Seattle Seahawks (2-4 SU, 1-4-1 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, October 22, 2015 at 8:25PM EST
Where: Levis Stadium, Santa Clara, California
by Scott, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SEA -5.5/SF +5.5
Over/Under Total: 41.5
The Seattle Seahawks make the trip down south to Santa Clara and Levis Stadium to face the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams are in unfamiliar positions, occupying the bottom of the NFC West with 2-4 records. Seattle took a tough loss at home on Sunday, with the Carolina Panthers scoring a pair of touchdowns in the games final 4 minutes to beat Seattle, 27-23. San Francisco had better results on Sunday, beating the Baltimore Ravens, 25-20, to put an end to a 4-game losing streak.
Seattle is in big trouble at 2-4, putting themselves in a position where they have very little margin for error if they want to make the playoffs this season. Thats a tough spot to be in with ten games remaining with a team that has their fair share of issues right now. There have been injuries, departures, and a host of other problems that have thrown the once-infallible Seattle formula into a tizzy. With defensive collapses costing them in consecutive weeks, this is not the clutch unit weve become accustomed to seeing in recent seasons. And while their offensive line wasnt great even when they went to two straight Super Bowls, its now downright awful and is a constant threat to derail the teams efforts.
San Francisco has been showing some pep in the past few weeks. They nearly beat the Giants on the road two weeks ago, before Eli Mannings late theatrics stole the win away. On Sunday, they were able to put it together to get the win, their first since a week one home victory over the Vikings. And lets face ittheyre a different team at home, where they are on Thursday Night Football to face the Seahawks. They beat Minnesota 20-3 at home in week one, gave up only 17 points to the Packers in a loss, before beating the Ravens on Sunday. The Niners have allowed 40 points at home in three games, while allowing 120 in the same number of games on the road. That needs to be accounted for with the Niners. In home games and against division rivals, they cant necessarily be expected to just roll over.
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There are some areas of promise for the 49ers moving ahead with the rest of the 2015 season. One is that theyre showing some fighting spirit. After scoring a combined 10 points in their 3rd and 4th games, San Fran was looking exceptionally ragged. They were suffering blowouts with Colin Kaepernicks numbers looked downright ugly. That changed against the Giants two weeks ago and they did an about-face at home against a Ravens team that also need a win badly. That showed some grit. Colin Kaepernick threw for 340 yards on Sunday with 2 touchdown passes. He continues to expound on his relationship with first-year Niner Torrey Smith, who he hit for a 76-yard TD. Anquan Boldin was over 100 yards. Kaepernick was going short, then he would spring forth with a big play, completing 3 passes for over 50 yards each.
On one hand, nearly beating the Giants and exploiting an awful Baltimore pass-defense is not grounds for a return to glory for the 49ers. But within the context of where they were a few weeks ago, its a bonanza. They started strong, before immediately regressing into what looked to be utter dysfunction. To pull themselves out of that says that Seattle cant expect to just simply make things better with the Niners this week and scoop up the easy win, which may have been the case a few weeks ago. On a Thursday night showcase against a hated rival, expect them to be prepared to produce a robust effort.
Seattle really needs to come up with something quickly or their 2015 season could be curtains. Its hard to extract anything positive from a game where the opponent scored two touchdowns in the last 4 minutes to beat you. But Marshawn Lynch got back into the mix against the Panthers and though he wasnt very productive, he should warm back up to the task here shortly. Tight end Jimmy Graham had his first truly big game on Sunday, with 8 catches for 140 yards. That could make a difference moving ahead. Its just that the state of the offensive line throws a lot of things the Seahawks are trying to do into the iffy category. At times, they cant block a chat request. If they didnt have a swashbuckling quarterback like Wilson, who knows where theyd be?
The Seahawks have legitimate issues. Some key guys have been banged up. Most of the big names remain on both sides of the ball, but enough subtle pieces to the puzzle have been lost over the past year or two and its clear that their formula for success has been disrupted. An offense that was already hanging by a thread at their peak could not afford the hits to the offensive line and the accompanying deterioration of their running game. And the defense has lost just enough personnel, in addition to their longtime architect and coordinator, to render them somewhat ordinary-looking at times.
You can never rule out the heart of a champion. Its almost hard to believe that the Seahawks are going to recede to the second half of the pack after winning a Super Bowl and nearly winning it last season. The expectation is that theyre going to bounce back, but if they dont, it can be a costly game to play for bettors. It already has been for those expecting that the last few weeks. Theyve only covered once this season. Still, they deserve another whirl and something tells me theyll get it right this week.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Seattle Seahawks minus 5.5 points.
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