02 Dec Can the resurgent Niners soar higher than the Seahawks?
The Niners have won 3 games in a row. The Seahawks have lost 3 games in a row. Seems like a no brainer win, for the good guys, right? Couldn’t be more wrong!
The Seahawks have this guy, that you’ve probably never heard of, named Russell Wilson. He missed 3.5 games with a ruptured tendon in his middle finger on his throwing hand, that required surgery. Since he’s been back, he’s been rusty. Not just inaccurate throws, but also poorly timed throws & looking unsure + jittery in the pocket. Unfortunately for the Niners, that could end at any moment. The Seahawks have 3 elite pass catching weapons, in: Tyler Lockett WR, Gerald Everett TE & DK Metcalf WR. They also have Freddy Swain & Dee Eskridge as young, upcoming, WRs. Niners nickel CB K’waun Williams, has done a great job of locking down Lockett in the past. Ward might be used to cover Everett, since he has before, when Everett was on the Rams. Hopefully, we give Safety help to Norman, or Moseley, whichever CB is lined up against DK Metcalf. All joking aside, Russ always plays tough. His record vs us is something like 16=4. I don’t think the Niners have ever beaten him badly (by more than 1 score), with games almost always coming down to the final play. Their RBs have been heavily injured, but they just added Adrian Peterson. While he is no longer the dynamic game breaker that he once was, he is still big, strong & solid. Seahawks pass blocking has been bad. They are 28th in pass block win rate, so our D Line should get lots of pressure on Russ. This could be the key to the game, if the Niners D Line can get pressure on Russ. consistently.
The Seahawks D knows how to stop us. Bobby Wagner & Jordyn Brooks make up one the best ILB corps in football. They can both stuff the run & cover passes over the middle (Jimmy G’s sweet spot). Their D Line doesn’t have any big names, other than Carlos Dunlap, but they are a pretty solid group & Daryl Taylor is a new weapon at DE, who has 5 sacks. Quandre Diggs is a pro bowl FS, Jamal Adams is the highest paid Safety in the league. Seahawks CBs are their Achilles heel. DJ Reed is OK, but Sidney Jones & Ugo Amadi should be targeted early & often. While the Seahawks know how to stop the Niners, I do believe that the Seahawks D will wear down, if the Niners run it early & often, the same way the WFT did to them on MNF, a few days ago.
DeeBo Samuel will most likely be out. The Niners O can’t replace his production as a receiver, or as runner (1200 total yards & 10 total TDs, in just 11 games), but they can throw more to Kittle TE, Aiyuk WR, Juice FB, Woerner TE, Jennings WR & Sherfield WR (I hope not Benjamin WR!). Mitchell & JWJ will have to get more carries. Hasty will have to make some catches, out of the backfield. Screens can be very effective vs an aggressive pass rush. Same thing with bootlegs, jet sweeps, reverses & pitches.
Fred Warner will also most likely be out. Dre Greenlaw appears to be a long shot to play. Marcell Harris is in the concussion protocol. Losing all 3 ILBs would be crippling to the Niners’ D. They would have to rely upon Azeez Al Shaair (LB2 or LB3) Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (LB5) & some LB off the street. Getting Maurice Hurst DT back, would really help their run D (best run stuffer, other than DJ Jones) & Getting Dee Ford DE back, would really help their pass D (Best pass rusher, other than Bosa), but our O, our D & our S/T will have to play nearly mistake-free football. No more lost fumbles, on kickoff returns, no more missed FGs, no more Kickoff returns for TDs (or even fpr big yards)
Lumen Field is well known for its deafening crowd noise & Sunday will be no different. The Seahawks have very little hope of making the playoffs. but beating the Niners to complete the sweep, for the 2nd season in row, would really be something for them to celebrate. They will do their best to play spoiler to the Niners playoff contention bid.
Strength on Strength will be Niners #1 red zone O (77.4% TDs scored), vs Seahawks #4 red zone D (50% TDs allowed). Not having DeeBo’s 10 TDs in 11 games, will make this matchup more even than it appears.
While our red zone O has been super elite (#1 in the league, by a wide margin), we haven’t made it to the red zone often enough. It wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t mention that: One spark to our O that I’d really like to see is Lance in more packages, or maybe even starting. He outscored Jim 14-6 the last time the Niners played the Seahawks.
Weather forecast is 42 degrees, with a 40% chance of rain. Normally, I’d say that would favor the Niners, as a run 1st team, but after Jim’s performance vs the Colts, I don’t want to see any precipitation, whatsoever!
In their previous meeting, at Levi’s on 10-3, Gould pulled his groin in warmups, Kittle aggravated his calf strain, Jim strained his calf early, which made him less effective for most of the 1st half, Lance had to start the 2nd half cold & Trent W injured his shoulder on the long TD play to DeeBo, prior to the 4th Quarter. Even with all of those mishaps, the Niners only lost due to a lost fumble on a kickoff return by Trenton Cannon.
I believe that the resurgent Niners will soar higher than the Seahawks, by beating them down in the trenches, but it will likely be a close game & anything can happen, in a close game. A must-see game, between 2 hated divisional rivals, The Niners have the chance, this Sunday, to knock the Seahawks out of the playoffs race, which would likely end the Petet Carroll & Russell Wilson era.