31 Oct Week 8 Preview – Seattle Seahawks
Week 17 in 2019 saw one of the most tense climaxes to a game in some time (well, actually a few weeks, after the Saints game and the week after a tense Rams game). On the line was was the 49ers walking away as the #1 seed into the playoffs, vs a #5 seed and the prospect of battling through road games to Miami. Big Play Dre saved the day! Jump to now, and looking at the changes to both teams including injuries, the 49ers have lost so many key players; starters and contributors. Seattle have once again hardships at RB, with Carson, Homer and Hyde all questionable, leaving rookie DeeJay Dallas who has totaled 8 yards on two carries in the NFL, as the only fully healthy back. Also, they added star safety Jamal Adams but he, too, is listed as questionable alongside CB Shaquill Griffin.
In contrast, the 49ers will be without Deebo Samuel and Jeff Wilson Jr, and it seems unlikely but not impossible that Tevin Coleman is able to play. Looking to build on the momentum and confidence sparked in last week’s routing of New England, the 49ers will be hoping to exploit a porous Seattle defence.
Even with the scarcity of Seattle’s RB availability, the offence has been moving the ball and putting up point thanks to the play of Seattle’s 3 stars; big DK Metcalf, hugely underrated Tyler Lockett, and Russell Wilson. Whilst it’s worth noting that the combined record of all the teams Seattle has beaten this year is 9-23.
I think there won’t be a lot of punts in this game, and it will probably be the winner of the turnover game who takes the W, as Seattle throws to get chunk yards and San Francisco matriculates the ball well, with Jimmy finding those 11-12 yard routes to convert long third downs.
If the O line can maintain the level of communication and fluid player handoffs, Aiyuk and Kittle will be leaned on for some of that sweet YAC, and JaMycal Hasty will have the opportunity to shine again.
There’s a chance that TE Jordan Reed will be available, which would be a huge boon for a Deebo-less offence. Nickel K’Waun Williams could also play, though with the excellent play of Jamar Taylor, they can afford to not rush Williams back.
Matchups to watch:
Lockett vs Warner. One of the best slot receivers will see a lot of Jamar Taylor or K’Waun Williams, but any routes across the middle will get the attention of the best ILB in the game. Both fierce competitors, this will be fun to watch!
Arik Armstead vs Seattle O line. Armstead has been starting outside with all the injuries, but he, like Solomon Thomas before him, is far better suited to playing inside. With the addition of Jordan Willis, who is an OLB/DE, Armstead should be able to line up over the A gap again next to rookie Kinlaw. Armstead has all the experience here against the Seattle scheme, so I expect him to perform well on Sunday.
Don’t forget about Dre. Dre Greenlaw became an instant 49ers fan favourite, sparking many memes and being named the daddy of the Seahawks. With Kwon Alexander still being classed as questionable, Greenlaw gets another chance to showcase his growth and solid technique.
With no 12th man, the 49ers must find a way to keep up with the Seattle scoring to stay competitive in this one. I expect more turnovers than punts, and an exciting, nerve-wracking game.
Kwon Alexander (ankle) – Doubtful
Richie James (ankle) – Doubtful
Jaquiski Tartt (groin) – Doubtful
Jimmie Ward (quad)- Questionable
Kentavius Street – Questionable
Deebo Samuel (hamstring)- OUT
Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle)- OUT
CB Shaquill Griffin (concussion) – Out
RB Carlos Hyde (hamstring) – Doubtful
G Mike Iupati (back)- Doubtful
S Ugo Amadi (hamstring)- Doubtful
RB Chris Carson (foot) – Questionable
RB Travis Homer (knee)- Questionable
DE Benson Mayowa (ankle)- Questionable
S Jamal Adams (groin)- Questionable
S Ryan Neal (hamstring)- Questionable
Prediction: 49ers win 35-31
Do you think that the 49ers can win on the road again? Who will be having memes made of them next week? Tweet me @TaggSimon