Crush Your Enemy: A Seahawks Vs 49ers Rematch Preview

Show no mercy

“Tell us, Curtis. What is best in life?”

“To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their fans.”

If you are a fan of the 1982 cinematic masterpiece, Conan The Barbarian, you understand my slight alteration of that iconic bit of dialogue. Young Conan overcame horrific hardships to be shaped into a well made revenge filled killing machine.

To a much lesser extent, so has the 2020 Seattle Seahawk defense. They went for a league wide laughing stock to a unit that now even the brightest offensive minds in the NFL are likely, at the very least, a wee bit nervous to face. They will come into this game with a mantra similar to Conan’s.

On the flip side, the San Francisco 49ers are a good football team. They are extremely well coached on both sides of the ball, and it is remarkable how well they continued playing despite an incredibly long list of injuries they endured.

They are also a very proud team, and they want nothing more than to upset the playoff bound and NFC West divisional winner Seattle Seahawks. It’s a cliche to say this, in this instance, the cliche fits: this is their Super Bowl. They will show up to play in this one. Bank on it.

This season ending game will be extremely personal for them. The Seattle Seahawks have largely dominated this club for well over a decade. That is a fact that does not sit well with a fan-base that enjoyed five Super Bowl wins through the eighties and nineties. Therefore, the 49ers hate no team in football more than they do the Seattle Seahawks.

Beating the Seahawks would be the one cherry on the top of a very frustrating season for San Francisco. It would build positive momentum for them heading into their 2021 off-season, and in a deeper sense, it would also send a message that had they been healthier, they would have likely remained the top dog in the hyper competitive NFC West division.

Therefore, the 2020 Seattle Seahawks must destroy them on the battlefield down in Arizona this weekend. The Seahawks must show them and the world who the real top dog is as they head into the playoffs. This is what a championship level team would do.

Ideally, this would be a brutal take down of a wounded opponent that would shake the psyche of Kyle Shanahan a bit (who was hired as the head coach specifically to take down the Seahawks), and the psyche of the players that play for him, and the fans that root for this team. This is the opportunity for Seattle for further bury themselves deeply under their skins for seasons to come.

If given the opportunity, the 49ers would gladly do the same to Seattle. They would relish that moment, and so would their fans.

Therefore, Seattle has one job to do in this, and that is to show no mercy.

Seahawks win this game by..

Staying true to the balanced approach that they have adjusted to offensively over the past month. No, it isn’t as pretty as the Let Russ Cook offense that was humming in September, but truthfully, it is harder to defend against for four quarters, especially if you have a quality defense (which San Fran still has). Properly mixing enough run with pass forces defenses to play Seattle more honestly. More specifically, it allows Russell to do what he has done best throughout his entire career dating way back to his college days, and that is to play efficiently with the ball with both his arm and his legs. This is the best way to allow Russell to cook, and when he hums with it, it is really difficult to defend.

Showing no mercy on defense. The 49er offense is severely wounded. They will be down to their third string quarterback. They will be without their starting left tackle. They will be without their top receivers and they will be down to their third string running back. All-World Tight End George Kittle and multi-purpose fullback Kyle Juszczyk are their only legitimate offensive threats going into this game, and Jamal Adams was likely brought into Seattle to help provide an answer to defending against them, and to an extent, so was first round pick Jordyn Brooks at WILL linebacker. KJ Wright moving to SAM ‘backer likely provides a solution to those equations.

Seattle must take away San Francisco’s best weapons, and force them to beat this defense with backups. They did a fairly good job of this the first time around when Adams was not playing in that game, and neither was newly acquired pass rusher, Carlos Dunlap. There is a lot of reason to believe that they will do it again in this one, and if they do, that could make for an especially ugly outing for the San Fran offense.

Seahawks lose this game by..

Not taking this opponent seriously enough, and making just enough mistakes to keep the 49ers hanging around just like they did against the Giants a month ago. If Seattle loses this one, it will most likely be more about Seattle beating themselves with mistakes, and then a well coached San Francisco team taking advantage of that.

Russell needs to remain careful with the ball and not force the ball into bad coverage. He almost threw a critical pick against the Rams during the first offensive series last Sunday, and he was lucky the Ram DB wasn’t able to snag it, as it might have ended up a pick six. He needs to be better with the ball in this one.

Receivers and runners also cannot be putting the ball on the ground, and the offense can’t get snake bit by false starts and such. This is still a really good San Fran defense they will be playing against. They need to be mindful of that. If not, it could become a frustrating game.

They also need to play with the same level of discipline on defense as they did against the Rams. Shanahan is still a very crafty play-caller with his run game, and he loves to get defenses in a position of over committing, and then taking advantage of that. Seattle needs to not bite. If they do, this could be trouble, especially if Russ and crew aren’t playing at their best.

My Prediction

Seahawks will crush their enemy, see them driven before them, and they will hear the lamentation of their fans on Twitter and social media. Seahawks win this one, 30-16.

I see about three touchdowns and three field goals scored by Seattle (I think it is possible that one of those TDs might end up being scored by the defense, just a vibe I got). It will have the look and feel of a very balanced ball control attack that won’t feel like a blow out, but it will feel like an efficient take down of a lesser opponent.

With a hot kicker, Pete Carroll will feel less compelled to go for it on fourth downs in the red zone. It will have a conservative feel. With a defense staying hot, he will settle for the field goals.

I also think the defense might walk out of this one a bit annoyed that they didn’t hold this opponent down more. It feels like a game where we could see the defensive play-calls lighten up enough in the remaining minutes of the game to give San Francisco the opportunity for a late score that pads stats a bit. The final score will not be indicative of just how well this defense will have played.

San Francisco is really well coached club, and that will likely show up in this one. They will give this one a fight, and it might not be pretty in the beginning. So, be ready for that.

But also be ready for Russell Wilson and company to “stay the course” and do enough to walk away with a quality win, and a 12-4 record heading towards the playoffs. That’s the safe bet.

It would extra special should both Green Bay and New Orleans both lose their games, as well. As we know, that would gift Seattle the top overall NFC seeding, and a first round bye week.

But first thing is first. Crush your enemy, and then let the chips fall where they may.

Go Hawks!


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