After a long day of turkey and stuffing, NFL fans will be able to put their feet up and enjoy one of the best teams in the NFC take on a divisional opponent in the primetime game. The 7-3 San Francisco 49ers will be in Seattle to take on the 6-4 Seahawks, and between the recent history between these two teams and their current momentum, I like the 49ers to end the holiday with plenty of points.
Between the injury to Geno Smith and the fourth-quarter collapse, week 11 was not a pleasant one for the Seattle Seahawks. While it is expected that Geno Smith will be able to go Thursday night as he deals with a bruised elbow, there is the possibility of a setback, in which case we would see Drew Lock.
Smith is not the only vital member of the Seahawks offense dealing with an injury, as Kenneth Walker III left the game against LA with an oblique strain. Walker’s status is listed as questionable, which would mean Zach Charbonnet could be in for an increased role against a 49ers defense that is tough on running backs, as they hold opponents to an average of just 81.4 rush yards per game.
Finding success on the ground could be difficult regardless of who is healthy for Seattle, but if Geno Smith is ready to go, there is potential for him to find success through the air. San Francisco just lost Talanoa Hufanga for the season, which is a tough loss for a team that was already 15th in passing yards allowed per game.
The last time these teams met, San Francisco had difficulty stopping DK Metcalf. The wideout went for 136 yards and two touchdowns on ten catches, and they’ll undoubtedly need a similar performance from him to keep pace with a 49ers offense that is first in DVOA. Over their last two games, the 49ers have been on fire, posting a (14.22) EPA or higher in both games.
Brock Purdy has played as close to perfect as one can get over the last two weeks, finishing with a 148.9 and 158.3 passer rating in those wins. The second-year quarterback is dangerous when he has all his weapons, and when teams focus on their passing game, the easier things become for Christian McCaffery.
Last week against the Buccaneers, I was on the 49ers team total over, and I’ll be rounding out my Thanksgiving night by dipping back into that well. San Francisco’s team total is currently set at 24.5, which they have gone over in seven of their ten games this season and two of their last three matchups with the Seahawks. They have an ideal matchup Thursday night against a Seahawks defense that has put up a negative EPA in three straight weeks.
The Seahawks defense has the potential to be beaten on the ground and through the air, which has led to them ranking 19th in defensive DVOA. Christian McCaffrey has not gone over 100 rushing yards since week four, but he’ll have a chance to end that streak this weekend since Seattle is 19th in rushing yards allowed per game and 17th in rush yards allowed per attempt.
Seattle has also been one of the worst defenses in the league regarding getting off the field on third down, ranking 29th in third down conversion percentage. Between their inability to stop drives and the fact that they are 28th in red zone scoring percentage, Seattle will likely struggle to contain the explosiveness of the 49ers offense, as they are 2nd in the league in yards per play and 6th in red zone scoring percentage.
San Francisco 49ers Team Total Over 24.5 (-103) on BetRivers