The Seahawks and 49ers will face off for the second time this season, with Seattle looking to get back on track after last weekend's loss, and with San Francisco looking to extend the NFL's longest active winning streak. To get you ready for Thursday night's game, we reached out to 49ers team reporter Lindsey Pallares with three questions about this week's opponent:
The 49ers are 9-4 and on a six-game winning streak, what have been the biggest factors in them enjoying so much success even with some significant injuries, including at quarterback?
Pallares: The 49ers six-game win streak is a testament to a couple things—depth and resiliency. It's no secret that this team has had to deal with a great deal of adversity, both before and during the current win streak, and it's taken a collective effort to get past some very competitive opponents in this stretch. You can see that "next man up" mentality in full effect at the quarterback position; in a span of 14 weeks, the 49ers have had three starting quarterbacks due to significant injuries to Trey Lance (Week 2) and Jimmy Garoppolo (Week 13). Both Garoppolo and Brock Purdy didn't hesitate when it was their time to step in, taking control of the offense seamlessly in those games.
It's been a similar situation on the defensive side of the ball with that unit suffering three season-ending injuries. The 49ers have dipped into their depth at the cornerback position, asking players like Deommodore Lenoir, Jimmie Ward and Ambry Thomas to step in as Emmanuel Moseley, Jason Verrett and Dontae Johnson recover. Injuries have generally been less severe to the defensive line, but players such as Charles Omenihu, Drake Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway and Kerry Hyder Jr. have stepped up in a big way during the weeks the group has been banged up. Bottom line, this team is built to withstand the obstacles of the season.
Speaking of quarterbacks, what has Brock Purdy shown since taking over that job?
Pallares: Brock Purdy has been nothing short of impressive over the last couple of games and has garnered praise from his coaches and teammates along the way. His stat lines speak for themselves, and so does a historic win against Tom Brady last week, but it's his poise and maturity that's been so great to watch. His disciplined study habits and four years of starting experience from college play a huge role in this, and as I mentioned earlier, he hasn't let the starting quarterback role get too big. He's mentioned it several times while addressing the media, he's blocking out the outside noise and simply playing football. He's coming off a big victory in his first-career start in which he connected on 16-of-21 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, and while he is eager to take the field again, he is day-to-day with rib and oblique injuries. If he does not start on Thursday, it will be Josh Johnson under center. He played 11 snaps and connected on one of two pass attempts on Sunday for 10 yards.
Christian McCaffrey wasn't on the team when these teams met early in the season, what has he added to the offense?
Pallares: He's a do-it-all back and has contributed in almost every way you can on the offensive side of the ball. Week 8 was the first time he was unleashed, and in the second meeting with the Rams, he had a historic game in which had a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown. He hasn't had a quiet game since. Since his arrival, McCaffrey has amassed 426 rushing yards on 89 attempts and three rushing touchdowns. He's also added 35 catches for 316 yards and three receiving touchdowns. Aside from the numbers, he's a great veteran presence for rookies, Jordan Mason and Ty Davis-Price, who the team will likely be leaning on as the season progresses.
Behind-the-scenes of Episode 8 of The Sound, featuring the Seahawks' historic trip to Munich, insights from Geno Smith, the story behind Kenneth Walker III's "My Cause My Cleats" design, and more. Read more here.