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Monday Night Football Preview: Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers

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Monday Night Football Preview: Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers

2019-11-11 13:18:241 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson attempts pass against San Francisco. (Image Source: Robert Reiners/Getty Images)

Here’s a look at the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks:

Series: Seahawks lead 24-16; Streak: Seahawks have won nine of the past ten; Last Meeting: 49ers 26, Seahawks 23 (12.16.18)

Time: 8:15 PM ET; TV: ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters)

Where They Stand:

The San Francisco 49ers are having a historic turnaround, as they are just the second team in league history to have a winning percentage of no better than .250 and win their first eight games the following season. They are the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team (8-0) and have the NFC’s best point differential (+133). The 7-2 Seattle Seahawks can pull within a half-a-game of first place in the NFC West if they’re able to pull off the upset. Their seven wins are tied for third in the conference. This matchup is the first this late in the season between divisional rivals with two losses (or fewer) between them since 2013.

When the Seahawks Have the Ball:

In last week’s win, quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 378 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 133.7 rating. His 90 wins through eight seasons (including the postseason) are tied for the second most in NFL history. With 22 TD passes and a 118.2 rating, Wilson leads the NFL. Moreover, he shows up in division games with a 110 rating or better in his past nine against the NFC West. Wilson has a pair of explosive receivers to throw to in Tyler Lockett and rookie DK Metcalf. The speedy Lockett caught a career-high 13 passes last week for 152 yards and two touchdowns, while Metcalf also set a career best with his six receptions and 123 yards. He leads all rookies with his 525 receiving yards and five touchdown catches (tied). They will be joined by the newly-signed Josh Gordon this week.

Going up against San Fran’s D will be Wilson’s toughest test of the season, a unit led by their top rookie Nick Bosa. The first-round pick has seven sacks among his 11.5 tackles for loss with two-plus sacks in his past two home games. He’s not the only stud along the D-line, as DeForest Buckner and Dee Ford are also impact players. Ford has 3.5 sacks in his past four games to give him 5.5 on the season, tied for second with Arik Armstead. Buckner had two sacks and four TFLs in his last meeting with Seattle, his second-straight with multiple sacks against the rival. The defense also features former Seahawk Richard Sherman, who had 32 interceptions and 99 PDs in his 105 games with the team. With 35 career INTs, Sherman is tied for the most among active players.

When the 49ers Have the Ball:

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 317 yards and a career-high four touchdowns with no interceptions for a passer rating of 136.9 last time out. It was his third career 300-yard game and his second straight with multiple touchdown passes, as well as a 100-plus rating. He’s also one of five QBs to win 16 of his first 18 starts since 1950. Recently-acquired Emmanuel Sanders had seven catches for 112 yards in last week’s win, while tight end George Kittle has caught six-plus passes in his past four at home. Unfortunately, Kittle is doubtful for tonight, which probably puts on even greater onus on their rushing attack. Providing balance are running backs Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida. Breida has been especially effective on MNF with 322 scrimmage yards in three games under the lights.

The Seattle defense was once the gold standard in the NFL when they had players like Sherman in their defensive backfield. A couple of holdovers from their heyday are linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Wagner posted a team-best 11 tackles last week, including a sack. He’s produced big plays against the Niners during the past few seasons with three sacks, six TFLs, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, eight PDs, and four INTs in his past six against San Fran. Wagner and fellow linebacker Mychal Kendricks have recorded sacks in their past two, while Wright has double-digit tackles in each of those games. They are the team’s top three tacklers led by Wagner’s 86, while Kendricks leads the club with his three sacks and seven tackles for loss, tied with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe, Maxwell, Bednarik, and the Rotary Lombardi Awards, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.                        

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