A pair of 7-4 teams face off on Thanksgiving night in a game that could have playoff implications down the road. San Francisco has heard rumors of head coach Jim Harbaugh leaving the team after this season. There have been multiple reports of players in the locker room being sick of his demanding ways, yet there has never been an actual player to speak out publicly. They appear to all be playing hard on every snap. They struggled for most of their game last week vs. the Redskins and after a field goal they found themselves down 13-10 with less than 8 minutes left in the game. The 49ers were able to convert on a fourth and short after Coach Jay Gruden won a challenge with 5:36 left that awarded the team a first down. Receiver Anquan Boldin then caught a pass that went for 29 yards plus 15 more yards for an unnecessary roughness penalty on Redskin Ryan Clark fir a late hit. Two plays later Boldin caught another pass that got them inside the 4 yard line and rookie running back ran it in for a touchdown with under 3 minutes left and the defense was able to hold for the win. The offense was disappointing against a less than stellar Redskin defense, however as has happened many times in the past they found a way to score just enough points to win. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick went 20/29 for 256 yards along with both a touchdown and an interception. Frank Gore and Hyde combined for only 20 carries for 52 yards. The lack of a running game is a concern for a team that is supposed to be built on the run. Boldin had a huge day with 9 catches for 137 yards. They have now won three straight games.
The defending Superbowl champion Seahawks have had an up and down season but it looks as if their defense is starting to round itself back into form. A second quarter field goal would end up being the only points that the Cardinals put on the board in the Seahawks 19-3 win that improved their record to 5-1 at home. They have now won 4 of their last 5 overall, and while they haven’t been dominant overall, it looks like the team is rounding into shape. Running back Marshawn Lynch had 15 carries for only 39 yards as quarterback Russell Wilson was the teams leading rusher with 10 carries for 73 yards. Wilson went 17/22 passing for 211 yards and a touchdown.
These two teams will play twice in an 18-day stretch for the first time on Thanksgiving night. The 49ers have won 6 straight home games over Seattle. This also renews the rivalry between Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree and that should add to the drama. The Niners will have linebacker Aldon Smith back for the second consecutive game and he makes an already dominant defense that much better. The key for Seattle’s season may have been the return of linebacker Bobby Wagner that has energized the defense.
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