Numbers Game: A Seahawks 28-21 Victory Over The 49ers Review

He came, he saw, he cooked.


That’s the Seattle Seahawks overall record against the San Francisco 49ers after this game on Sunday.

San Francisco 49er Fan loves to flaunt his/her team’s many championship rings in the face of Seattle Seahawk Fan, but the truth is simple between these two clubs, ever since the Seattle Seahawks joined the NFC West in 2002, Seattle has largely owned the San Francisco 49ers.

This isn’t me being a poor winner in the face of San Francisco 49er Fan, either. If San Francisco 49er Fan had read me preview piece heading into this match, San Francisco 49er Fan would have read the praise I heaped on his/her team.

I love what the 49ers are doing as an organization. I think they are by and large building better through the draft in recent years than Seattle is, I am very envious of their offensive and defensive lines compared with Seattle’s, and I like their coaching situation a lot.

I think the two big differences between the clubs right now is at quarterback, where Seattle has the clear advantage, and that win/loss record they share. I think both of these two factors gives Seattle a good shot at beating San Francisco each time these two clubs play right now. Russell Wilson is the superior player at the single most important position on the field, and Seattle owns the psyche of San Francisco.

Think about it. I would argue that, deep down, there is more pressure on San Francisco to win these matches than Seattle feels. Yes, Seattle was the more desperate team heading into this game, but larger picture, I think their is greater pressure likely placed on the players and coaches of the 49ers by ownership and fans to beat Seattle than there is placed on the team that calls the PNW home to beat them.

When Kyle Shanahan took the 49er coaching gig, it was said to have been the hire to “beat Seattle.” When they mortgaged their future first round picks trading up last Spring to take quarterback Trey Lance, the team tweeted out something to the effect of “we’ll see your Russell Wilson and raise you Trey Lance.”

This is the stuff an organization does when another one is under their skin. I should have looked at this numbers game, and had more confidence in my Seahawks heading into this game. I had Seattle losing this in my preview prediction, 27-23.

I’m happy that I was wrong on that vibe.

Let’s break it down.

The Good

After a horrible start on offense where Shane Waldron seemed to believe Russell Wilson could beat this aggressive 49er defense from the pocket, and the 49er defense seemed to be inside his playbook, Waldron got Russ moving more by the second quarter, and the offense game came alive. Bless him for doing that.

I love Russell Wilson as a quarterback, I think he is top five talent still in this league when used the right way, but the dude isn’t a pocket passer. Getting him running, getting him moving outside the pocket, letting him use his best traits as a passer, having him a threat in numerous ways is how you make up for the fact he is a short quarterback. I don’t know if Seattle has to use some sort of rope a dope method at times to survey how a defense is playing Russ before they turn him lose, but it felt like it in this game.

Russell Wilson was the biggest difference in the game, and it was obvious. That second half red zone touchdown pass to Freddie Swain was Jedi-ish as he spun out of pressure. We have seen this so sort of play out of him so many times, and yet it is still so amazing to watch it when it happens. Russell Wilson had a fantastic day yesterday.

Alex Collins had a special day, too, as a runner. I don’t know what it is about Collins these days, but I just really like him right now in this offense. I am starting to wonder if this Waldron offense just fits him better than the other backs on this team. No disrespect to Chris Carson, but I want to see more of Collins running the ball as we get further into the season. I am becoming more convinced on him having a big impact in games.

DK Metcalf had a really good game against Minnesota last week and followed it up with another really strong game against San Francisco. It feels like things are clicking for him more in this offense, which is a really good thing. I love me some Tyler Lockett but having defenders needing to think more and more about 14 is probably more of a key to opening up this offense than anything else. That’s why it’s so vital to getting him going.

After watching what was perhaps the worst defensive effort I have ever seen from a Pete Carroll coached Seattle Seahawk team last week against Minnesota, credit Carroll and Ken Norton Junior for settling this defense down as the game went on against San Francisco, and getting them to play pretty decent ball (apart from one very obvious blown coverage).

I thought the defensive linemen and linebackers were much more tuned into what San Francisco was trying to do with their screen game against them, I liked how Seattle blended in their blitz more sparingly with rushing with only four and finding ways to get pressures, and I really liked that Tre Flowers took this game off from starting at corner. I hate ripping on players, but after that debacle against Minnie, I felt he need to ride the pine. Sidney Jones wasn’t perfect, but Seattle’s defense just seemed more functional with him in the lineup, and against good receivers, too. Having defensive back Ryan Neal on the field in Seattle’s dime look also seemed like the obvious right call. Those are some things to build on.

Finally, don’t look know, but through four games, second year defensive end Darrell Taylor has collect three sacks and is looking worthy of being that player Seattle traded up in the draft for in 2020. I really like the collection of Leo ends Seattle has with Taylor, Carlos Dunlap, and Alton Robinson. If I were Seattle, I would try to bring in an impactful interior rusher before the trade deadline. They are sitting on roughly $10 million in available cap space right now. If they can add a bit more interior rush to compliment these edge rushers, I think that could be the key to salvaging this defense and really making their club a contender. That’s my thought anyway.

The Bad

The obvious bad thing in the game was giving up yet another ugly busted coverage in the second half of this team that needlessly gave San Francisco new life. By all post game comment accounts, it was Sidney Jones who broke coverage and wasn’t on the same page with Jamal Adams. Because he is still so new to Seattle’s system and this was his first game playing, let alone starting, I can forgive this.

That said, Seattle was fortunate to be in a position in the second half of the game going against a very raw rookie quarterback who, mechanically, was all over the place, and it showed. Because Lance was throwing so many balls into the dirt, it was hard to know just how much of a step forward this defense took and how well Jones played outside the broken coverage. So, I still don’t know where we are at on the back end of this defense.

My inexpert hunch is that because there was still a communication issue that led to the broken coverage, perhaps Ken Norton Junior still needs to further simplify his defense for his defenders. My gut tells me that perhaps Norton and his coaches have put too much on this plate for their players in this scheme. Seattle carries a ridiculous amount of coaches on their staff compared to other clubs. Maybe there is just too many voices in the ears of the defenders.

I don’t know, but just spitballing what the underlined issues are, but one thing is clear; communication is still an issue and it needs to be fixed.

The Ugly

Watching the very awkward throwing motion of Trey Lance at times. It’s obvious that Lance is a naturally gifted athlete who can escape pressures and extend plays with his legs and arm, but based on this one game, he looks a long way off from being an NFL caliber starting quarterback. There were times in this game where I thought he looked more like Alex McGough than Patrick Mahomes.

He is very young into his career and could still develop into a star, but if I am San Francisco Fan who watched him play in this one and then watched Mac Jones on Sunday Night Football, I’d be questioning whether my team traded up for the right quarterback. Jones looked very capable against a Tampa defense that is much better than Seattle’s. Just sayin’.

Moving forward

This was a quality win for Seattle against a good ball club on the road. They face a division opponent in the Los Angeles Rams this Thursday night back at home.

We are all too aware of how the Rams have gotten into the psyche of Seattle over the past decade. Even when they were a bad club coached be Jeff Fisher, the Rams have given Seattle fits.

Ah, division rivalry. The Rams are to Seattle what Seattle is to San Francisco. They are our royal pain in the ass divisional opponent.

That said, I like Seattle facing them at home on a short week. I feel like I’ve seen this scenario play out before on Thursday Night Football between these two teams and it worked out in favor for the Seahawks.

It’s going to be a huge game.

Last week’s loss in Minnie had me pondering a potential Seahawk rebuild in 2022. This win against the 49ers has breathed new life in my hopes Seattle can still be a playoff contender this year. A win against the Rams this Thursday will make me feel like Seattle can still be the favorite to win their division again.

So just beat those pesky Rams. Beat them hard.

Go Hawks.


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