The San Francisco 49ers are enjoying their best start to a season since 1990 and currently find themselves at 8-0 following a 28-25 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9, but face a tough test with the visit of the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
As the team surpassed the midway mark of the season with a perfect record San Francisco now face the 7-2 Seahawks as they set their sights on their first Super Bowl appearance since 2013.
The Niners are currently the hottest team in the NFL and Kyle Shanahan’s side has been impressive for a number of reasons, though the scary thing is, they’ve done it without being close to full strength.
Injuries have hit the offensive line in a big way while undrafted rookie line-backer Dre Greenlaw will be the latest recruit joining the starting line-up as he comes in to replace long-term absentee Kwon Alexander.
There is no doubt the defence has been key to the 49ers success this year, allowing just 241 yards per game, but has struggled at times against the run, especially recently, and since Week 4, they have allowed 5.54 yards per carry, which is 31st in the NFL in that time.
Even so, allowing just 138.1 pass yards per game, which puts them first in the NFL, not to mention a league-low 31.25% of opponents to score touchdowns in the red zone has given them a great platform to build upon.
The run game on offence has been as solid as any in the league too while the only real unknown was whether they could throw the ball well enough, but QB Jimmy Garoppolo has more than answered those questions of late.
He threw for 317 yards and four scores against the Cardinals in Week 9 while Emmanuel Sanders had a huge performance as well, catching seven passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in just his second contest with San Francisco.
There’s every chance the 49ers are going to get better in the coming weeks too with starting offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey and fullback Kyle Juszczyk expected back sooner rather than later as Seattle begins a crucial run of games going into the final stretch.
The 49ers will be challenged in the second half of the season for sure as they face six teams with a winning record, including three first-place teams in the form of the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and New Orleans Saints.
They also play the Seattle Seahawks twice, with the first encounter being their matchup on Monday night Football, not to mention another clash with the Los Angeles Rams, three games that will determine the fate of the NFC West.
The San Francisco defence could just face its biggest test of the season so far against a Seahawks offence that Seahawks offense that has converted 67.57% of their trips into the red zone this year while they can also run the ball to the tune of 131.7 yards per game.
The biggest question is whether the visitor’s leaky looking defensive line will be able to deal with a pretty potent looking Niners offence who currently average 29.4 points and run for 171.1 yards per game, making them the second best in the league.
The ability of Jimmy Garappolo to throw the ball for 7.7 yards a pass will also be a huge advantage against a pass defence that, up to now, has given up 278.1 pass yards a game on average, the 28th in NFL.
*ODDS SUBJECT TO CHANGE