The Seahawks can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the 49ers on Sunday. Based on what the experts are saying, you can start popping that Champagne in celebration of a return to the postseason.
Looking for our guys? Click here for picks from Bob Condotta, Mike Vorel, Larry Stone and Matt Calkins, plus a celebrity guesser.
All 10 panelists pick the Seahawks straight up.
Brady Henderson: Seahawks 28, 49ers 20
“You can bet that Nick Mullens has the Seahawks’ attention after throwing for 414 yard against them two weeks ago, the most Seattle has allowed to any quarterback this season. The Seahawks are a bit banged up coming off their Monday night win over Minnesota, and this game will be played in Santa Clara, so the rematch could be closer than Seattle’s 27-point margin of victory at CenturyLink Field. But letdowns have never been a problem under Pete Carroll.”
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Nick Wagoner: Seahawks 27, 49ers 20
“Seattle won the last meeting largely because the Niners turned it over three times and forced zero takeaways. That has been San Francisco’s biggest issue all season, as it has forced a league-low five takeaways. With the Seahawks coming off a short week and the 49ers off one of their better performances, this should be close. But the Niners’ inability to force Seattle mistakes will allow the Seahawks their 10th straight victory against the Niners.”
All seven panelists pick the Seahawks straight up.
Andy Benoit: “When you’re a Cover 3-based defense like the Niners, you’re vulnerable to deep crossing routes (more specifically, “over” routes) from slot receivers, as Cover 3’s structure often leaves either a free safety or, more often, an inside linebacker to guard those deep-crossing receivers. The Seahawks got San Francisco a few times on these in Week 13. With Tyler Lockett’s speed and Russell Wilson’s deft deep-touch passing, they’ll try it again this Sunday.”
Benjamin Hoffman picks the Seahawks (-4.5) to cover.
“The Seahawks (8-5) crushed the 49ers (3-10) just two weeks ago, and even with the game being held in Santa Clara, there is little reason to expect anything different this week. As a bonus, Seattle would clinch a playoff spot with a win, and could even get one with a tie, provided they get some help from other results.”
Mike Florio: Seahawks 30, 49ers 17
“The Seahawks will end up as the No. 5 seed, win or lose. That won’t stop them from trying to stomp the 49ers.”
Michael David Smith: Seahawks 30, 49ers 13
“The Seahawks are cruising toward the playoffs, where they’ll be a dangerous road opponent for an NFC division winner in January.”
Elliot Harrison: Seahawks 29, 49ers 24
“Just like old times, Seahawks at 49ers will affect the playoff race. For one team, that is. Seattle enters the Big Blue Jean with an opportunity to sock away a wild-card spot. The most educated guess would be that eight wins will secure the NFC’s sixth seed, so if the Seahawks do prevail, they will be sitting pretty at 9-5 and in firm control of their destiny. Seattle and San Francisco teed it up two weeks ago, with Pete Carroll’s group clobbering the 49ers by 27 points. Nick Mullens competed till the bitter end, tallying 414 passing yards and two touchdowns, yet San Francisco could not pay off drives when it mattered. A fumble, a stalled drive and an interception ruined a handful of long marches, while the Seahawks ran the rock all day. It will be incumbent on the 49ers’ front seven to stop Seattle on the ground. Kyle Shanahan’s defense performed admirably against Phillip Lindsay and the Broncos last week. Let’s see if the Niners can string together two strong showings.”
All three panelists pick the Seahawks (-4.5) to cover.
Consensus pick: Seahawks 30, 49ers 14
Brad Gagnon: “There’s something to be said for first-meeting losers improving in in-season rematches, the San Francisco 49ers are at home and coming off a solid win, the Seahawks could be tired following a Monday night game against Minnesota, and Seattle’s offense struggled mightily in Week 14. But add all that together and do you get from a 27-point margin to four? No way in hell. This might not be a blowout like it was in San Francisco, but Seattle is the obvious pick with less than a touchdown on the line.”
All eight panelists pick the Seahawks straight up.
Five of eight panelists pick the Seahawks (-5.5) to cover.
Pete Prisco: Seahawks 24, 49ers 21
“The Seahawks are on their way to the playoffs, while the 49ers are still showing some fight after beating the Broncos last week. Seattle is coming off a tough, physical game with the Vikings so there will be a little bit of a letdown here. The 49ers will hang around, but Seattle will win it late.”