Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks prior to tonight’s Thursday Night Football matchup at the San Francisco 49ers.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times previews tonight’s matchup with the Niners, “Whoever wins Thursday’s game in the Bay Area will have first place in the division for at least the next three days. There are no secrets in this game. Not in terms of style nor with regard to the stakes. ‘We know what they’re going to bring to the table,’ running back Leon Washington said. ‘I’m pretty sure they’re thinking the same thing on their side. This game is going to come down to fortitude and will.’ “
O’Neil also tells us what factors will contribute to a Seahawks victory, “1 Run, Marshawn, run. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 41 yards last week against New England, his lowest output since Game 7 last year. Seattle needs to get back up and running this week against an opponent that served as a landmark for the Seahawks’ offensive improvement a year ago. Lynch rushed for 107 yards against San Francisco last December, the first time in 36 games a 49ers opponent rushed for 100 yards in a game. The 49ers are not impregnable. The Giants’ Ahmad Bradshaw ran 116 yards in San Francisco just four days ago, and Seattle must run the ball effectively to keep the 49ers from dominating time of possession.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune discusses the importance of winning the turnover battle tonight in the Bay Area, “The Seahawks are 0-2 in the division, with close losses at Arizona and St. Louis. Turnovers have been a critical issue in those games, said Seattle coach Pete Carroll. The Seahawks have a minus-three turnover differential on the road in three games, so it’s no surprise they’re 1-2. ‘We need to play well on the road again,’ Carroll said. ‘We did a good job in Carolina getting out of there with a win, and we need to do the right things and not make mistakes and put ourselves in difficult situations on the road. (The 49ers) are really good at home in making you do that, so it’s a big challenge for us. We’ve played much better at home than we have on the road. We’ve taken care of the football better and all of that stuff. We need to get that done in this game.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald takes a look at tonight’s NFC West battle, “Seattle is off to an 0-2 start in the division, and with San Francisco looking every bit like a contender once again, and with Arizona and St. Louis improving, the Seahawks can’t count on making the playoffs if they don’t start asserting themselves in those divisional games. ‘When you’re trying to set yourself up to be where you want to be at the end of the season, those division games really come into play,’ said Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant. ‘Every game is a big game, but those division games, you’ve got to win those.’ “
Jim Moore of mynorthwest.com says to expect a lot of Marshawn Lynch in tonight’s game against the Niners in his game preview. Moore likes the 49ers over the Seahawks, 13-9.
Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com says strong safety Kam Chancellor is ready to go tonight after suffering an ankle injury in Week 6 against New England in his practice report.
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 AM ESPN’s “Bob and Groz” preview tonight’s matchup with a couple things you need to know about the Niners in this short video.
The staff at SportsPressNW.com says the Seahawks face their toughest test of the season tonight in San Francisco, “Seattle’s defensive unit allows 12.8 points per game to rank No. 2 in the NFL while the Niners yield 14.3 to rank third. ‘They have tremendous talent on the defensive side of the ball,’ Wilson said. ‘They fly around and make so many plays. Their front seven is extremely strong and extremely talented. This game will probably be a little bit different (than against New England). Tom Brady threw the ball 60 times. This will probably be more run oriented with the play action in there as well.’ “
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Wednesday, “Luckily for Seattle, the team heads to San Francisco healthy. S Kam Chancellor will play after being limited at times this week with an ankle issue. Chancellor finished the game against the Patriots and was expected to be ready to go tomorrow night. ‘Everyone is ready to go, as best as you could hope for, and hopefully we have a nice smooth trip and get there and get some rest tomorrow, and get ready to play a ball game,’ head coach Pete Carrollsaid. ‘We’re up against a very difficult team, very challenging that they’re so good on defense, they’re so diverse on offense, and their special teams are excellent. So we have all we could want to match up against. We’re going to have to play really well, take care of the football, and do all of the basic fundamental things they make you have a chance.’ “
Mike Sando of ESPN.com offers his “best guesses” for Week 7, predicting a 17-13 49ers victory tonight, “Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET: The December brawl these teams staged in Seattle last season knocked the Seahawks from playoff contention while leaving the 49ers’ Delanie Walker with a broken jaw. Both teams led late in the game. They battled on equal footing even though San Francisco had the better team. Can the 49ers’ special teams contain Leon Washington? Can Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, successful against New England’s relatively weak pass defense last week, fare well stepping up in class? Sando’s best guess: 49ers 17, Seahawks 13″
Sando also sums up injury situations around the NFC West, “San Francisco 49ers: The team listed receiver Mario Manningham (shoulder) and left tackle Joe Staley (concussion) as limited in practice Wednesday. The short week complicates their situations. Staley can play Thursday night if a neurologist clears him. If Staley sits out, right guard Alex Boone will move to left tackle. Veteran Leonard Davis would presumably fill in at right guard. He did against Buffalo. Running back Brandon Jacobs (knee) was also listed as limited, but health doesn’t appear to be the primary reason for his continued inactivity on game days. The team has good depth at the position. The other backups behind Frank Gore contribute on special teams. Jacobs is looking like an insurance policy. Two years ago, the team lost Gore for the final five games. Quarterback Alex Smith’s finger injury is not expected to limit him. Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks appear healthier than they’ve generally been in recent seasons. They’re the only team in the division yet to list a quarterback on the injury report. Strong safety Kam Chancellor has been cleared to play despite an ankle injury, coach Pete Carroll told reporters Wednesday. Clinton McDonald, a contributor in the nickel defensive line this season, is expected to return. Seattle will be without former starting guard John Moffitt.”
NFL.com brings us “Sound FX” from fullback Michael Robinson in the Seahawks victory over the Patriots in Week 6. You can watch and listen to Mike Rob mic’d up here.
In anticipation of tonight’s matchup NFL.com also brings us the Top 10 plays of the Seahawks and 49ers through the first six weeks of the season in this short video.
NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks previews tonight’s battle in the Bay, “Can the 49ers block Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin off the edges? The Seahawks have an emerging defensive front that should be considered among the best in the NFL. The unit has collected 17 sacks in six games, and routinely pulverizes opponents in the pocket behind the ultra-explosive tandem of Clemons and Irvin off the edge. With both players showing the ability to dominate one-on-one matchups on the perimeter, the 49ers will need to tweak their protection scheme to keep the Seahawks’ top rushers from crashing aggressively around the corner. To neutralize the duo, the 49ers likely will use more of their two- and three-tight end packages to eliminate the short corners for Clemons and Irvin. That will force the Seahawks’ edge rushers to align wider, buying more time for Smith in the pocket. In addition, it increases the effectiveness of play-action, which slows down the rush with the threat of an inside or outside run. If the 49ers are able to neutralize the impact of Clemons and Irvin early in the game, it should allow Smith to have enough time to find his receivers over the middle of the field.”
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has his look at Week 7, starting with an extensive breakdown of tonight’s Seattle-San Francisco game, “When the Seattle Seahawks play the San Francisco 49ers Thursday night, Seattle will be the team with the “other” defense. But guess which unit is better in scoring defense? It isn’t the Golden Gate guys. The Seahawks are second in scoring defense, while the 49ers are third. San Francisco is ranked first overall in total defense, while Seattle is fourth. The 49ers are considered one of the elite run defenses, but they are ranked ninth in rushing yards per game and yards per attempt. Seattle is second in both categories. Most know the 49ers’ top players: Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Carlos Rodgers and Aldon Smith. Name three Seahawks starters on defense. Anybody? They might not be household names, but after studying the Seahawks defense on tape, there is no denying the talent. They are fast, tackle well and have two cover corners that allow defensive coordinator Gus Bradley the freedom to do a lot of things. One more thing: They play with a swagger. They don’t back down. Not even to Tom Brady last week. New England came into Seattle with the top-scoring offense in the NFL, averaging 33 points. The Seahawks held them to 23, just six in the second half.”
The Pro Football 360 crew at CBSSports.com has an in-depth look at tonight’s Seahawks-49ers matchup in this video.
Tony Ventrella brings you his Week 7 Preview from San Francisco.
And finally, we have the full video from coach Carroll’s pre-flight press conference from Wednesday.
Tonight’s game will be broadcast nationally on NFL Network at 5:20 p.m. PT and broadcast locally in the Seattle area on KONG 6/16 – with a pregame show beginning at 4:30 p.m. PT. You can listen on 710 AM ESPN or KIRO Radio 97.3, and follow live stats and updates here.