The Seattle Seahawks pulled off a big win last week at home against the Patriots. They now have a very short week as they prepare to face the division rival San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football.
Imagine the possibilities of the 2 best defenses in the NFL playing each other in a divisional game. If that doesn’t excite you as a football fan, I don’t know what will!
Most of the Seahawks I named last week took my advice and in turn, took the game against the Patriots. I kid, of course, but the team really came through in the areas they needed to work on. This week, though, they prepare for a brand new kind of monster.
Last week the Seahawks played a juggernaut offense. This week? They take on a defense just as stingy and physical as theirs.
Let’s do this! Here are my 5 Seahawks who must impress against the 49ers this week!
It feels odd writing this one, but it has to be done. After watching highlights of the Giants demolishing the 49ers last week, you will notice that San Francisco gave up its first 100 yard rusher at home since 2009. Marshawn Lynch should be giddy after hearing this news.
Beast Mode’s physical run style should seriously help Seattle in this game. The last 2 games we saw a lot less of Lynch, but it’s because the pass game was opened up against some pretty bad pass defending teams. This week, Lynch will be incorporated back into the game plan. Most likely in a big way.
With San Francisco being as big and physical as the Seahawks on defense, a bruising and physical run game should be the solution to effectively move the ball.
Chris Clemons/Bruce Irvin
I keep grouping these 2, but it’s inevitable. You can’t rely on 1 pass rusher, you need 2. The Seahawks have that in Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons, who are separated by 1 sack. Last week, the Giants hit Alex Smith and disrupted his flow. In turn, he threw 3 interceptions.
These 2 pass rushers must find a way to get past the offensive line and in Smith’s face. Smith is fragile back there and will inevitably make mistakes, like throwing 3 interceptions.
Additionally, though, they will need to keep an eye on Frank Gore at all times and do what they can to move to the inside to help stop him. The pass rush is most important with these 2, but let’s all remember that Frank Gore is just as dangerous in San Francisco as Lynch is here in Seattle.
Remember me putting these guys onto the list each week? It’s because of offenses like the one the 49ers run. KJ Wright, Bobby Wagner and Leroy Hill are all phenomenal against the rush. They fly to the ball carrier and bring him down and are frequently in the backfield making those plays.
Much like the Packers and Patriots, though, the 49ers will likely be trying to zero in on the middle of the field, an area which Seattle has given up the most yardage all season.
These linebackers will absolutely have to play good pass defense in the middle of the field.
I have all the confidence in the world that the secondary will absolutely shut down Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham. Vernon Davis, though, is a whole other story.
A big, physical tight end lives in the middle of the field and will eat teams alive in terms of yardage and moving the ball downfield. Davis has been known to do that and is probably anticipating to do it again this week.
Let’s hope the Seattle linebackers are ready to put an end to that.
This is a funny one, but it has to be said. When I say blockers, I mean anyone who is going to be tasked at any point in the game of blocking for Russell Wilson or Marshawn Lynch. That means the offensive linemen, Zach Miller and Michael Robinson. In order for Seattle to win this game, protection and blocking is going to be the key.
The linemen need to open holes for Lynch to run through. Miller is our best blocking tight end and needs to come up big this week. Robinson will no doubt do the same job he’s been doing since Lynch got here – opening holes of his own for his running back to burst through.
In a physical game, running the ball is crucial. The run game must succeed and the blockers are necessary for this to happen.
I’m calling this guy out by name this time. Last week he cut back on the stupid penalties, which was great. He did, however, allow Chandler Jones to manhandle him and get to Russell Wilson twice in the game for sacks.
Neither of these can happen this week.
Breno Giacomini is a very aggressive, physical player. While we value that type of play in Seattle, there is a fine line that Giacomini has crossed many times already.
No stupid penalties. No false starts, no holding calls, no personal foul calls.
That’s going to be key in avoiding killing the momentum during Seahawks drives.
It’s going to be a tough one this week. While I was definitely excited to take on the likes of the Cowboys, Packers and Patriots, I circled this game first on my calendar.
How could you not be excited to see a juggernaut hit another in the mouth to see who is tops in this crazy NFC West?