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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

December 11, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Seahawks vs. 49ers updated: Media nearly unanimously picking Seattle, but look who didn’t

A look at NFL predictions through Sunday morning shows everyone still thinks the Seahawks will beat the 49ers.

Well, almost everyone.

There’s still only one writer – Tom Pelissero of USA Today – picking the dysfunctional 49ers to beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. Everyone else predicts a Seattle victory, some by substantial margins.

The line has hovered around 10 points last week. But Bob McManaman, the NFL reporter for the Arizona Republic/Azcentral.com, predicts a 41-20 Seattle victory. All four of The Seattle Times writers say the Seahawks will win, varying between Larry Stone’s 18-point margin of victory to Jerry Brewer’s 10-point spread.

As kickoff nears, what do you think?

Here’s a roundup of NFL predictions for Week 15 for the game.

THE SEATTLE TIMES

All four pick the Seahawks.

Jerry Brewer: Seahawks 23, 49ers 13 – May the Jim Harbaugh-as-villain component of the rivalry rest in peace.

Bob Condotta: Seahawks 27, 49ers 10 – These teams are going in opposite directions, and that won’t change Sunday. Expect the 49ers to play with some fire and make this a tough game in the trenches. But Seattle is just playing too well right now and will pull away at the end.

Jayson Jenks: Seahawks 24, 49ers 10 – The 49ers have been crumbling the last few weeks. Running back Frank Gore isn’t getting the ball much. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has regressed. And the Seahawks are playing their best football of the season.

Larry Stone: Seahawks 35, 49ers 17 – On the surface, this seems like a trap game for the Seahawks, but the 49ers are in such disarray that an upset won’t happen. At the same time the 49ers have been disintegrating, the Seahawks have been getting stronger each week.

SI.COM

Two pick the Seahawks.

Peter King (video)Could be seeing the very last gasp of Jim Harbaugh as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He’s got a quarterback now playing totally without confidence, Colin Kaepernick. His numbers from when he first started in 2012 went down to 2013; 2013 to 2014 have also gone down, precipitously. So I think there needs some surgery done on Colin Kaepernick in the offseason, and it isn’t going to help him. He needs that surgery in the toughest stadium to play in. I like Seattle handilly at CenturyLink Field in the Pacific Northwest on Sunday.

Don Banks – Seahawks 27, 49ers 17 – It’s last stand time for the bloodied and depleted Men of Harbaugh, and somehow it was fated to come down to San Francisco’s road trip to Seattle, where the intensity and significance of the games have always been at their highest point these past four seasons. The resurgent Seahawks will delight in bringing the curtain down on their rival’s playoff hopes, not to mention the likely end of the Jim Harbaugh-Pete Carroll coaching saga in the NFC West. Give us “What’s your deal?’’ one last time.

NFL.COM

All six pick the Seahawks.

Elliot Harrison: Seahawks 24, 49ers 17 – The questions circling around the 49ers have to do with Jim Harbaugh‘s future and Colin Kaepernick‘s play. As for the former, the idea of Harbaugh leaving seemed asinine a few weeks ago, considering what he’s accomplished for the organization. Yet, considering the obvious distraction his relationship with management has become and the recent product on the field … Meanwhile, Kaepernick’s apparent regression has caused many to question if he’s lost his football mojo. To quote Sammy Baugh in his elder years, “When you’re on the field, you’ve got to feel like you’re the best son-of-a-(beep) out there.” Baugh had a way of phrasing things, and, like Kap, was a really good athlete with an unusual throwing motion. He also had a way of handling the media, with the most straightforward answers you ever heard — another area where the 49ers QB has struggled. All that said, my feeling is that the 49ers will show up in Seattle and fight their butts off. Ultimately, though, I like the way the Seahawks‘ secondary is competing, and with that overall defense performing with such continuity — the Philly “game” felt more like a decimation — I’m taking the defending champs at home.

Chris Wesseling (video): The Seahawks will beat the 49ers. They really do have no chance. Over the last three weeks have played better defense than any they did over any three-weeks span last year. The 49ers have the worst offense in the NFL. (Colin) Kaepernick is a blatant mess right now, and the offense really is a dysfunctional sink hole. … It’s the worse offense in the NFL. They’re not just bad, they’re boring and that’s an unforgivable sin!”

ESPN.COM

All 13 pick the Seahawks.

USA TODAY

Six of seven pick the Seahawks.

Comment: This game will end in one of two ways. Either the 49ers will win, and jump back into the wildcard hunt, or the Seahawks will win, and the 49ers’ playoff hopes will be dead. Considering how San Francisco played against Oakland and how overwhelming the Seattle defense has been of late, it’s not looking good for the 49ers.

CBSSPORTS.COM

All eight pick the Seahawks.

Pete Prisco: Seahawks 23, 49ers 17 – When these two teams met on Thanksgiving night, the Seahawks beat the 49ers 19-3 and they are surging. The 49ers lost to Oakland last week. That’s a bad sign. The 49ers are playing for their season here, so they will battle and fight. They just aren’t good enough. It will be closer than expected, though.

John Breech: Seahawks 23, 49ers 17.

PRO FOOTBALL TALK

Two pick the Seahawks.

Michael David Smith: Seahawks 31, 49ers 3 – I think the Seahawks are going to be motivated not just to win this game, but to embarrass the 49ers. This one could get ugly, as the Seahawks are peaking and the 49ers are collapsing.

Mike Florio Seahawks  23, 49ers 10 – In this crazy year of upside-down outcomes, it would be fitting for the 49ers to chase a loss to the woeful Raiders with a win over the defending Super Bowl champions who are peaking once again.  But even in a season of surprises, the Seahawks slipping up against a sliding San Francisco team still goes beyond any plausible outcome.Florio’s pickSeahawks 23, 49ers 10.

SPORTINGNEWS.COM

One picks the Seahawks.

Vinnie Iyer: Seahawks 23, 49ers 10 – The end is near for both the 49ers’ playoff hopes and Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as their head coach. We thought their sense of urgency, knowing that door might be closing, would spur them into another season where they could get to the NFC championship game. The Seahawks know if they just do their thing at home, they won’t have to even think about seeing their hated rivals in the playoffs again. Seattle’s defense is back at a Super Bowl level, while San Francisco’s offense is in freefall. Good night, Niners.

SB  NATION

All nine pick the Seahawks

Katie Sharp: Over in the NFC, there are no division-clinching scenarios this week. Things are a lot tighter at the top of the standings, with six teams at nine wins or better jockeying for playoff position. Unfortunately, one of these contenders — Arizona Cardinals (10-3), Green Bay Packers (10-3), Philadelphia Eagles (9-4), Seattle Seahawks (9-4), Detroit Lions (9-4), Dallas Cowboys (9-4) — will definitely miss the playoffs because the wretched NFC South is required to have a representative in the postseason party.

Wallace Delery: Seahawks 23, 49ers 6 – In a continuation of their Thanksgiving meeting, Seattle delivers the death blow to San Francisco’s season.

BLEACHER REPORT

All 16 pick the Seahawks.

Mike Tanier: Seahawks 22, 49ers 16 – What should be the battle to decide the NFC has become a game with a double-digit spread. The 49ers must now prove that they are still worthy of our attention.

The 49ers offense has not looked truly playoff worthy since the season opener; it has not even been get-the-job-done mediocre since the Saints victory a month ago. Like the Seahawks, the 49ers have defense to burn. However, they have not made peace with their offensive limitations.

Pete Carroll knows it’s all about the Russell Wilson option, the Marshawn Lynch inside zone, some screens, and whatever magic happens once a Wilson scramble frees a forgotten tight end along a lonesome sideline. The Seahawks play to avoid turnovers, kick field goals and milk their big plays. Recent 49ers losses—and some close calls against the Giants and Redskins—show that they expect to fool opponents with a 60-yard pistol option, still think opponents rear back in fear of Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree and still expect Kaepernick to do what Wilson does.

Worst of all, the 49ers may not be playing with their backs to the wall, but with their feet out the door.

The 49ers are a hard team to like right now, either as upset winners on Sunday, as contenders or just as a team to sit and root for. Their games are more frustrating than fun. Watch Harbaugh throw a tantrum on the sideline, Kaepernick scramble into avoidable interceptions and Roman call random kitchen sink plays, and what you really see is squandered potential and a missed opportunity. This is a dynasty that burned out before it even got started.

The 49ers had the NFL in their palm less than two years ago, then opened their fingers and let the league drop. The Seahawks will out-muscle and out-will them Sunday, like they did on Thanksgiving. Maybe it will be for the best: The quicker the 49ers close the book on the fall of their Round Table, the better.

Sean Tomlinson: Jim Harbaugh might be gone by halftime of this game, and off purchasing furniture for his new Oakland office (along with a fresh supply of Wal-Mart khakis). There was a period of this season when the Seahawks defense played poorly by Seahawks standards. That strange time in our lives is now a distant memory, as they’ve allowed only 20 points since Week 12. Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick has been an unhinged mess, completing only 54.8 percent of his passes over the last two weeks. This will get ugly fast (again).

ARIZONA REPUBLIC/AZCENTRAL.COM

One picks the Seahawks.

Bob McManaman: Seahawks 41, 49ers 20 – When Pete Carroll gets a chance to run up the score against a division opponent, he doesn’t blink.The Seahawks are surging, winning three straight over Arizona, San Francisco and Philadelphia and holding those teams to 204, 164 and 139 yards, respectively. Seattle has also won 22 of its past 24 at home. The 49ers have lost two straight and are in danger of getting bounced from playoff contention. San Francisco is dealing with some internal controversy, with coach Jim Harbaugh rumored to be on the way out, and offensive stars such as RB Frank Gore and TE Vernon Davis expressing their unhappiness with their roles. QB Colin Kaepernick, meanwhile, seems to have regressed and looks like he’s losing confidence. It doesn’t figure to get much better today. In five starts against Seattle, he is 1-4 with three touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 50.6 passer rating.

MIAMI HERALD

One picks the Seahawks.

Greg Cote: Seahawks 21, 49ers 16 – Seems insane to see Niners a doubledigit underdog in this fiercest of rivalries but the reason is two-fold. Playoff-headed Seattle is madly impressive right now, the defense dominating and Russell Wilson and the ground game smoothly in synch. Oppositely, two straight losses have SF reeling off playoff pace as the Jim Harbaugh era ebbs in disappointment. Also, factor in Colin Kapernick’s career stats vs. SEA: 1-4 record, nine picks, 50.6 rating. Oy. Seattle beat Frans 19-3 just two weeks ago and not much has changed. On little more than a raw hunch do I see proud Niners keeping it inside the bet-line.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

One picks the Seahawks.

Barry Willner: Seahawks 23, 49ers 17 – Not nearly the once-anticipated showdown it was. Niners keep it close.

YAHOO.COM

Both pick the Seahawks.

FANSIDED.COM

All five pick the Seahawks.

SPORTSBLOG.COM

One picks the Seahawks.

Matt Krivanek: Seahawks 23, 49ers 13 – San Francisco has all but given up on the 2014 campaign. While Jim Harbaugh has been packing his khakis and black sweaters, the Seahawks have stormed to three straight impressive victories. The Seattle offense would be totally dysfunctional without Russell Wilson, as he dodges blitzes and avoids turnovers at an alarming rate. Even if the Seahawk offense struggles, the defense will probably get a handful of pick sixes off Colin Kaepernick, a shell of his former self. Richard Sherman was just being honest after last season’s NFC title game – Michael Crabtree is a sorry receiver. At this point, the 49ers are a sorry team.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

One picks the Seahaqwks

Seahawks 26, 49ers 16 – Billed as one of the games of the year when the schedule came out, the 49ers now have the feeling of a grenade with multiple hands grasping at the pin. Anything can happen in a rivalry as bitter as this, but the Seahawks would love nothing more than to be the team to yank that pin and watches the seemingly inevitable implosion play out.

SYRACUSE POST-STANDARD

One picks the Seahawks

Bud Poliquin: Seattle 27, San Francisco 9 –  Colin Kaepernick actually engaged the media this week. And he smiled, too. In related developments, hell finally froze over, pigs were spotted flying high in the sky and Tiger Woods tipped a waitress.

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. Opinions expressed are those of authors, and The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

 

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