The Seahawks and the 49ers are two of the five teams to have at least seven wins so far, the most at this stage of the season since 1990. The significance of that statistical omen will not be lost in the Bay Area, as in the same year the 49ers registered their best-ever start, when Jerry Rice and Joe Montana led them to win their first 10 games.
San Francisco needs two more wins to emulate the record, but given it is the second team in NFL history to finish with a winning percentage of .250 or below—it finished 4-12 a year ago—and then win the first eight games of the following season, few would bet against it.
After relying on their defense for seven weeks—San Francisco’s defense ranks first in the NFL in total yards and second in terms of points allowed—the 49ers leaned heavily on their offense during the 28-25 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football.
Considered one of the main question marks hanging over the team up until then, Jimmy Garoppolo delivered the most convincing of responses to his critics, throwing for 317 yards and four touchdowns.
“Our team has done a good job of winning in different ways this year,” he said after the game. “Whether it’s offense, special teams, defense or mixing and matching all of them. That’s how you create a good football team. You’re not relying on one part and everyone’s playing tomorrow. Complimentary football. That’s where we’re at right now.”
Garoppolo’s performance felt significant as through the first seven weeks of the season, the 49ers had been heralded as a resolute defensive unit, rather than a high-octane offense.
A win over the Cardinals may be a small sample size, but the signs were positive and Kyle Shanahan will no doubt be encouraged by the prospect of coming up against a team that has struggled to generate any kind of pass-rush all season.
Despite the addition of star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Seattle’s defense has conceded 278.1 yards through the air per game so far—the fifth-worst record in the league.
For so long one of the best defensive units in the league under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks are now far more menacing on the offensive side of the ball.
Largely thanks to Russell Wilson, Seattle ranks fourth in the league in total offense.
Since signing a four-year, $140 million extension in April that made him the highest-paid player in the NFL, the 30-year-old has been worth every cent.
So far this season Wilson has thrown for 1,945 yards, 22 touchdowns and just one interception—the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to post such figures through the first nine weeks—while completing a career-high 68.3 percent of his passes.
The former Wisconsin star threw five touchdown passes as the Seahawks defeated Tampa Bay 40-34 in overtime in Week 9, strengthening his case to be named MVP this season.
It’s no wonder then that Wilson feels his team’s confidence is on the rise.
“We’ve been able to do it [scoring] all year,” he told reporters after the game on Sunday, as per The Associated Press.
“For us to be able to go downfield—what’s the circumstances, what’s the situation—let’s go do it. And I think that confidence, that unwavering belief it’s real.”
Here’s all you need to know ahead of Monday.
When and where is the game?
The San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Monday, November 11.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET.
The game will be broadcast nationally by ESPN.
A live stream will be available via ESPN’s digital platforms, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.
The 49ers improved to 8-0 with a 28-25 road win over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, moved to 7-2 with a 40-34 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Seattle leads the all-time series 24-16 and has won nine of the last 10 meetings against the 49ers, but lost 26-23 last time it played in San Francisco in December last year.
According to Oddschecker, the 49ers are 6.5-point favorite and are even odds to cover the spread, while the Seahawks are 9/4 underdogs.
The over/under line in terms of total points scored is set at 33.