"Chuck Knocks" is back for another season, but for the first time in five years our Seahawk Opponent Training Camp Previews will live on our website. Fear not, The Feltsulator is coming with us to the website. Game by game, Jackson Felts will simulate the entire 2020 season (not sure he can take the fans out of the stands, so sorry about the lack of authenticity). I'll handle the rest...
WEEK 8: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
THE INTERESTING SCALE: A
The 49ers nearly climbed the mountain last year, falling one win short of the title. But can they finish? Only one goal will do in 2020. And are they built to last? It's the most difficult thing to do in sports--staying atop the NFL mountain. Star DE DeForest Buckner wanted too much money and is now a Colt. Emmanuel Sanders signed with the Saints. Superstar TE George Kittle wants to be paid like a WR. Raheem Mostert has asked for a trade. Everyone likes pie. The more success you have, there's never enough pie to go around. And sometimes, when in search for the right size slice of pie, a person forgets he's hungry. HC Kyle Shanahan's greatest challenges lie ahead.
THE NEW FACE AT 49ERS CAMP: JAVON KINLAW
Recognizing they couldn't pay all their newfound stars, the 49ers made a difficult decision before the draft. They traded the outstanding DeForest Buckner straight up for the Colts first round draft pick. Then, with that pick, GM John Lynch drafted Buckner's replacement. The 6'5" 310 pound Kinlaw has the mobility of a linebacker and the wingspan of a pterodactyl. But can he play? The upside is there, but a 49er team with 2020 Super Bowl aspirations will require Kinlaw to be good, immediately.
STAR OF NINERS CAMP: GEORGE KITTLE
The Tight End was a legitimate MVP candidate last fall. The game's best run blocker at TE caught 85 balls for over a thousand yards. And then there's that vicious, never-go-down style of play that often provided the spark the team needed. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Kittle can read. He heard the MVP chatter. He saw the flattering stories written about him. And now he wants to be paid. Not like a TE, but like a Super Bowl contender's #1 offensive weapon. And he should be.
FANTASY PICK: RAHEEM MOSTERT
Maybe Mostert really wants to be traded? Probably he has contract envy and wants to be paid, at least, as much as inferior teammate Tevin Coleman? And maybe Mostert is also announcing to the organization that he's 28, not getting any younger, and this shared-carries backfield that kept a guy averaging 5.6 yards per carry under 800 rushing yards in 2019 just isn't working for him. Those 220 playoff yards against Green Bay looked EASY for Mostert. If Shanahan lets him eat, he could post monster numbers.
Kyle Shanahan is quite obviously awful at protecting Super Bowl leads, but the 49ers head coach is the top offensive mind in the game. WIth Deebo Samuel entering his sophomore NFL season and first-round pick Braindon Aiyuk filling the role of "the next Samuel", the San Francisco offense could be even better this fall. But the 49ers are getting a taste of how difficult it is to repeat greatness in the NFL. I can't imagine much of a decline in SF, but I will forecast a slight one.
SAN FRANCISCO AT SEATTLE: WHAT WILL BE SAYING MONDAY MORNING?
"Game of the Year. That's what we said. And it lived up to its hype. The Niners continue to look like the best team in the NFC West. And the Seahawks continue to show them that you can't shake us. What a big win! I mean, what a HUGE win. To bounce back from that Arizona loss and take out the division leader is exactly what the Hawks needed... Greg Olsen isn't going to have a bigger moment for the Hawks, I'm betting. A 7-catch game, 86 yards and the Game-Winning TD in the clutch, all while the best TE in football is watching from the other sideline. Massive... And I LOVE that Schotty decided to challenge Sherm with DK. He only caught 4 balls, but 95 yards and that TD before half was a thing of beauty... Still feels like the NIners are the better team, as evidenced by their hefty yardage advantage, but you lose when you settle for field goals. 24-22. 5-2 on the year. Don't crown their asses yet."
But what does the Feltsulator have to report? Here you go...
The 5-1 Feltsulator Seahawks are rolling. Four straight wins over Dallas, Miami, Minnesota, and Arizona, and now the San Francisco49erscome to town. The stakes are high, and the noise in CenturyLink is higher. Unfortunately, the Niners quickly jump out to a 14-0 on two short touchdown passes by Jimmy G. Before the first half ended, however, Seattle got one back with a 15 yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to DK Metcalf.
After a Jason Myers field goal, San Francisco extended their lead to 21-10. Cue Russell Wilson time. The Hawks quarterback immediately led a touchdown drive, cutting the lead to 21-16, but the two point conversion try failed. After a Niners field goal, Wilson, down eight, had one more shot to force overtime. He made his way into SF territory, but then...
Of course it was Richard Sherman. The former Seattle corner jumps the route and pass to Dorsett and ends the game. With the 24-16 loss, the Feltsulator Seahawks fall to 5-2 on the year.
Russell Wilson: 13 of 24 for 163 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT
Jimmy Garoppolo: 29 of 40 for 287 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT
Chris Carson: 14 rushes for 32 yards and 1 TD
Raheem Mostert: 31 rushes for 133 yards and 1 TD
DK Metcalf: 5 catches for 59 yards and 1 TD
Deebo Samuel: 9 catches for 87 yards