Seahawks at 49ers: A Bettor’s Guide


As their season spirals down the toilet, the Seattle Seahawks look to stem the surging tide of disappointment with a quick turnaround in San Francisco after blowing their fourth 4th quarter lead of the season last week at home to the Carolina Panthers.

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Every year there are surprises in the NFL – both good and bad – and unfortunately for the Seahawks and their fans it’s the latter that applies to the 2015 season in Seattle, which is now hanging by a thread.

An offseason that began with having no chance of moving past the ending of Super Bowl 49 if you owned at least one television has further devolved into neverending heartbreak and disappointment at the hands of another poor trade of a first round draft pick, a complete disregard of the importance of offensive line talent, and multiple end of game choke jobs by the defense once referred to as best in the league.

One thing we ask of the players is to give 100% effort at all times, whether things are going well or not. Well, the same applies to people who choose to write about the team. Despite wanting to curl up in a ball and not see the light of day until next September, I must look forward to the next opportunity to win a wager, just as the Seahawks must prepare with vigor for their next game versus the San Francisco 49ers.

As coach Carroll would say, we must, ahem, “Fight On.”

The weekend starts early with a Thursday Night tilt in San Mateo or Carlsbad or wherever the 49ers call home nowadays. Needless to say, the Seahawks must win to keep any playoff hopes alive, as unlikely as that seems today.

San Francisco isn’t very good. They were crippled organizationally in the offseason by a clash of front office egos so petty that they willfully chose to tear down one of the strongest on-field products the league had to offer because this guy and that guy couldn’t play nice together. Then they endured a bucket full of player retirements that has left their roster a shell of its former self.

These actions have predictably led to a 2015 team that plays far worse than it did as recently as one year ago and things will probably get worse before they get better. It is a good time to face the 49ers, theoretically, despite their win last week versus a sleepwalking Baltimore squad.

Sadly, someone in Van Nuys or Inglewood or wherever they play now is probably typing the same exact thing about the Seahawks, and they’d be right.

The Niner offense is led currently quarterbacked by The Moody Bicep – Colin Kaepernick – who refuses to get better at the fine art of variable ball speed on throws or seeming anything but indifferent toward anything resembling leadership in his professional life. He can still run like the wind, though! In other words, he’s the same now that he was when he had very little playing experience. He has not regressed, but certainly hasn’t progressed either. He is what he is and always will be… whatever that is.

Carlos Hyde is a very good running back and if he learns to play through dings and dents he can be the kind of bellcow back that teams pretend they don’t care about anymore but would really like to have in their offense. It seems though like he has that Beanie Wells-ish trait that may never allow him to play a full season and therefore bring into question how much the 49ers can truly rely on him to provide production on a weekly basis.

At receiver, they dumped a truckload of money into Torrey Smith’s bank account just to watch him become frustrated with being overthrown on go routes by a guy who is incapable of putting air under a deep ball. Anquan Boldin has earned the right to not be made fun of in this space, but even he would admit his best days are far behind him.

Oh, and yes, Vernon Davis still plays tight end there, but we all know what happens when he runs routes in Seattle’s strong safety area. Don’t be surprised if Davis comes down with a Kam Flu before kickoff.  It’ll hit you hard if you’re not careful.

The heart and soul of this team used to be the offensive line, but the loss of guard Mike Iupati to free agency and tackle Anthony Davis to concussion fears has rendered it average at best now. It’s no surprise the quarterback’s progress has stunted as his protectors have defected.

Hmmm – sounds eerily familiar.

The defense, ravaged by personnel losses of the highest quality to retirement and/or general scumbaggery, now struggles to keep games within reach. Their great linebacker Navarro Bowman has returned from a devastating knee injury suffered over 18 months ago but is now surrounded by less talented players, and even his alpha dog skills are rendered less effective by the lack of help around him.

The secondary was picked clean in free agency, and sports one of the poorer cornerback depth charts in the league. Safeties Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid have their hands full trying to protect the back third of the defense, and can only do so much to cover up the cornerbacks’ mistakes.

The line on this game is Seattle minus 6, and while the rivalry doesn’t blaze as bright without Jim Harbaugh scowling on the other sideline and with each team currently scuffling at 2-4, it is (I guess) a very important division contest that will gain each team’s full attention.

The expectation here is for the Seahawks to struggle early, like they always do, before eventually making enough plays to get a lead and this time hold on to it late, if you can even image that anymore. They had Kaep’s number back when the 49er defense was better able to keep it close. Now, it feels like this could be one of those games that Pete Carroll loves- leading in the second half and watching the defense slowly choke the life out of the opponent and allowing the offense to grind out a multi-score victory.

Enjoy it- there may not be many more of them this season.

Prediction: Seattle 23, San Francisco 13.

Wager: 100 credits on Seattle – 6

Season to date: -150 credits