The Morning After: Seahawks pick up their first win
For me, as an avid Seahawks fan, I, quite frankly, miss the rivalry they once had with each other. The 49ers have fallen foul over the last couple of years shuddering to an abysmal record of 2-14 in 2016. However, they’re under new management now and have an up-and-coming defense with a pretty stacked front seven.
Maybe they’re on the turn for the better. Maybe.
Most fans from both sides, prior to the game, were expecting a cake walk Seahawks win. The spread was 13 points, the most of any match-up in Week 2 across the NFL in its entirety. What should have been a walkover turned into, for the second week in a row, a myriad of offensive struggles for the Seahawks, and the defense having to, once again, step up and take control of the game. Something that both S Earl Thomas and CB Richard Sherman have both publicly talked about.
Despite a win, it was a pretty poor showing overall. The Seahawks run defense was very good, however, looking at the stats you wouldn’t think so, but considering nearly half of the 49ers rushing yards came from one play where the Seahawks linebackers missed their assignment gaps, it was a pretty good effort, as always. It’s worth noting that on the 49ers two biggest rushing plays of the game, Sheldon Richardson was on the sidelines. That's how much of an impact this man is for our D-Line already. He is a total game wrecker. I seriously hope they sign him long term but mid-season at the latest. He is finally being used in the correct way in a scheme that he fits perfectly, surrounded by talent that can only elevate his game. Exciting times, ay?
Depending on who you talk to, you’ll hear blame thrown at several coaches and units, Darrell Bevell and Tom Cable (the OC and O-Line Coach, respectively), the O-Line itself, Russell Wilson's height, Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Lots of people point the blame in different directions.
For me personally, it starts with everyone on the O-Line, excluding our newly extended, Justin Britt, at center. Our tackles are woeful, scoring abysmally via PFF grades and our guards aren’t much better considering LG Luke Joeckel is paid more than several stars on the team is laughable. We routinely make journeymen DTs and DEs look like JJ Watt. I don’t know a solutions and clearly the Seahawks back office doesn’t either, they’ve invested very heavily in draft capital at the position group over the last 4 years yet it isn’t paying dividends whatsoever. The Seahawks are still, consistently, ranked right at the bottom on O-Line performance. To put it bluntly, I feel they are wasting a historic defense. No defense group can perform perfect after being on the field all game long due to constant three-and-outs by their offense.
The Seahawks are facing the Tennessee Titans this coming Sunday in Nashville. The Titans are a serious up-and-coming team with an elite O-Line and a young rising star QB in Marcus Mariota, who is ridiculously good in the redzone turning 75% of trips into touchdowns in 2016, and seemingly carrying on around that mark in 2017.
The game is going to be a tough one for a number of reasons. We don’t tend to play well on grass, I see no reason why our offense will suddenly spring into action. Tight End Jimmy Graham seems to have signed out from this season due to lack of play calls and be used incorrectly.
There are, however, reasons to be optimistic. They will no doubt try and control the game through running the ball. As long as Seattle's run D is as efficient as it always is, this could be a pivotal game breaker in their game plan. They are also woeful on pass D so “if” (BIG if!) the offense can get some rhythm expect big games from Doug Baldwin, Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett this weekend.
Until next time, Go Hawks!