Riding a two game winning streak, there was no better time for the San Francisco 49ers to start getting hot with their looming Week 8 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.
Anytime these two teams meet when they are relevant, it is always an all-out war. Both matchups from last season can attest to that.
The 49ers will be looking to hand Seattle back-to-back losses on the road for the first time since the Seahawks switched to the NFC West. So even though there will not be fans in attendance, playing in Seattle is still a challenge.
However, if you looked at Jimmy Garoppolo's performance last time he was there, then you would not believe that. Garoppolo had arguably his best game as the 49ers quarterback by slinging the rock with such confidence and poise.
Dre Greenlaw may get the memorable moment for his goal-line stop to win the game, but it was Garoppolo who elevated the offense and delivered the first punch that discombobulated the Seahawks for the rest of the game.
Garoppolo was great in that game and led the 49ers to their first win in Seattle since 2011. But does he need to be great in this Sunday's matchup for the 49ers to beat the Seahawks in Seattle for the second-consecutive game?
No, he does not need to be great.
In fact, I am not even sure he can be great at CenturyLink Field again because the 49ers will be without Deebo Samuel. And in order for Garoppolo to be great, he will need every weapon at his disposal. So without Samuel, and you can even throw in Raheem Mostert, Garoppolo won't be great, or at least the likelihood of him being so is decreased.
What Garoppolo can do is have one of his regular good games that he has where he makes about five-to-eight clutch throws for a score, to setup a score or sustain a drive. What Garoppolo must avoid, which is the toughest part of all, is throwing those bone-headed picks where he sails the ball over his receiver's head like he did last week against the New England Patriots.
Garoppolo does not need to be great. He wasn't great against the Patriots' defense on the road and the 49ers looked magnificent. He certainly does not need to reach that level of play against a lesser defense in Seattle, especially if the 49ers can get anywhere near the production in the ground game that they had in Foxborough.
I wouldn't necessarily rule out the chance the 49ers do end up replicating their run game performance against the Patriots on the Seahawks. The offensive line has found their groove again and are moving bodies left and right. So long as they maintain their form, then I strongly believe that running back JaMycal Hasty is going to have a monstrous performance. As a matter of fact, I am expecting him to have one. He is just so good and not many people know about him yet. This Sunday can be his coming out party.
For the 49ers sake, they should hope Hasty does have that type of performance because it will drain Seattle's defense as well as keep Russell Wilson on the sidelines. Since the 49ers do not have a great pass rush, it is the offense's responsibility to keep their own defense fresh as much as possible to ensure they are most efficient.
Garoppolo has a hand in that as well, which is where his five-to-eight clutch throws come in. He doesn't need to be great against Seattle's defense, but if he somehow manages that, then boy will everyone look at him in a different light as well as scrubbing their social media negative takes about him.