use at times. Against Arizona, the first drive saw the Seahawks’ offense run through Lynch, and then he spent a lot of the first half on the sidelines. While Lynch didn’t run the ball a lot in the game against the Cardinals (10 carries for 73 yards, 7.3 yards per carry), he was one of Wilson’s top targets in the passing game (three catches for 43 yards, 14.3 yards per catch).

It’s going to be crucial to get Lynch involved in the game plan against San Francisco if the Seahawks are going to beat San Francisco in Santa Clara.

Game time information

Date and time: November 27th, 2014 at 5:30 pm.

Location: Levi Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.


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