NFL Week 8 picks: 49ers vs. Seahawks odds and preview
The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks renew their long-running rivalry on Sunday in what promises to be a pivotal NFC West matchup.
The Seahawks will look to regroup following their first loss of the season, a 37-34 overtime defeat to the Arizona Cardinals in which Seattle held a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, had two offensive possessions in overtime, and had what appeared to be the winning touchdown called back because of a holding penalty.
Meanwhile, the 49ers have bounced back nicely following a pair of setbacks early in October. San Francisco knocked off the L.A. Rams in Week 6 and then dominated Cam Newton and the New England Patriots last weekend, winning by 27 points.
Like most games between the 49ers and Seahawks, Sunday’s contest could go either way, with Seattle positioned as a three-point favorite on Friday afternoon.
Sun, November 1 2020, 8:25 PM
San Francisco 49ers
Which version of Jimmy G will show up Sunday?
49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury earlier in the season, and struggled in his first game back against Miami in Week 5. Since then, the quarterbacking position has produced mixed results for San Francisco.
Garoppolo was great against the Rams in Week 6, completing 69% of his passes for a tidy 268 yards and three touchdowns. He also didn’t turn the ball over and wasn’t sacked.
The following week, in a 33-6 win over New England, Garoppolo completed 80% of his passes for 270 yards, but was also picked off twice and failed to throw a touchdown pass. That’s not a bad day, but two interceptions sullied his final numbers and the 49ers were able to the win thanks largely to their running game, which accounted for four major scores.
Jimmy Garoppolo's first half against the Patriots:— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) October 25, 2020
14 of 19 (73.7%)
63.6 QB rating
Not as bad as numbers indicate, but nothing spectacular. He looks comfortable. The story has been the dominant run game. 20 carries. 127 yards. 3 TDs. #49ers
Through seven games, he has thrown 10 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.
There is potential for Garoppolo to have a more productive day throwing the football against the Seahawks. Seattle’s defense has given up 2,212 passing yards, the second highest total in the NFL through seven weeks, and their pass rush continues to struggle.
What continues to help San Francisco’s offense is their running game, which can take the heat off the quarterback. San Francisco rushed for 197 yards against New England last weekend, and 122 against the Rams.
Where the Seahawks have been moderately successful on defense is limiting the run. If Seattle’s defense can limit San Francisco this week, the best chance for a 49ers victory may be through the arm of Jimmy G. Given the history between these teams, this game could come down to the wire.
Seahawks defense needs to step up
Bettors backing the Over in Seahawks games this season have been, for the most part, happy with the results.
The Over is 4-2 in Seattle’s games through seven weeks, which is a sign of how productive Seattle’s offense has been in the "Let Russell Wilson Cook" era of 2020, and an indictment of Seattle’s defense.
Their offense has had no trouble putting up points, although last weekend was a tough one for Wilson, who uncharacteristically threw for three interceptions. But their defense continues to be problematic.
Seattle’s pass rush needed help in the worst way, so the Seahawks went out and acquired veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap from Cincinnati. The Seahawks have allowed the second most passing yards in the NFL, and are among the worst teams in getting stops on third down, according to The Field Goals and StatHead Football.
2013 Seahawks defense (for entire season):— John P. Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) October 27, 2020
- 2,752 passing yards allowed
- 231 points allowed
2020 Seahawks defense (through six games):
- 2,212 passing yards allowed
- 172 points allowed
All of this wouldn’t be a problem if the Seahawks weren’t considered a championship contender. But Seattle has its sights set firmly on the Super Bowl this year. When January arrives it will be difficult – if not impossible – for this team to overcome its defensive deficiencies.
Will the Seahawks cover the spread against the 49ers in Week 8?
The Seahawks are facing a plethora of injuries. According to Seattle's injury report, running backs Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, and Travis Homer did not practice Wednesday and Thursday, and the injury situation at that position forced Seattle to sign free agent Alex Collins to the practice roster. DeeJay Dallas is reportedly the only healthy running back on the Seahawks roster right now. Mike Iupati (back), Shaquill Griffin (concussion), Ugo Amadi (hamstring), and Jamal Adams (groin), all did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.
Seahawks list Shaquill Griffin out for Sunday, but he's the only one declared out. In encouraging news, both Chris Carson and Jamal Adams are questionable, raising hope they can play Sunday.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) October 30, 2020
For the 49ers, the injury situation isn’t quite as dire. Linebacker Kwon Alexander (ankle) was limited on Thursday. Receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.
Score prediction: 49ers 27, Seahawks 24