A terrific Thanksgiving Day in the NFL 2023 season concludes at Lumen Field on Thursday night when the top two in the NFC West meet as the Seattle Seahawks take on the current leaders of the division in San Francisco 49ers.
There is one match between these two in the NFC West standings and they have to face each other home and away before the season comes to an end so this match could be huge in the overall picture of this division.
The Seattle Seahawks are 6-3 for their season but they go into this match off the back of a disappointing divisional defeat to the Los Angeles Rams last week, the second time they have come unstuck against the Rams this season, and they will be keen to avoid losing to another division rival here. Defeat here could leave the Seahawks hunting down a wildcard and while they are good enough to go on and get that, they would love to win the division and host a playoff game.
The big problem for the Seahawks heading into this match is the status of two key offensive players is unknown. Geno Smith and Kenneth Walker both picked up injuries in the loss to the Rams last week and while Smith is expected to play despite an elbow issue, the consensus is that Walker will not. That could mean that the Seahawks need their defence to come up with the goods in this one. They are going to have their work cut out but they have performed well enough in recent times.
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San Francisco 49ers
At the beginning of the season the San Francisco 49ers looked unstoppable but then a couple of injuries came along and halted their progress for a month or so but as those key players have got back to full fitness they have come good again and are beginning to resemble that team who were looking hard to beat at the beginning of the campaign. They head to Seattle with a 7-3 record for their season and a win here would see them assume real control of the NFC West.
The 49ers head into this match off the back of a very impressive win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where their offense functioned nicely with Brokc Purdy delivering a perfect display. When the offense is in decent order both in the run game and the passing game like it appears to be, it allows the 49ers defence to be aggressive and that often spells trouble for the opposing quarterback. San Francisco have won their last two matches by a cumulative score of 61-17.
I think this is a tough assignment for the Seattle Seahawks. It would have been anyway for a side who are going up against a San Francisco 49ers that is looking back to their best with the return of Deebo Samuel having a huge impact on their offense, but going up against this 49ers outfit with a banged up quarterback and missing a number one running back to take some of the heat off of him does not feel like a favourable combination.
The one crumb of comfort that the Seahawks might have is that this is the first Thanksgiving game for Brock Purdy and he might be nervous but he is playing so solidly that even if he drops off it a touch he is still going to be performing strongly. The 49ers can win via the pass, the run and on defence and against a side who are going to be hindered, particularly in the passing game, I think the 49ers will be too good.
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