Moore Predicts: Seahawks to win battle of hurt teams behind big game from Wilson
Last week, I correctly predicted that the game would go to overtime, but I had the Seahawks winning by three points, not losing by three points, so my season record fell to 4-2.
This week it’s another NFC West battle featuring two banged-up teams who might start their fourth-string running back. With injuries perhaps sidelining Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde, the Seahawks might have to turn to Travis Homer and rookie DeeJay Dallas. With injuries to Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson Jr. the 49ers might be forced to go with undrafted free agent JaMycal Hasty.
There are all kinds of injuries elsewhere on both sides of the ball for both teams, and I think this is where I’m supposed to say the team that best handles these difficult circumstances will win on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
That might be the case, or the outcome could be determined by other things, chiefly the 49ers’ running game. Even without Mostert and Coleman, Wilson and Hasty ran for nearly 200 yards in a 33-6 win over the Patriots last Sunday. Wilson was injured in the game, leaving Hasty as the best possible option unless Coleman returns, which is possible since he was back at practice this week after missing five games with a knee issue.
With the 49ers, it doesn’t seem to matter who is carrying the ball, which is not a good sign for the Seahawks. San Francisco’s best chance to win, as Danny O’Neil pointed out in his 710sports.com post Thursday, is to control the time of possession by heavily relying on its rushing attack.
Keep the ball away from Seattle’s explosive offense. Makes sense if I’m drawing up the game plan. And San Francisco appears to have the horses to make it work, even when the defense knows a run is coming.
The Seahawks’ defense has given up 360 rushing yards the last two weeks, but there’s hope it could improve this week with the expected debut of defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison.
We don’t know if the Seahawks’ running game can function as well as San Francisco’s with a deep backup carrying the ball. I suspect not, but the talented Dallas could make liar out of me if he runs for 70 to 80 yards and at least keeps the 49ers’ defense from completely having its attention on Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
With the depleted running back corps, it’s fair to think that the “Let Russ Cook” crowd will see its favorite quarterback throwing more than ever. It’s also a good bet considering the shape of San Francisco’s secondary – the 49ers look to be without their starting safeties and one of their starting cornerbacks.
It’s easy to picture a game in which the 49ers have an effective mix of Jimmy Garoppolo dinks and dunks and play-action throws downfield with a heavy dose of Hasty runs. But it’s just as easy to see Wilson having a big day, atoning for three interceptions in that OT loss last week.
As much as the 49ers have looked terrific in wins over the Rams and Patriots the last two weeks, I think the Seahawks will ride a four-TD, 300-yard performance from Wilson to a double-digit victory, despite Seattle being favored to win by three.
Prediction: Seahawks 34, 49ers 23