San Francisco 49ers Playoff Hopes May Be Determined In Thanksgiving Day Game

With a 7-4 record, the San Francisco 49ers face a tough match against their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks, who also have the same record. The Thanksgiving Day game at Levi’s Stadium could determine which team will go to the playoffs and which team’s season will end in December.

The New York Times reports that even though the game between the 49ers and the Seahawks is an important one, the bigger challenge for both teams is the Arizona Cardinals, who lead the NFC West with a 9-2 record. The Cardinals beat the 49ers earlier this year in Phoenix and lost to the Seahawks in Seattle this past Sunday. If the Cardinals take the division title, San Francisco and Seattle will be faced with securing two wildcard spots along with the Detroit Lions (7-4), the Dallas Cowboys (8-3), and the Philadelphia Eagles (8-3).

Around this time last year, San Francisco had a 7-4 record and finished the season 12-4. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn’t make any mention about the team’s concerns for making the playoffs.

“We’re in the same spot we were last year, something we’re very familiar with. We just have teams that are in other positions now.”

The teams will play each other again on December 14, and both will also face the Cardinals later that month. San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said the way his team plays for these last five games of the regular season will determine their playoff chances.

“If we’re good enough to be in, we’ll know. We’ll know soon enough.”

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll also mentioned that his team will face some tough competition. Along with having to face the 49ers and Cardinals again, the team will also play their other NFC West division rival, the St. Louis Rams, to whom they lost earlier this year.

“This season is just beginning, with all of the games that we’ll be playing here in the next month and a half.”

As for the Thanksgiving game, ESPN is predicting a very close matchup. Paul Gutierrez, the San Francisco 49ers reporter, predicts that the 49ers will win 17-13.

“Granted, this will be the first meeting between the teams at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, but the Niners have won five straight games at home against the Seahawks in this series.”

Terry Blount, the Seattle Seahawks reporter, is also predicting that San Francisco will win this game. Blount also noted that when on the road, Seattle seems to struggle.

“The Seahawks have lost five straight road games against the 49ers. Russell Wilson’s road-game totals against San Francisco are not good. He is 24-of-48 passing in those two games for an average of only 160.5 yards per game.”

In a related report from the Inquisitr, there has been some discussion on whether or not Harbaugh will return as the San Francisco 49ers head coach after this year. However, legendary 49ers quarterback Joe Montana thinks Harbaugh will stay.

“He’s got a great nucleus there. I’m not sure why you would want to leave a team like that, with as much talent that’s on there.”

The game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks will begin at 8:30 pm ET/5:30 pm PT on NBC.

[Image via NFL Rush]