San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks: Matchups, prediction for NFC West battle

In this Week 13 San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks matchup, what are the main storylines, the current NFL odds, and our prediction?

What is our prediction for this San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks matchup as the 49ers look to improve their playoff positioning against their fierce rivals? Let’s take a look at the main storylines for this 49ers at Seahawks matchup, examine the NFL odds, and make a prediction for how the game may go.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks prediction | Storylines for Week 13

There is never a shortage of talking points and storylines when the Seahawks and 49ers face off, but they are usually battling for playoff positioning. This season, the 49ers are very much still in the postseason race, but the situation for the Seahawks looks a lot different from what we are used to.

However, facing the Seahawks is never an easy proposition for the 49ers. In the last five meetings, they are 1-4 against Seattle. If we go back over the last 15 meetings, the 49ers have won just two. The number only improves to four wins if we expand it back to 20 games, taking us back to the 2012 season. With the 49ers in the hunt for the playoffs in 2021, can they overcome their rivals? Or will the Seahawks deal San Francisco’s postseason chances a major blow?

Is Jimmy Garoppolo rising to the competition?

Entering the 2021 season, all eyes were on Jimmy Garoppolo after the 49ers drafted Trey Lance to be their QB of the future. Garoppolo led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2019, but a combination of injuries and questionable performances had left his future in San Francisco in doubt.

PFN’s Offensive Value Metric, which grades the value of players to their offense based on metrics within their control, ranked Garoppolo as one of the least valuable QBs in the league after his six games in 2020. Those poor performances meant that coming into the season, the question was not if Garoppolo would be replaced as the starter — but when.

As it stands entering Week 13, Garoppolo has the third-highest grade at the QB position. The only players to have provided more value as passers are Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow. The improvement has really come about in the last five weeks. During that stretch, Garoppolo has been graded by OVM as a top-five most valuable QB to his offense every single week.

The numbers have not always been the most eye-popping, but they haven’t had to be. Garoppolo has simply done what the offense has asked of him, and he’s done it very well. Heading into the final six weeks of the season, is Garoppolo giving the 49ers cause to change their thinking? Or is he simply increasing his offseason trade value?

What does the absence of Deebo Samuel do to this offense?

A crucial element to this 49ers at Seahawks prediction is the absence of Deebo Samuel. The 49ers have been finding more and more ways to get the ball into Samuel’s hands in recent weeks — and it has paid off. In the last three weeks, Samuel had 19 rushing attempts, which is more than any other season of his career. With those rushing attempts, he has found the end zone 4 times and produced 181 yards on the ground.

With Samuel set to be absent this week, do the 49ers run a more conventional offense, or do they get creative in another way? They have started to utilize Brandon Aiyuk more in recent weeks, but as a traditional pass catcher more so than on handoffs. Could that change against the Seahawks?

When we look at the 49ers depth chart, there is no obvious player to step into Samuel’s role. Travis Benjamin has been used on run plays, but not in the same manner as Samuel. The other option would be to utilize Jeff Wilson Jr., who played just 14% of snaps in Week 12. Using a two-back combination of Wilson and Elijah Mitchell could give the 49ers offensive flexibility.

It will be interesting to see what the 49ers do. Samuel has provided 5 touchdowns to an offense that has topped 30 points in five of their last six games. Additionally, the Seahawks’ defense has been good in the last five games, allowing an average of just 15.4 points per contest. If the 49ers cannot replace Samuel’s production, they could find themselves stumbling again against their NFC West rivals.

Could the Seahawks look very different in 2022?

It has been a turbulent few months for Seattle, and at 3-8, the prediction for the Seahawks’ matchup with the 49ers matters more to them in terms of upsetting their rivals than it does for their own playoff ambitions. The problem is that off the field, the rumor mill is starting to churn.

Russell Wilson made his dissatisfaction well known in the offseason. It ultimately came to nothing, but after a tough year, could he once again seek a move this offseason? Wilson’s contract made a trade virtually impossible to pull off last offseason, but that situation changes a little in 2022. With no marquee QBs available in free agency and limited first-round potential at the position in the draft, Wilson could be in high demand once the season ends.

Then, there is the question of Pete Carroll’s future. As it stands, Carroll is under contract through 2025, and there are no indications he is looking to leave right now. That leaves the Seahawks facing an expensive payoff, or trying something more radical. If the franchise wants to move on, could trading Carroll be an option?

Trading a coach is tricky to do, but at 70 years old, Carroll might be motivated to make it work if the team trading for him is in a win-now situation. The alternative is that the Seahawks make the trade and it causes Carroll to leave of his own accord, saving the team some money. The upcoming offseason will certainly be intriguing in Seattle.

49ers vs. Seahawks betting line and game prediction

  • Spread: 49ers -3.5 (Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Moneyline: 49ers -170, Seahawks +150
  • Total: 45.5

This line feels spot on because the Seahawks are struggling. However, they have the 49ers’ number in the past decade and will be keen to keep their division rival on their back foot. Given the history between these two sides, there is no way the Seahawks will simply roll over and let their rivals march towards the playoffs.

It is hard to see how Seattle can win this convincingly without getting significantly better play from Wilson. The Seahawks QB has not looked right since returning from his finger injury. Improvement each week is to be expected, but we need to see a jump.

This game will not be easy for the 49ers — the Seahawks simply do not let them have easy games. San Francisco should have too much for their rivals, but there might be some heart-stopping moments for 49ers coaches, players, and fans alike.

49ers vs. Seahawks prediction: 49ers 23, Seahawks 19

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