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When the 2021 NFL season began, both the 49ers and Seahawks were expected to contend out of the NFC West. With the playoff picture beginning to round into form, only one of the perceived postseason candidates has a feasible path at the tournament. San Francisco stumbled badly during a four-game slide before Halloween, but since then, Kyle Shanahan has leaned into a creative rushing attack to propel the 49ers back into the wild-card mix. Seattle, meanwhile, has only gotten worse since Russell Wilson's anticipated return from finger surgery, and is now playing mostly for pride entering Week 13.

Just because the Seahawks are in danger of enduring their first losing season under Pete Carroll in 10 years doesn't mean their rematch with the 49ers this weekend holds no weight. It holds all the weight! Playoff implications are on the line. Rivalries are always feisty. And you can bet Russ is burning to rebound after coming up just short in a comeback attempt against Washington. Can he lead the Seahawks to a spoiling upset? Or does Shanahan have the upper hand?

We've got you covered below with odds, predictions, key questions, information on how to watch, and more:

How to watch

Date: Sunday, Dec. 5 | Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: Lumen Field (Seattle, Washington)
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: 49ers -3, O/U 45.5

Key questions

  • Can Russ return to form? Or at least look a little bit like himself? He came alive at the end of the Seahawks' prime-time loss to Washington, but for 58ish minutes, he was erratic and obviously still hindered, either medically or mentally. If Seattle wants any real chance at an upset, he needs to be better.
  • Will the Seahawks find a rhythm on the ground? Without Chris Carson, they've failed to get Alex Collins or DeeJay Dallas going. Now Adrian Peterson is in the building as well. The 49ers aren't invulnerable against the run, but they're not bad, either. Taking a little pressure off Russ would go a long way.
  • Who will replace Deebo Samuel? The 49ers star is down with a groin injury, and his absence is probably being underrated. He's been a catalyst in both their run and pass game. Elijah Mitchell has fared well with the ball in his hands, and Seattle's "D" is often porous, but Shanahan may need to get creative again.

Prediction

Latest Odds: Seattle Seahawks +2.5

This feels exactly like the kind of game the Seahawks would've won in recent years, entering as underdogs in a tight spot, with the more-talented division rivals coming into Seattle, only to be worn down by Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll's ground game. And it's still hard to completely write the Seahawks off, even if they've been lifeless on offense for weeks; this is their house, remember, and at this point, they have almost nothing to lose. Deebo Samuel's loss also registers quite significantly for San Francisco's attack.

But here's the thing: Washington controlled the ball really well against Seattle in Week 12 and barely held on for a win. If the 49ers can own the clock this time around (and they have the personnel to do it, even without Samuel), Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. are better equipped to take advantage of those opportunities. And that's not even accounting for the possibility of Wilson still struggling, or the Seahawks once again failing to establish a run game.

Pick: 49ers 27, Seahawks 20

Check out CBSSports.com for even more predictions on this game and the rest of Week 13.