09 Jan 3 Early Keys to the 49ers Beating the Seahawks
With the 49ers locking their spot in the playoffs at an impressive 13-4 record, ending on a 10-game regular season winning streak, now is the time to show what the team is really capable of.
As many will note, the playoffs are an entirely different atmosphere of pro football on its own. With every game being do-or-die, there is very little room to make mistakes in games. One aspect of the sport the 49ers have been good at all season: Limiting the number of mistakes on both sides of the ball. That’s a testament to the quality of coaching at hand, starting with the Head Coach himself, Kyle Shanahan.
Nonetheless, this article will highlight the 3 early keys to victory the 49ers should aim for to beat the Seattle Seahawks.
KEY 1: Protect Deommodore Lenoir
Not to attack any one given player, but in terms of protecting the defense, DeMeco Ryans should aim to provide support for Lenoir as much as possible. Without question, he’s been an incredibly serviceable CB since Emmanuel Moseley was lost to a torn ACL early in the season. However, the journey the 49ers face will comes with its share of talented WRs, starting with studs D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. We know Lenoir has had his share of struggling at times, and Ryans should do anything and everything possible to give him the help he needs (if necessary). Whether it be rotating a safety to his side, or providing bracket coverage with him to limit damage, anything is an option to support Lenoir. Again, Lenoir has been good, not GREAT when his name is called. but let’s play on the safe side and limit any explosive plays that could be a result of his ability. (This could also apply to Talanoa Hufanga as well).
KEY 2: PASS RUSH CONSISTENCY
Outside of incumbent DPOY (and in my opinion, league MVP) defensive end Nick Bosa, the rest of the 49ers pass rush has felt relatively lack luster. Again, not to say they haven’t been performing well (the unit is still solid), but at times it feels we haven’t seen the best of the entire DL at its peak. Now, with Armstead and Kinlaw already back, as well as underrated DT Kevin Givens making his playoff return, the 49ers can turn my opinion around entirely. For now, though, I’d like to see the pass rush get at Seahawks QB Geno Smith with more consistency. In the 2 regular season games, Smith was sacked 5 times (two in the 1st game, three in the 2nd). A good number, but being as greedy as I am, I’d like to see this ramped up to another level. Whether it be pressure at a better rate, or SF doing better than their league average adjusted sack rate (7.0 %, league avg. 7.1 %), seeing others outside of Bosa (Omenihu & Ebukam anyone?) step up would be ideal to boost confidence going into the first game.
KEY 3: Deebo, Eli Mitchell, CMC, Aiyuk, Kittle… Someone Come on Down!
Deebo Samuel and Elijah Mitchell are back in time for the start of the playoffs, and the 49ers offense is at its fullest strength since CMC was first acquired. With the rise of underdog Brock Purdy helming one of the most intricate and coordinated offenses in the NFL with relative ease, we have seen the team’s plethora of playmakers succeed in some way. Between the bunch, any (and I mean any) one of them can explode for a breathtaking game, that’s how potent this offense is. With Purdy hitting the throws he needs at all levels; this shouldn’t come as an issue. However, it’s quite clear that at least ONE of these studs needs (and should) have some type of elite game to provide the spark the offense has had since Purdy stepped in. Averaging over 33 PPG since he came in, the playmakers have been arguably more efficient and effective with competent QB play (go figure). In any event, keep the train rolling, someone step up and take the top off the Seahawks defense with ease.
Like what you read? Leave a comment on Twitter or the website and let us know your keys to the 49ers beating the Seahawks!