Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At San Francisco 49ers
- QuarterbackRussell Wilson is one of the top quarterbacks in the game and he is in the midst of one of his best seasons. Wilson has the ability to get away from the first and second wave of the pass rush and then launch a deep throw with accuracy and precision. Wilson can also pick up key yards on the ground that allow the Seahawks to keep drives alive.This could be the game that former Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo makes his debut for the Niners. The Niners are coming off their bye week, and it appears to make some sense to get him in the lineup. Garoppolo earned high grades in his limited opportunities with the Patriots, and he was praised by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Garoppolo has a plus arm, is athletic and can read coverages before making his decision.
- OffenseThe Seahawks have had a difficult time trying to establish their running game since Chris Carson went down, and they are quite limited when it comes to making key plays on the ground. However, they have an excellent group of receivers led by Doug Baldwin, who is one of the toughest players in the league at his position. Paul Richardson is a fine No. 2 receiver and is a force in the red zone.The Niners could get quite a lift in this area if Garoppolo starts, because he will bring new energy, a live arm and unlimited potential. That should help wideout Marquise Goodwin and tight end George Kittle. Running back Carlos Hyde runs hard and has some explosive characteristics. He has rushed for 592 yards and four TDS, and he has also caught 42 passes.
- DefenseThe Seahawks don’t have the same kind of defensive persona that they did just two years ago, as they have been hurt by age and injuries. Bobby Wagner is a sensational middle linebacker who leads the team in tackles, and he also does an excellent job in coverage. Injuries to Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas have hurt this crew, but veteran defensive end Michael Bennett can still rush the passer.The Niners have struggled for the majority of the year on defense because they don’t have the talent to compete with the better teams. FS Jaquiski Tartt leads the team with 55 tackles and also has four passes defensed. DE Elvis Dumervil has slowed down quite a bit, but he still leads the team with 4.5 sacks. Outside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong has 54 tackles, two interceptions and four passes defensed.
- Special TeamsThe Seahawks used to be among the top special teams in the league, but they have slipped quite a bit in recent years. Tyler Lockett has explosive speed and can turn the return game around at any time. PK Blair Walsh has missed several makeable field goals, and he does not inspire confidence.The 49ers have a negative differential on kickoff returns, but they have a big advantage over their opponents on punt returns. Robbie Gould is one of the top kickers in the league and he has made 19-of-21 FG attempts this season.
The Seahawks have the major edges, but if Garoppolo gets the start, the Niners could get an emotional lift.