Now things really get tough for the Seahawks.
NFC West divisional play kicks off in earnest Sunday afternoon when the Seahawks (1-2) travel to Santa Clara, California, to play the 49ers (2-1).
The Cardinals (3-0) and Rams (3-0) kick off in L.A. at the same time.
After back-to-back losses to the Titans and Vikings, the Seahawks can’t afford to lose much more ground in the toughest division in the NFL.
Seahawks (1-2) at 49ers (2-1)
Time: 1:05 p.m.
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle
Betting line: 49ers are favored by 3 points.
Series history: The Seahawks lead the all-time series 28-17. Seattle won both meetings last season.
Three things to know about the 49ers this week:
They’re kicking themselves
There is a lot of second-guessing in the Bay Area this week after Green Bay rallied in the final minute to beat the 49ers, 30-28, in a thrilling Sunday night game at Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers had taken their first lead of the game with 37 seconds left on Jimmy Garoppolo’s touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
One problem — 37 seconds is a lot of time for Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay’s star QB found Davante Adams for two completions over the middle of the field, giving Mason Crosby just enough space and time to kick the game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired.
“You always worry with Aaron on the other side,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game.
On the Juszczyk touchdown, the 49ers had snapped the ball with 12 seconds remaining on the play clock. Shanahan fielded more questions about clock management in his day-after news conference Monday.
“That’s why we worked really hard to not use any timeouts that entire drive,” Shanahan told reporters. “We wanted to run it down. No one wants to give it back to Aaron. I’m also not going to tell Juice (Juszczyk) to not try and score. You try to dictate that with some play calling. … We definitely weren’t expecting to score on that play.”
Could we see more Trey Lance?
The 49ers’ QB situation was one of the NFL’s top storylines throughout the offseason. At one point, Shanahan inquired with Green Bay about a possible trade, and then San Francisco ended up trading a massive haul to move up in the draft to select Trey Lance with the No. 3 pick.
Jimmy Garoppolo has remained the Niners starting QB through three games. He’s been pretty much what you’d expect — good, not great. He’s thrown for 760 yards, with four TDs and one interception — plus a costly lost fumble in the fourth quarter Sunday. His passer rating of 101.2 ranks 15th among NFL starters.
Lance has been used in brief stints so far. He scored on a fourth-down run from the 1-yard line against the Packers, which has added to the chorus calling for him to play more going forward.
“I know (the rotation) is a big deal because it’s different, but it’s really not a big deal in my head or Jimmy’s head or I guess anyone else on the team,” Lance said Sunday night. “It’s pretty normal now.”
The Niners have been devastated by injuries at running back and, naturally, have had trouble establishing a ground game. Lance could help in that regard, and many in the Bay Area are calling for more of the rookie QB.
The Seahawks aren’t the only team hurting at cornerback
While the Seahawks cornerbacks have struggled on the field, the 49ers’ have struggled to stay on the field.
Veteran Josh Norman, signed by the 49ers just before the start of the season, spent Sunday night in a hospital because of a lung contusion. Remarkably, Norman was back at the team facility on Monday and Shanahan said it’s possible Norman could play against the Seahawks.
“He had some fluid in his lungs, and I think that was the scare, so he had to go to the hospital,” Shanahan said Monday. “He’s back. He was in our meetings this morning.”
Nickel corner K’Waun Williams, meanwhile, is expected to miss several weeks because of a calf strain.
The Niners defense, overall, ranks as average in the NFL. It’s 17th in yards allowed (370.3), 23rd in rushing defense (122.3), 16th in scoring defense (24.7) and 11th in third-down percentage (36.8).
But the Niners still have middle linebacker Fred Warner and defensive end Nick Bosa, two of the best in the NFL at their positions. Bosa, after missing most of last season with a torn ACL, has three sacks and one forced fumble through three games.