2022 NFL season: Five issues to make a choice up for in Seahawks-49ers on Expansive Wild Card Weekend

San Francisco 49ers

There had been few americans at the delivery of the season who believed Geno Smith might presumably well be quarterbacking the Seattle Seahawks into the playoffs. There had been even fewer aloof who concept Brock Purdy might presumably well be helming a San Francisco 49ers postseason crawl. 

Yet, Expansive Wild Card Weekend will kick off in Santa Clara, California, with the two most unimaginable quarterback tales of the season on the forefront. 

Purdy will lead a San Francisco squad that’s the most neatly-appreciated in the NFL against a Smith-led Seattle squad that was as soon as the final in the league to punch a playoff label

When the NFC West-champion 49ers, the NFC’s No. 2 seed, host the seventh-seeded Seahawks, this would presumably well be the teams’ third assembly of the year, setting a tone for a wild-card slate wherein each sport is a rematch from the humble season.

Despite the truth that they play one any other twice a season, this would presumably well also be factual the 2d time the Seahawks and 49ers non-public squared off in the postseason. The principle was as soon as a 23-17 Seahawks retract in the 2013 NFC Championship Game on how one can a Seattle Expansive Bowl triumph. But these are each vastly varied franchises now. 

Having dropped each of their old conferences this season, the Seahawks are determined underdogs, however the 71-year-mature Pete Carroll’s original-faced Seattle squad has defied odds since Week 1. In distinction, Kyle Shanahan has piloted the Niners to encourage-to-encourage playoff berths for the main time in his six seasons in San Francisco, dwelling as much as lofty expectations alongside the manner.

Bolstered by a 10-sport profitable breeze, the 49ers are wholesome, boast a cavalcade of all-stars and are predicted by many to crawl roughshod over their division runners-up en route to the Divisional Round. But Carroll and Co. non-public forgone a rebuild without reference to inviting on from Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, and after sneaking into the playoffs on the final minute are aloof standing mammoth in a gruesome season. 

Here are five issues to make a choice up for when the 49ers host the Seahawks to delivery out Expansive Wild Card Weekend:

  1. Can the 49ers locomotive be slowed, extra special less stopped? San Francisco correct now seems to be to be very extra special luxuriate in a freight practice that has no stops except Glendale, Arizona. Boding the total greater for the Niners is that in each the final two cases they won the NFC West (2012, 2019), they superior to the Expansive Bowl. This original crop of gold panners has largely dominated, as evidenced by a league-exclusively plus-173-level differential, and San Francisco is doing it on each facet of the ball. The 49ers head into the postseason with the tip-ranked defense and fifth-ranked offense. Naysayers will argue San Francisco has had one of the best power of agenda in the league (opponents had a .417 retract percentage), however the Niners beat the opponents attach in entrance of them, leaving most of them of their wake after lopsided smackdowns. Integrated in the carnage was as soon as Seattle, which was as soon as swept in the season series for the main time since 2011. Autumn after autumn, Pete Carroll’s squads had the 49ers’ numbers, but issues modified enormously this year. Slash Bosa, who grew to was the main 49er to e book the NFL in sacks with 18.5, and fellow Skilled Bowlers Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga teamed as much as encourage the Seahawks to 2 of their three worst level showings this season. Having earned a playoff mumble following a Week 18 retract over the Rams and a Packers loss to the Lions, Carroll expressed his gratitude for the assistance got from Motown, but quipped, “unfortunately, we’re playing the Niners.” Those Niners had been handing out misfortune for months, and the Seahawks are tasked with one final chance to derail them.
  2. Will Geno Smith’s comeback story add one other chapter? After he beat out Drew Lock for the fair of QB1, Geno Smith subsequently succeeded Russell Wilson in sensational vogue. Smith has emerged as a frontrunner for comeback player of the year after posting a brand original single-season franchise epic with 4,282 yards passing, which earned him his first Skilled Bowl mumble. Will the Geno renaissance lengthen past the wild-card spherical, despite the truth that? Operate to play in the main playoff sport of his 10-year, four-team profession, Smith is matched up against a Niners defense that shut him down in two old conferences this season. Smith led the NFC with 30 landing passes, but he had factual one TD toss in his two outings against the 49ers. Smith also averaged factual 217.5 passing yards per sport and an 87.4 passer rating against S.F. when in contrast to 256.6 and 102.9, respectively, in his other 15 video games. Ranked No. 1 in complete defense, but twentieth against the slouch, San Francisco has been vulnerable by the air at cases. For Smith’s turnaround story to continue, he’ll have to make a choice up a technique to toughen the numbers against the 49ers. 
  3. Purdy’s greater than factual a undoubtedly feel-factual story now. It’s price level out that Brock Purdy was as soon as the 2022 NFL Draft’s “Mr. Inappropriate,” in consequence of it’s being talked about less and never more. The rookie marvel’s novelty location has diminished as it’s was more and more determined the Niners are profitable with Purdy in its place of without reference to him. He’s won five straight starts — in conjunction with one against Seattle — and has thrown for more than one touchdowns and 8-plus yards per are attempting in each of them. The final QB to enter the playoffs on the kind of breeze — the final quarterback overall, no longer the final rookie, tips you — was as soon as Tom Brady in 2020 earlier than the Buccaneers’ Expansive Bowl crawl. Purdy’s statistics are impressive — 1,308 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions in six video games since taking on for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo — but his ability to retract on a leadership fair and galvanize a team looking out out for out a title has been most out of the ordinary. Purdy will was the most modern drafted rookie to delivery out a playoff sport in the fashioned draft technology, per NFL Analysis. Could presumably well Purdy was the main rookie quarterback to retract a Expansive Bowl? He and the Niners must pick up by the Seahawks first. 
  4. CMC encourage in playoffs five seasons later. In all likelihood it’s been forgotten that no longer that lengthy ago Christian McCaffrey was as soon as viewed as one in all the most electrifying expertise in the game, ready to befuddle defenses running or receiving as exemplified by his 1,000-1,000 season in 2019. A pair of harm encumbered campaigns in 2020-21 altered the legend, but now McCaffrey is returning to perform as a 49er. He’s space for factual his 2d-profession playoff sport, returning to the postseason for his first time since his rookie season in 2017. CMC was as soon as prognosticated to be a finest fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense following the midseason change that brought him to The Bay, and that prediction hasn’t been some distance off. McCaffrey has scored 10 complete touchdowns in 11 video games with San Francisco and reached the quit zone in six straight tilts. That stretch comprises the Niners’ 21-13 retract over the Seahawks on Dec.15 when he had 108 yards speeding and a TD. It was as soon as factual the third sport in McCaffrey’s profession against Seattle, but he’s been distinctive at any time when, averaging 183.3 scrimmage yards per sport — the most by any player versus any team in the Expansive Bowl technology (minimal three video games), in response to NFL Analysis. In complete, he’s rushed for 320 yards, had 230 yards receiving, caught 25 balls and scored five complete TDs against the Seahawks. After a lengthy wait, CMC is encourage in the postseason and he might presumably factual be facing the becoming opponent. 
  5. Unusual class of Seahawks earning top marks. Seattle’s success this season hasn’t rested exclusively on the correct arm of Smith and acquainted standouts equivalent to DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Quandre Diggs. Thought to be one of the most exclusively Seahawks draft courses in years has breathed life into the organization. First-rounder Charles Sinful and third-rounder Abraham Lucas became a beginning kind out tandem that’s improved the offensive line. 2d-spherical slouch rusher Boye Mafe has made contributions, and so too has fourth-spherical cornerback Coby Bryant. Then there’s 2d-rounder Kenneth Walker III, who grew to was factual the 2d Seahawks rookie 1,000-yard rusher, and cornerback Tariq Woolen, who shared the league-high with six interceptions. Woolen and Walker non-public burst onto the scene and lead a class that’s rivaled exclusively by the Unusual York Jets’ this season. U.s.a.and downs had been had by all, but they’ve each been contributors to what feels very extra special luxuriate in a franchise rebirth. In spite of Saturday’s final result, these original-age Seahawks non-public Seattle trending in the correct route. 

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