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NFL Wild Card: What happened in the last regular season game between Seahawks and 49ers?

While history does offer some hope to the Seahawks, the truth is they’ve not dealt with the 49ers on the two previous occasions that they’ve met this season.

Trey Lance con los 49ers
Thearon W. HendersonGetty

With all six of the NFL Wild Card match ups being rematches of regular season duels, there’s quite a bit to unpack as we prepare for an action-packed weekend that’s going to be full of football.

Is ‘third time lucky’ a thing in the NFL?

To be honest, it’s not very often that a team in the NFL is able to beat an opponent three times in one season. That’s to say, the Seattle Seahawks will definitely be hoping that piece of statistical trivia stays true, when they meet the San Francisco 49ers at Levis Stadium on Saturday.

If we go all the way back to the 1970 NFL/AFL merger, there have been 24 occasions on which a team has swept a divisional opponent in the regular season and then met them again in the post season. The team that was in line to complete the sweep, has taken the record to 14-10 across those meetings. Of those games, 18 saw the regular season winners playing at home and in those contests, they posted a 13-6 record. This is to say, history does not favor the Seahawks. The question that now remains is whether they can buck the trend.

The 49ers appear to have the Seahawks’ number

As you can probably guess, given the preceding paragraph, these two NFC West rivals have met twice this season and on both occasions the 49ers dominated. Back in Week 2, it was a case of mixed emotions, with starting quarterback Trey Lance going down with a season ending ankle injury, in the early stages of the contest against the Seahawks. That was of course a blow, but then in stepped Jimmy Garoppolo who threw for 154 yards and a touchdown in a 27-7 win. While the 49ers have since turned to Brock Purdy at QB, the defense is largely the same as the one which held Seattle to 216 yards and no points - Seattle’s score came on a blocked field goal.

Up next was a Week 15 clash, which the 49ers won 21-13 at Seattle with Purdy in the middle. San Francisco’s George Kittle scored two long touchdowns, which only served to punctuate the point that Seattle has had problems against tight ends all season. With the 49ers leading 21-3 in the third quarter, it wasn’t a good look for the Seahawks. Indeed, the first and only touchdown across two games vs the 49ers came in the final four minutes of the contest with the Niners leading 21-6. To be clear, six of Seattle’s 11 possessions gained less than 10 yards. San Francisco’s defense is truly a problem for Seattle and in all fairness that’s the case for just about every other team in the league. Ultimately, we’re not so sure it’s going to be a case of ‘third time is a charm.’