Coming off a heartbreaking final 37 seconds against the Green Bay Packers, the San Francisco 49ers reset their focus to winning their first division matchup of the season. The 49ers are set to take on the Seahawks back at Levi's® Stadium, where the competition doesn't get any easier against a Seattle team who is eager for a rebound of their own.
Although the Seahawks enter Week 4 of the season with a 1-2 record following back-to-back losses, they currently lead the series against the 49ers in San Francisco territory, 12-9, winning the both of the clubs' last two competitions. Gearing up for the divisional match, the 49ers know not to underestimate Seattle's dismal start to the season, as both franchises have a history of suspenseful finishes. It's worth noting, two of San Francisco's last three home games against Seattle have gone to overtime. For the 49ers, a hustle mindset is important in preparation for Sunday's hard-nosed NFC West battle.
"What I said after the game was to take 24 hours to mourn the loss, do whatever you want with it … Look at yourself in the mirror, see what you can get better at, and then bring that into next week," tight end George Kittle said on NBCS Authentic's 49ers Post Game Live. "Whatever you didn't bring last week, bring something new to the table, get better at one thing this week and we got the damn Seahawks coming in. I'm excited about that. We have division rivals and I'm really excited to get a chance to whip up on them. I know they're going to bring all their energy and all their best guys here so it's going to be a hell of a battle, and if you're not in the right mindset for that one you're not on the right football team."
The 49ers seem to perform their best as the contest progresses, scoring 24 points within the final two minutes of the first half of 2021, the most in the NFL. However, it is crucial for San Francisco to break their pattern of a slow start going into Sunday's game against Seattle, who allowed the Minnesota Vikings to score on six of seven possessions in Week 3. Seattle's once-heralded unit currently sits dead last in the league in total defense, 30th in rushing defense and 26th in passing. The first quarter at Levi's® Stadium could be an opportunity for the 49ers offense to start off on the right foot and convert sustaining drives into points.
"It was tough for us, but I think we finished in a good way and I think the offense will have some momentum going into next week," said Kittle.
Defensively, San Francisco has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in each of the last 23 games, the longest active streak in the NFL, and will face off against Seattle's running back threat Chris Carson, who has posted a total of 202 rushing yards and three touchdowns through the first three weeks of the season.
Alongside defensive powerhouses like Nick Bosa and Fred Warner, the 49ers will need to lean on linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, who led the team with a career-high 10 tackles and defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, who also set a career high to bring the same mindset this upcoming Sunday as the 49ers continue to sort out their secondary.
As the Seahawks managed to score a touchdown on two of their three opening drives so far this season, the 49ers must be able to hold their own against a fast-starting offense spearheaded by All-Pro dual-threat quarterback Russell Wilson.