NFL Week 10: Key Matchups And Prediction For Seahawks-49ers

The San Francisco 49ers will put their league-best 8-0 record on the line Monday night against another red-hot team in that of the Seattle Seahawks. It’s the first matchup between the two teams and will be played at Levi’s Stadium, where 49ers fans should be rocking the joint.

Seattle heads into Week 10 with a 7-2 record and just one game behind San Francisco in the win column. A victory for MVP favorite Russell Wilson and Co. would make the NFC West race interesting down the stretch. A loss would put San Francisco 2.5 games up over its nearest competition in the division.

Here, we preview this game by giving you the top stories to watch, the top matchups and a final prediction for the Seahawks-49ers Week 10 game. 

Time: 8:15 PM ET

Television: ESPN

Spread: 49ers (-6)

Over/Under: 46

Jimmy Garoppolo Looking To Continue Undefeated Run At Levi’s

It stands to reason that Garoppolo would have a good home record given that he’s 14-2 as the 49ers’ starter. However, the improved quarterback has taken it to a whole new level at Levi’s Stadium since joining San Francisco.

Garoppolo boasts a 6-0 career record in Santa Clara. The 49ers are averaging 34.2 points per game during that span. He’s also thrown 11 touchdowns compared to four interceptions in those six starts while averaging north of 280 passing yards.

In Garoppolo’s first ever regular-season start against the division rival Seahawks, he’s going to look to continue the domination at home.

Russell Wilson’s Utter Brilliance

As noted above, Wilson has to be considered the odds-on favorite to take home the NFL MVP award this season. What the Super Bowl quarterback has done is nothing short of amazing. Wilson is coming off a five-touchdown performance in a narrow home win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s now accounted for 22 passing touchdowns compared to just one interception in nine starts.

San Francisco’s league-best pass defense will be put to the test in a major way here, especially with new Seahawks receiver Josh Gordon likely set to make his debut Monday night. As it is, Wilson boasts a career 4-3 record on the road against the 49ers with just eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

The Gang Is Back Together

San Francisco will return starting tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey as well as Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk on offense Monday night. That’s legitimately three of the team’s best offensive players.

These are three big additions as the 49ers begin the difficult second half of their schedule. The return of those three offensive players should help big time against a Seahawks defense that has racked up just 15 sacks in nine games. If Garoppolo has the time, he could duplicate last week’s flawless four-touchdown performance.

Top Matchups

49ers Secondary vs Seahawks Receivers

This matchup of former teammates should be an absolute blast. Sherman will play his third game against the team he suited up for over the course of a Hall of Fame-worthy seven-year career. He does so yielding an absurdly low 39.6 passer rating on the season, the lowest among qualified NFL corners. To put this into perspective, quarterbacks would boast a better passer rating if they simple spiked the ball every time rather than throwing into Sherman’s direction.

On the other side is one of the most-dominant battery mates in the NFL. Russell Wilson has completed 116-of-142 passes for 1,732 yards with 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions when throwing to Lockett since the start of last season. That’s a 155.1 quarterback rating.

Depending on how much Gordon plays, there’s a good chance Lockett will remain primarily in the slot. That would be against impressive corners K’Waun Williams and/or the above-mentioned Moseley.

This entire matchup is strength against strength. That’s especially true if Witherspoon (should he play) draws the assignment to go up against rookie D.K. Metcalf. Before being injured in Week 3, the young corner was yielding a sub 10 passer rating on the season. If Witherspoon can’t go, it will be Moseley drawing the assignament against Metcalf. The second-round pick has recorded 29 receptions for 525 yards and five touchdowns in nine games this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo vs Seahawks pass defense

This season’s iteration of the Seahawks is vastly different than anything we’ve seen under Pete Carroll. It’s all about a big-play offense and a defense that has struggled maintaining the status we’ve seen in the past.

Last week alone, Seattle yielded 34 points and 418 total yards to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact, the Seahawks have given up 928 total yards over the past two weeks. They rank 25th in that category, 22nd in scoring defense and 28th against the pass.

After some early-season struggles with consistency, Garoppolo has picked it up big time since San Francisco acquired a true No. 1 receiver in Emmanuel Sanders. He’s completing 78% of his passes with six touchdowns and one interception for a 128.2 rating over the past two games. Garoppolo is also completing 11-of-14 passes to Sanders with a 147 passer rating and two touchdowns in as many games.

Dee Ford vs Germain Ifedi

Nick Bosa going up against Duane Brown (if he plays) should be a darn good matchup. Seattle will try to avoid doubling Bosa, especially with the interior of the team’s offensive line a major question mark. That’s magnified by the presence of DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas and Jullian Taylor at defensive tackle for the 49ers.

This is where Ford comes into play. Despite being limited to a pass-rush specialist role due to a knee injury this season, Ford is on pace for 11 sacks. He’ll go up against a right tackle in Ifedi who Pro Football Focus grades out as one of the bottom-five starters in the NFL. To say he struggles in pass protection would be an understatement.

Given Russell Wilson’s escapability in the backfield, it’s paramount that no only Ford put pressure on him, but maintains the edge. Wilson has been hit the third-most times of any quarterback heading into Week 10.

Prediction: 49ers 31, Seahawks 24

We’re going to go ahead and predict that the 49ers start 9-0 with a narrow win over Seattle on Monday night. Why change a good thing? We’re 8-0 in predictions leading up to this important all NFC West matchup.

More than anything, it’s going to be hard for Seattle’s top-notch offense to make up for a leaky defense. That’s especially true given that they are going up against the best overall defense in the NFL and a pass defense that’s yielded a 65.7 quarterback rating on the season.

Seattle has given up 926 total yards and 51 first downs in its past two road dates. Those outings came against two teams in that of the Browns and Falcons who boast a combined 3-13 record. The undefeated 49ers are a completely different monster. Look for this to play the biggest role as San Francisco continues its amazing run.

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Editor at Large of Sportsnaut, contributor here at Forbes. Seen on Fox Sports and MSN. Heard on Fox Sports Radio and ESPN Radio. Previous bylines include: Bleacher Repo