How Can the Seattle Seahawks Beat the 49ers Saturday?
The Seattle Seahawks will travel to Santa Clara to face the San Francisco 49ers for the third time this season and the second time in 30 days. The NFC West division rivals will square off in the NFC Wildcard round Saturday, at approximately 1:30pm pacific time. The 49ers won both of the matchups during the regular season.
Do The Seahawks Have a Chance?
The easy answer is yes, they have a chance. Playing a team three times in a season is never easy, and this will be second time Seahawk Defensive Coordinator Clint Hurtt sees 49ers rookie QB Brock Purdy, so he'll be able to gameplan off what he has seen live and off tape.
Purdy is 7-1 as a starter since stepping in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, with his only loss coming against Kansas City in his first NFL start. He has played extremely well given the circumstances, but the biggest test he has faced was an OT win over the Raiders in Las Vegas. Purdy has yet to throw for 300 yards in a game and doesn't run very much (13 yards on 22 attempts)
What Do The Seahawks Need to do on Defense?
This is the biggest question mark as Seattle ranks 25th in points allowed and 26 in yards allowed. Opposing offenses are gaining ground (6149 yards) and putting points on the board (401). The Seahawks, however, are 9th best in turnovers (25) this season, and that will be key. Pressure will be key for the front seven. They amassed 45 sacks this season, good for 8th best in the league. Creative play calling on the defensive side to show Purdy different looks could open up some lanes to apply pressure and force the rookie to make mistakes...oh, and contain Christian McCaffrey.
What Do The Seahawks Need to do on Offense?
Take advantage of 49er mistakes and limit their own. QB Geno Smith set a new franchise record for passing yards in Week 18 and rookie running back Kenneth Walker III topped the 1,000 yard mark despite missing three games. They can move the ball they can get in to the end zone.
There are three things the Seahawks must do in order to win:
- Protect Geno Smith and give him time
- Control the time of possession
- Ball security - no turnovers
If the Seahawks can do those three things on offense, they will beat the 49ers and earn a trip to Philadelphia to play the top seeded Eagles in the Divisional Round next weekend.
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Gallery Credit: Jacob Osborn