Championship Opportunity: A Seahawks Vs 49ers Preview

Feeling the Heat

It’s odd for me to think that the 4th game of a 17 game NFL season would have such huge weight for these 2021 Seattle Seahawks; a team with a veteran Super Bowl winning and future Hall Of Famer quarterback in his prime, a Super Bowl winning future Hall Of Famer head coach, a Super Bowl winning All Pro and future Hall Of Famer middle linebacker, offensive weapons galore, and a defense that supposedly features one of the best safety tandems in the game.

Yet, here we are, looking at a Seahawk team that plays defense like the Three Stooges, and has an offense with a full blown Jekyll and Hyde complex. Not a great recipe for winning a difficult division, or even making the playoffs as a wildcard.

That said, I firmly believe that had Seattle done what it was supposed to do against Tennessee two games ago, we would have a very different feeling about these Seahawks today (even with an ass whooping from the Vikings on the road). The way they lost to the Titans left me with a very eerie feeling about this club, and I’m positive that I’m not the only Twelve that felt that. That’s why that particular loss bugged me so much.

I think it’s possible that loss had a strong carryover effect on the Seattle players heading into Minnesota. It looked that way on the field, especially for every single dude suited up to play defense. That was one of the worst defensive efforts I have ever seen on a football field.. ever.

Make no mistake, this is a huge game against San Francisco. As I have studied them from afar, there is something about that team from the Bay that hasn’t completely impressed me like I thought they would through three games. This isn’t me as a diehard Twelve speaking, either.

I have been very impressed by their coaching, offensive scheme, and their front seven on defense for a few years now. If I was a 49er fan, I would be jacked about what that team can be for the next decade of NFL football. That said, they look beatable right now.

For as loaded as they appear on their defensive line, they’ve given up yards on the ground and through the air. If Russell Wilson and Chris Carson bring their A games next Sunday, if feels like Seattle can hang points on this club. The thing is, of course, Minnesota’s defense statistically didn’t look all that either, and Seattle only managed 17 in that game. Hence the Jekyll and Hyde of the Shane Waldron offense, thus far.

Offensively is where the 49ers really scare me against what has been an inept Seahawk defense, and that’s putting it nicely. If Seattle is going to win this game, we need to see a dramatic defensive turnaround happen this Sunday. If it doesn’t, Seahawks aren’t likely to win this game, and they will sit 1-3 heading into the red hot Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night football. Oh, boy.

Therefore, this is why I say this game against the 49ers is huge. Yes, there is a lot football left to be played in a long season, but if in a week’s time, Seattle is sitting 1-4, it will take an astonishing rabbit hat trick from Pete Carroll to turn this ship around enough to still compete for a playoff spot, much less any hopes of a division title.

Would this 70 year old coach have that in him? After watching what happened in the fourth quarter against Tennessee, and what happened days ago against Minnie, I have formed serious doubts, and I have been a huge Carroll supporter in the face of many who have long jumped off his bandwagon.

I want to believe that these 2021 Pete Carroll Seattle Seahawks don’t compare with the 2008 Mike Holmgren Seattle Seahawks, where suddenly it felt like it was time for the Walrus to hang it up. I’m not going to lie, though. My mind has been going there plenty the last few days.

A win against these bitters rivals from the Bay area on their home turf this Sunday, will very likely have me putting those thoughts out of mind. A win against these 49ers followed by a win against the Rams on Thursday Night will make me think these 2021 Seattle Seahawks can still be a team of destiny this year. It’s a big week of football coming upon us.

But a loss against San Francisco will leave me with a sinking feeling that the end of a very special era in Seattle sports history is possibly coming sooner than hoped for, and an entire rebuild could be staring at us all next off-season. I’m not one for hyperbole, either.

From my perspective, if the Seattle Seahawks fall to a record that is significantly below 0.500 with a healthy Russell Wilson playing every game this year, it would be time to blow the whole damn thing up, and start fresh. Total regime change might be needed, and nobody on that roster would be sacred.

So, yeah, big game coming up.

Seahawks win this game by

Controlling tempo and clock offensively by scoring quickly when needed, and draining clock as required to secure victory. That simple.

This is Shane Waldron’s time to shine and prove he has the chops to be a quality offensive play caller. He needs to keep with the same creativity he has shown in the first half of games into the second halves of them starting this Sunday against a decent San Francisco defense. He needs to figure ways to keep Russell Wilson in third and short instead of third and forever. If they do that, they stand a good chance of pulling this game out.

Stop being a confused clown circus act of keystone cops on defense. Carroll needs to decide this week what this defense is, and just be that defense.

Are they a pressure Bear style defense where they play tight coverage with five guys on the line of scrimmage, or are they a 4-3 defense that rushes with four and drops seven into zone coverage? You can’t play the Bear front by playing soft coverage, and that appears what they have been doing so far this season. Even if they retreat back to the traditional Carroll 4-3 cover three thingy, the corners need to play with more aggression and challenge receivers for any pass rush to happen.

If the Seahawk corners can manage to challenge these 49er receivers, that should help buy time for the pass rush, and Jimmy Garoppolo is not great at handling pressure early and often. If they Seahawks can make him uneasy throughout, Seattle can and should win this game.

Seahawks lose by..

Not doing enough offensively to keep Russ in third and manageable situations where many more options become available for him to convert and sustain drives. Defenses know how to play Russ on third and long plays and Russ hasn’t figured out how to beat them with any consistency, yet. Third and longs will be a killer for the Seattle offense if they are in that situation most third downs against San Fran. The 49er pass rush is too talented.

Continuing the clown show efforts on defense by not simplifying the scheme enough to suit the talent on that side of the ball. If Seattle can not simplify what it is doing on defense so they guys can play fast and confident enough in their duties, than Pete Carroll has absolutely lost it as a defense guru. This game needs to be the start of a defensive turnaround. If it isn’t, I don’t see Seattle winning this.


I fear it’s going to be a disappointing outcome for the Seahawks this weekend. I’m bracing for that reality now.

As of now, I have zero faith in this defensive coaching staff to turn this defense around quickly. If it happens, I think it’s going to be gradual. I think the realistic question will become whether they can turn it around enough to be playing meaningful football in December. Perhaps that should be the reasonable goal for a successful 2021 season.

San Francisco wins this game 27-23 against Seattle.

I do think it will be a game where we, as fans of Seattle, will feel like we can pull it off, but I just don’t trust that defense to hold it together in the end. I see San Francisco pulling off a late touchdown score that puts them ahead, and doesn’t give Russell Wilson and company enough time to match it.

I’m hopeful that we will see some positive improvements on offense and defense in this game. That can be a building block to salvaging this season and having Seattle playing competitively for the playoffs in December.

I hope I’m wrong, though, and Seattle pulls this one out. Right now, my trust is broken.

I can’t fathom why this team hasn’t brought in Geno Atkins to help the defensive line.

More over, I don’t get why they chose not to just offer Richard Sherman a deal. They had the salary cap space to add both dudes, and I think both make this defense significantly better. I also think Richard would have loved to had return to Seattle with an opportunity to finish his career here. I will be honest. I will be bummed about that blown opportunity for a while.

How ’bout those Mariners, though? Pretty exciting stuff there.

Go Hawks.


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