Our 49ers.com staff writers break down San Francisco's season finale, a Week 17 divisional home game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Let's dive into the keys to the game in this "Four Downs" preview of the 49ers upcoming matchup, presented by SunPower.
1st Down:Who will score the 49ers first touchdown?@Joe_Fann: Rod Streater
For you bowlers out there, Streater is going for a Turkey on Sunday. The veteran wideout now has touchdowns in two straight games with scores against the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams. His score in Week 16 led to Colin Kaepernick's game-winning two-point conversaion in Los Angeles. Streater will look to make it three games in a row on Sunday against Seattle.
Seattle has only allowed 15 touchdown passes this season, which ranks third in the NFL. San Francisco has thrown 20 touchdown passes on the year. One would believe the 49ers best chances of scoring would be rushing touchdowns. The Seahawks rank 19th in the league in rushing touchdowns allowed (14). Draughn enters Week 17 as San Francisco's top running back after Pierre Garçon was placed on Injured Reserve due to a knee sprain. Draughn has four touchdowns this season (two rushing, two receiving), so he's no stranger to finding pay dirt.
2nd Down: Which 49ers defender will force a turnover?
@Joe_Fann: Rashard Robinson
Taylor and I are on the same page here. I'd love to see Robinson enter his first NFL offseason with interceptions in two straight games. The rookie picked Jared Goff in Week 16 to seal San Francisco's 22-21 victory. Could that be a sign of what's to come against the Seaahwks? Let's hope so.
@TaylorPrice: Tramaine Brock
Back-to-back weeks with a takeaway would be a nice way to finish the season for a 7-year veteran like Brock. The tenured defensive back intercepted Goff and set up San Francisco's first score in last week's win over Los Angeles. Let's see if Brock can get his hands on a Russell Wilson pass. The Seahawks signal-caller has already thrown a career-high 11 interceptions this season.
3rd Down: The key stat of the game is...
@Joe_Fann: Thomas Rawls' rushing yards
Seattle's starting running back missed the first matchup between these two teams in Week 2. But Rawls racked up 209 rushing yards on 30 carries against the 49ers back in 2015. Christine Michael posted 106 yards and two touchdowns against San Francisco in Week 2, and it will be improtant for the 49ers to limit the Seahawks running game on Sunday.
@TaylorPrice: First-half defense
The emphasis for me this week is on first-half defense. San Francisco has lost six consecutive games to Seattle. The common theme in many of the games is being overmatched early and falling behind. The Seahawks have outscored the 49ers by a count of 145 to 61. The 49ers got behind quickly in Week 3 and ended up losing, 38-17. It's the most points Seattle has scored against San Francisco during its six-game win streak. If the 49ers can keep Wilson and Co. quiet in the early moments of Sunday's game, the upset is a definite possibility.
4th Down: What is your bold prediction?
@Joe_Fann: 49ers intercept Wilson twice
San Francisco hasn't picked off Wilson in its last two games against Seattle. But, if our predictions on second down come to fruition, then this guess must also be true. It would be great to see the 49ers secondary end the season on a high note, especially against another divisional opponent.
@TaylorPrice: Streater has a big game
In his first start with the 49ers, the veteran wideout caught six pases for 63 yards and scored his first touchdown of the year. I'm expecting Streater to build on those numbers. Streater was able to get separation last week and has built a nice rapport with Kaepernick. Streater might not get to 100 yards against a talented Seahawks secondary, but I'm looking for season-high numbers from the fifth-year pro.