We are less than a week away from a Sunday Night Matchup for the Ages, when the San Francisco 49ers march into CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks, looking for NFC West supremacy.
Sound dramatic? Yes. Will it be dramatic? Yes. The rivalry is back to its 2013 days and the final game of the 2019 NFL regular season will be filled with storylines.
But First, Playoff Scenarios
With the Green Bay Packers’ Monday Night Football NFC North-clinching victory over the Minnesota Vikings, we know how the 49ers’ chips will fall depending on, well, how they fall.
If the 49ers win Sunday night, they will be NFC West Champions, the #1 seed in the NFC, have a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Levi’s Stadium would see its first 49ers’ playoff game on either January 11th or January 12th. This is the preferred route.
Should they lose, the 49ers will be the fifth seed and will open the playoffs on the road against the NFC East winner (either the Philadelphia Eagles or the Dallas Cowboys) Wild Card weekend.
The Seahawks Welcome Back Beast Mode
With running backs Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise out for the season and the running game being a pretty integral part of their offense, the Seahawks signed Robert Turbin and…wait for it…Marshawn Lynch. Beast Mode is signed for the rest of the season, however long that may be for Seattle.
Beastmode officially is back in Seattle. Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks have an agreement, and Seattle has a new RB to line up against SF during Sunday night’s NFC-West-deciding showdown.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 24, 2019
Lynch, 33, has not played in a NFL game since October 14, 2018 when he was with the Oakland Raiders. His last game with the Seahawks was in 2015. That being said, he’s still the same Marshawn Lynch that had six 100-yard games in 10 meetings with the 49ers. So, there’s that.
The Seahawks will be without left tackle Duane Brown, but head coach Pete Carroll expects defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to back on the field. In the Seahawks’ Week 10, 27-24 victory over the 49ers, Clowney had a sack, five quarterback hits, a tackle for loss, and fumble recovery for a touchdown.
On the 49ers’ Confidence
No matter what happens on Sunday, the 12-3 49ers have proven, week in and week out, that they can win football games, and close football games, in a variety of ways. And with two of their three losses coming at home, they’ve proven that winning on the road is not an issue.
“You’d like to feel confident going into the year, but true confidence comes from doing things and having those experiences,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan on a conference call with the media on Sunday. “I think we’ve gotten a lot of that this year and we’ve been able to win in a number of ways. That’s why I think our team feels confident that we can do it in any way, whether you’re playing at your best or not, that you always can find a way to finish it. That helps going into the playoffs. The goal here is always we’d much rather only have to play two games than three games, so that’s obviously what we’re going for. Regardless of how this ends up, we’re pumped to be in the playoffs and whether we’re playing at home for two or on the road, we’re going to be excited and confident to go into any of those situations.”
It will be quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start in Seattle and he’s pumped.
“I can’t wait for it,” Garoppolo said after Saturday’s win over the Rams. “It’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. All these games, it seems like every week is a big game and this time of year, they all are. We’ll go in there with the right mindset, prepare for these guys and make it happen.”
And after being flexed into Sunday night, San Francisco will be playings its sixth primetime game of the season.
“…[W]e’re excited,” Shanahan said. “It’s always fun and an honor to have the 2019 season, for us and Seattle, to be the only two teams playing there at the end where everyone gets a chance to watch you. I know it’s a big game and we’re excited the whole country gets to see it.”
Guys, they totally got this.
See you at 8:2o pm EST/5:20 pm PST on Sunday Night. The game is on NBC.