The NFC West fueled rivalry between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers means a lot again. The two teams split the series in 2019, but only one could come away by "inches" as NFC West Champions proving no yard is guaranteed in the NFL.
But the Seahawks and 49ers, once again, should decide the division. That means we're in for more of the most evenly matched, violent, and entertaining battles in all of football in 2020.
The NFL released the Seahawks schedule on Thursday. Here's the dates the Seahawks and 49ers will meet:
WEEK 8: Sunday 11/01; Seattle vs. San. Francisco 49ers; 1:25 p.m. PST
WEEK 17: Sunday 1/03; Seattle at San Francisco 49ers; 1:25 p.m. PST (yes, again)
Now that Seahawks and 49ers fans know when to book their annual trips to enemy territory, let's take a trip down memory lane and recount the two teams' storied meetings in 2019.
November 11, 2019- "The unbeaten must sink"
SEAHAWKS 27, 49ERS 24
The Seahawks and 49ers met for the first time in the 2019 season at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. The game featured a rare Russell Wilson interception, his second of the season, and overflowed with plot twists that required overtime to settle it.
After trailing 21-10 in the fourth quarter, the 49ers tied up the game at 21-all and forced overtime. A badly missed kick from 49ers' kicker Chase McLaughlin was set up by an interception thrown by Wilson. But Wilson, on the Seahawks' third possession of overtime, set up a Jason Myers winning kick with an 18-yard scramble on a third-and-three play.
One week after Myers missed two field goals and an extra point, he exacted revenge in the best way and gave Seattle its second straight overtime win and handed the 49ers their first loss of the season.
— NFL (@NFL) November 12, 2019
It was one of the most exciting games of the Russell Wilson era, and unquestionably the top game of the 2019 season.
Why the Seahawks won
There were a number of factors that led to Seattle sealing the deal. The Seahawks defense, for one, proved they were the best defense on the field. The Seahawks shut down San Francisco's run game, allowing only 3.2 yards per carry. Jimmy Garoppolo finished 24 for 48 for 248 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and was sacked on five occasions.
Jadeveon Clowney also had his biggest game of the season to that point. He returned a fumble 10 yards for the Seahawks' first touchdown, set up another with a strip sack and had five quarterback hits on the day.
SCOOP AND SCORE.
Jarran Reed forces and @Clownejd takes the fumble to the house! #Seahawks @1j_reed
📺: #SEAvsSF on ESPN
📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/SlB0VG2nT7 pic.twitter.com/SLVEGMEnch
— NFL (@NFL) November 12, 2019
December 29, 2019- "A game of inches"
49ERS 26, SEAHAWKS 21
Two, maybe three inches. That's how close Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister came to crossing the goal line on a 4th-and-goal from the 5 with 12 seconds left.
Pete Carroll felt the controversial moment needed further review and didn't hide his feelings when discussing the non-call.
"They had 25, 40 seconds to make their decision there and they didn't stop the game, and that was, I don't know, I think they could have looked at that again in more depth,'' Carroll said. "If I had had a timeout (Seattle was out of timeouts by then), I would have called it just for that reason, just to give them (time). … You give them time to make a choice so they are not rushed, and hopefully clearer heads prevail, and they can see it. That's unfortunate and that was a big moment right there in the game.''
Those couple of inches were not only the determining factor in the 49ers 26-21 victory over the Seahawks in the final game of the season, but also the decider in crowing San Francisco NFC West champs.
— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) December 30, 2019
Why the Seahawks lost
A hot start for the 49ers was a slow start for the Seahawks. Seattle punted on its first three drives, gaining just 35 yards on 15 plays. After trailing 13-0 at halftime, and 12-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter, the Seahawks offense finally kicked things into gear. Wilson started to click in the third quarter, putting together touchdown drives of 72 and 75 yards to get the Seahawks back into the game. Seattle made it three-straight touchdown drives with a Wilson to DK Metcalf touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Seattle had a chance to win in the final seconds but was stopped inches shy of the goal line.
The Seahawks finished the season 11-5 and headed to Philadelphia in the Wild Card round while the 49ers received a first-round bye.
Be sure to listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Texas Tech head football coach Matt Wells.
Here's when the Seattle Seahawks play the San Francisco 49ers in 2020 originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest