Opponent: vs. Seattle Seahawks
Time: 5:25 p.m.
Line: Seahawks by 6 1/2
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Records: 49ers 2-4, Seahawks 2-4
TV/Radio: Ch. 13 (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms), 680, 1320
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
Reel in Russell: No offensive line has been as porous as the Seahawks’. Quarterback Russell Wilson has been sacked a league-worst 26 times and is on pace to go down 69 times. But Wilson still is elusive. He can buy extra time with his feet and he leads quarterbacks in rushing yards with 251. The 49ers haven’t had a sack in the past two games and have just nine this season, and they are last in passing defense.
Hyde helper: It’s hard to see Carlos Hyde making it through all 16 games. He’s already been checked for a concussion, caused a concussion and is now dealing with a painful foot injury. Reggie Bush was supposed to be his backup, but he has been too fragile to be counted on. The 49ers must start giving meaningful carries to one of two rookies, Jarryd Hayne or Mike Davis, or bring in outside help.
Gang up on Graham: This will be the first time the 49ers have played against Jimmy Graham in a Seahawks uniform. But they are familiar with the 6-foot-7 tight end after facing him when he played with the New Orleans Saints. Graham is a matchup problem for any team, but the 49ers have several options. Instead of a linebacker, the team could use second-round pick Jaquiski Tartt, last year’s first-round pick, Jimmie Ward, or 6-2 cornerback Dontae Johnson against him.
Where is Vernon?: In recent games, the Seahawks have done an excellent job taking away the 49ers’ top option in the passing game, typically Vernon Davis. The tight end, however, could see more opportunities Thursday, especially if wide receiver Torrey Smith attracts attention from Seattle’s free safety. That could put Davis in more one-on-one matchups without a safety looming over him. He needs a big game. Davis didn’t start Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens and finished without a catch.
Tighten the run defense: The 49ers are 15th in stopping the rush this year and opponents are averaging four yards per attempt. That’s a departure from previous seasons and something the Seahawks will look to exploit. Even with Marshawn Lynch not fully healthy, Seattle is second in the league in rushing yards per game and, unlike the 49ers, has found a good backup runner in rookie Thomas Rawls.
Questionable: WR Anquan Boldin (hamstring), RB Carlos Hyde (foot), T Erik Pears (back)
Probable: G Alex Boone (shoulder), LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder), LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder), RB Reggie Bush (calf), TE Vernon Davis (knee), WR Bruce Ellington (calf), TE Vance McDonald (chest), S Eric Reid (chest), T Joe Staley (knee), G Brandon Thomas (ankle)
Out: CB Marcus Burley (hand), DT Jordan Hill (quadriceps), C Patrick Lewis (ankle), LB Nick Moody (ankle)
Questionable: DE Demarcus Dobbs (shoulder)
Probable: DE Cliff Avril (ankle), G Justin Britt (hip), S Kam Chancellor (shoulder), DE Frank Clark (hamstring), T Garry Gilliam (ankle), WR Tyler Lockett (hip), RB Marshawn Lynch (hamstring), CB Richard Sherman (ankle), CB Tye Smith (hip), LB Bobby Wagner (pectoral)
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