NFL Thursday Night Preview: Seattle vs. San Francisco

The 49ers and their QB Colin Kaepernick have only two wins this season but in the last few outing have seemed to discover their passing game again. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, still look like they are stumbling from game to game, with their only two wins coming against the bottom feeders of the NFC North. Funny enough, these two are at the bottom of the NFC West, and the only way out of such a hole is a season-saving win tonight in a showdown that’s critical.

Seattle has had a few weeks of collapses and have put them in precarious position for the 2015 campaign. Many thought that a 2-0 start would be such a big deal since they had tough trips against their divisional foes St. Louis Rams before facing the Green Bay Packers. With that said though, the squad’s last two losses were due to fourth-quarter breakdowns. In Week 5, Wilson basically eased off and took his foot off the gas allowing for 17 unanswered fourth-quarter points that resulted in an overtime loss against the Cincinnati Bengals. Last weekend, the Seahawks played at home and lost by four thanks to 13 fourth-quarter points. The dagger in their backs, a final touchdown by the Carolina Panthers with just 32 seconds remaining.

On the other side, even with a 1-1 in their last two, the 49ers are looking like the much better team right now, and Kaepernick is starting to get his throws crisply through the air. Kaepernick has four touchdowns to no picks in that timespan which shows great improvement. He’s thrown the ball continually to veteran wideout Anquan Boldin, a 35-year-old, who has been the target of 21 throws in those two games, turning them into 209 yards and one touchdown.

But Seattle will be anticipating this improvement, and their strong secondary knows how to stop it. Their only problem of late has been finishing. That’s troubling since closing out games and securing games is one of the core tenets of Pete Carroll’s coaching philosophy. As of now, no team has done worse than the Seahawks, who’ve blown a league-high four fourth-quarter leads.

The Niners are the team with the most positive momentum heading into this matchup of last-place teams. They snapped a four-game losing streak with their recent win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, which boosted their confidence coming into tonight. Even if the Ravens are 1-5, a win is a win and a step in the right direction.

Trying to keep that momentum against a talented yet desperate Seahawks team won’t be easy for San Francisco. Seattle has the matchup advantage on paper, and some historical trends in its favor. The Seahawks have won five of the last six meetings in wicked fashion, with four of the five wins coming by double digits. In the regular reason they are 14-2 since 2010, which is the NFL’s best record over the past six seasons.

Add that, to Kaepernick’s track record against the Seahawks and the stats cannot be ignored. Seattle will control the pace of this game and will finally close out a game, though it may come late, for the first time in what seems like a long time. It’s simply time for the Seahawks to return to their winnings ways.

Our Prediction: Seattle 28, San Francisco 20