This was not a game Seattle was supposed to win. The well rested undefeated San Francisco 49ers were the dominant team not just in the division, but arguably in all of football. They had a defensive line loaded with former first round picks, and an extremely fast defense playing behind them. Offensively, San Francisco boasted a powerful run game and a young quarterback who could make you pay.
Seattle, on the other hand, had a struggling defense and special teams unit that were riding a hot quarterback. Before this game, many were considering this team fortunate to even be 7-2. If Seattle was going to win, it would likely have to lean into its quarterback, the defense would just have to do it’s best to hold down an explosive 49er offense, and even still, the game might come down to making a critical field goal kick.
It felt bleak for Seattle at the start, but all three of these things happened. This was a great game, and Seattle is now 8-2.
The defense found itself. Last week, I wrote a piece about what Seattle might do to fix its ailing defense. I noted that there were players not playing that they needed to get on the field. I also noted they could adjust their scheme a bit to try different looks. Both of these things happened in this one. Credit newly acquired safety Quandre Diggs for hauling in a key interception and return, and credit defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr for adjusting his scheme, mixing up coverages and pressures.
The pass rush came alive. I also wrote in the piece that current players could play better, and an effective pass rush often comes with chemistry, and chemistry takes time. In this match, the chemistry that Jadeveon Clowney was finally cooking with Jarran Reed was almost X rated. Clowney had been a pressure force all reason long, but this was Reed’s official welcome back as a pass rusher getting 1.5 sacks and the strip sack of Jimmy Garoppolo that Clowney turned into a touchdown. It feels like the best way for Seattle’s defense to get back to being closer towards the top is to lock up these two players together long term.
Defensive tackle Poona Ford also had a great game. Poona, Poona, Poona.
Defensive tackle Al Woods also had a great game. Go Big Al!
Seattle’s secondary also played huge. Shaquill Griffin’s diving pass defense late in the match was nothing short of sensational. He’s consistently been Seattle’s best defender.
Russell Wilson was poised and effective against a scary 49er defense that was getting theirs on him early and often. He rolled out of pressures and found receivers down field, and he got key yards on the ground when Seattle needed it most. His impromptu touchdown lob to Jacob Hollister was fun to watch. Yes, he tossed an interception in overtime that could have cost Seattle the game, but he led them back on the final scoring drive. Russ is still very much in the driver’s seat for league MVP.
Tight end Jacob Hollister followed a big game last week against the Bucs with an even bigger game against the 49ers. This is huge for Seattle moving forward, as it looks like they found the answer to not having Will Dissly. Hollister looks like the most athletic tight end that Seattle has had in a while and that includes the Jimmy Graham era.
Little known receiver Malik Turner had a couple huge catches when needed.
Widely known receiver Josh Gordon also had a couple huge grabs and one against former Seahawk Richard Sherman.
Here’s a cool fun fact; the 2019 Seattle Seahawks are a perfect 5-0 on the road this year now, thus far. Knowing how to win close games on the road can help in the playoffs.
Jason Meyers was the hero making critical field goals down the stretch, including the game winner.
Turnovers by the offense were hard to watch in this match. Seattle arguably could have won this game more handily if Russell had not had a strip sack turned into a touchdown done dirty on him in the second half. His red zone INT in overtime also sucked. Rashaad Penny and DK Metcalf both fumbled the ball away to the 49ers that killed likely scoring drives. Chris Carson also fumbled but Seattle was fortunate to recover. Turning the ball away against the top defense in the league is not a great recipe to winning on the road.
KJ Wright and Bobby Wagner both had would be interceptions bounce out of their hands at critical drives down the stretch. Got to come away with those, boys.
Tyler Lockett got hurt towards the end of this match. Hopefully, he is okay. Fingers massively crossed here.
The refs sucked cow terds all game long.
A friend of texted me early into the first quarter that he was “not going to watch another game until Schotty gets fired. Period.”
This turned into an odd exchange between us, as I responded by pointing out that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer had been play calling for the number three overall offense heading into this game. Apparently this did not settle his nerves, and eventually he started texting in ALL CAPS.
Finally, I started asking him if he was on drugs.
I realize this might be a dick move calling him out on this in this silly blog, but really, fire Schotty? Brian Schottenheimer is a big reason why Seattle is 8-2 and is a main reason why Russell is playing at an MVP level, in my humble opinion. For fans that doubt this, be prepared for a piece coming that will expand all of my thoughts on this.
Seattle is heading into a much needed bye week, and at 8-2, they are very much in play for the division title. Under Pete Carroll, it is practically automatic that Seattle plays it’s best ball heading down the stretch.
This bye week comes at a great time to get players rested, but more importantly, it allows the team to self scout and make adjustments. I think this game against the 49ers gave us a glimmer of how the defense might adjust, and if it continues playing like it did in this match, the 2019 Seattle Seahawks could very well be in for a special season.
It’s going to be fun to watch.
Enjoy every breathing minute being a Seahawk fan today.