Seahawks-49ers Game Preview...5 Keys to a Seahawks Victory

Hawkscanner

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
0
Location
Middle of Nowhere, Washington
Week 14: Seahawks-49ers Game Preview …
5 Keys to a Seahawks Victory Against the 49ers …
NCOED00Z.jpg


After giving the Saints a sacred burial in front of a national audience on Monday Night and soaring to an 11-1 record, the rest of the nation suddenly woke up to the fact that we’ve got a football team up here in Southeast Alaska … and they’re pretty good. In fact, ESPN conducted a nationwide poll after the game in which they asked, “Are the Seahawks the best team in the NFL?” 62% of respondents answered, “Yes.” This Sunday the Hawks get a chance to cement that idea even further in the minds of the American Public, as they take on their nemesis -- the San Francisco 49ers. From Terrell Owens and his sharpie signing in the end zone in Seattle … to Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh’s infamous “What’s Your Deal?” exchange, these are 2 teams that just flat out hate each other.

After their whipping by Seattle at Century Link and getting spanked by the Colts the very next week 27-7, the 49ers looked like a team that was ready for the morgue. Instead, like Jason Voorhees popping once again out of the grave, the 49ers proved that they JUST ... WON'T ... DIE. They have won 7 of their past 9 games and have scored an average of 28 points per game over that time. The Seahawks have averaged 28.3 points per game this year (2nd in the NFL), so the Niners have been slicing and dicing up the competition like teenagers at Camp Crystal Lake.
Still at 8-4, San Francisco finds itself fighting for their playoff lives. Not only that, but they have been embarrassed by a Seahawks team that over the past 2 meetings has soundly beaten them by a combined score of 71-16. While this game means very little in the grand scheme of the NFC West Title, in reality it has huge ramifications for both teams. For the 49ers, a win not only keeps their playoff hopes alive -- it would send a message that they are still a force to be reckoned with. But the Seahawks have a chance to make a statement as well, as a victory on the 49ers home turf would send a notice to the rest of the NFL that they truly are the best team in the NFL and can beat any team, anywhere, any time. Can the Hawks send that message this Sunday? Here are 5 Keys they’ll need to succeed at in order to help do so ...


Key #1: Cook the Kaep-tain …
PernickSanFrancisco49ersvSeattlev2 CbVwJyG5l

Oh what a difference a year makes. Last year, Colin Kaepernick was being talked about being an elite QB who was set to take his place among the very best in the game for years to come. For all the success the team has had recently though, flaws in his game are starting to be noticed, as opposing teams are increasingly looking to exploit them.

Heading into that Week 16 Matchup last season, I noted that Kaepernick had thrown to WR Michael Crabtree 33% of the time. That spoke volumes to me, as it said that this is a QB who has difficulty going through his progressions -- that if his #1 receiver is covered in any given play, that he has a tendency to struggle. That same pattern has continued this season ...

ReceiverSizeCatchesYardsYards/CatchTD’s#Catches of 20 Yds+% of Passing Off
WR Anquan Boldin61” 220 Lbs6182213.551334.66%
TE Vernon Davis6’3” 250 Lbs4270516.8101423.86%
FB Bruce Miller6'2" 248 Lbs1819610.90210.23%
RB Frank Gore5’9” 217 Lbs151359.0018.52%
WR Kyle Williams5'10" 186 Lbs121139.4006.82%
TE Vance McDonald6'4" 267 Lbs811914.9034.54%
WR Mario Manningham6’0” 185 Lbs88310.4004.54%
WR Michael Crabtree61” 214 Lbs26834.0011.14%
[tdo=8](2013) 49ers Top Receiving Targets[/tdo]

As you can see, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis have been a whopping 58.52% of the 49ers passing attack and have accounted for all 15 of the 49ers passing TD’s this season. So if those guys end up getting covered, Kaepernick struggles to make plays. And it’s not just me who’s saying this either …

"He just kind of locks onto the primary target," an executive in personnel for another NFL team told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity for competitive reasons. "If it's not there, he kind of panics – and still makes some plays."

That's the danger of Kaepernick, 26, whose completion percentage (57.8%), touchdown to interception ratio (15:7) and passer rating (88.9) are all down in his first full season as the starter.
"He obviously makes a ton of plays when things are broken down and the DBs have to cover guys longer than what they normally have to," another NFL executive said. "But I think if you can keep him on that spot and just get to him early, you can disrupt him. You can rattle him."

"To me, it's one read and done," the second executive said. "If he's got to sit back in the pocket and try and read coverages and go to his second and third reads, it's going to be a long day."
Source:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...olin-kaepernick-pocket-effectiveness/3889971/


None of that bodes well against a Seahawks Defense that limited Drew Brees to just 147 yards passing (his lowest total of his career). Several times in that game, Brees found no open receivers to throw to even after 4 or 5 seconds. That’s got to be concerning if you’re a 49er fan.

Secondly as I’ve noted on many other occasions before, it’s become quite clear that Kaepernick is just not the playmaker that Russell Wilson is on the run.

Mike Sando had an interesting piece at the tail end of December last season in which he cited an analysis by Greg Cosell, taking a look at Total QBR Ratings Insider the Pocket vs. Outside the pocket. The numbers are rather striking and really highlight a major key to this game on Sunday …

QuarterbackInside the PocketOutside the Pocket
Russell Wilson77.062.5
Colin Kaepernick83.015.6
[tdo=3]2012 Total QBR Ratings …[/tdo]
Source:
ESPN NFC West Blog

For those who haven’t taken a look at Total QBR much, this is a statistic that the brain trust over at ESPN developed in order to help evaluate just how good a QB is when the game really matters. One problem with the traditional QB Rating is that it can have a tendency to get inflated due to numbers put up during garbage time with a lot of high percentage short throws that don’t matter. Total QBR attempts to screen all that out and aims to identify how a QB performs under the lights, in the clutch, when the game is on the line. A value of between 65-70 and above for a season is generally considered Pro Bowl Level. Ratings around 50 for a season are considered average. Really low numbers over time indicate QB’s who tend to make mistakes in pressure situations.

The numbers clearly show that Russell Wilson on the run still performs at a near Pro Bowl Level. Colin Kaepernick on the other hand … really struggles.

To give you guys some comparisons from last season …

In the Seahawks 50-17 blowout of the Bills last year, Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21 of 38 passes (55.3%) for 217 yards … 1 TD … 2 INT for a Total QBR Rating of 19.7

In the Seahawks 16-12 win against the Panthers last October, Cam Newton completed 12 of 29 passes (41.4%) for 141 yards for a Total QBR of 14.6

In the Seahawks 42-13 route of the Niners, Kaepernick completed 19 of 36 passes (52.7%) for 244 yards … 1 TD … and 1 INT for a Total QBR of 27.6 (so he performs even worse once he’s flushed out of the pocket.)

The numbers clearly show that if you pressure Colin Kaepernick and get him on the move that he makes mistakes. Kaepernick had 9 fumbles last year … 7 of which were on plays in which he chose to run the ball. While Kaepernick on the run may be a problem for some teams, Seattle’s impressive speed on defense is quite effective at minimizing that threat.

So getting pressure on Colin Kaepernick will be a real key to this game. And in THAT department, the Seahawks should be just licking their talons.


Key #2: Tear This Wall Down ...
6876296

Seahawk fans know well the impact that injuries on the offensive line can have on an offense. Although the San Francisco has won their past 2 games, their offensive line situation (especially heading in to this game) should frankly worry Niner Fans.

Starting LG Mike Iupati was lost in Saints Game (Week 11, Nov 17th) with a sprained medial collateral ligament. He did not participated in practice all this week and is listed as Questionable for this game.

Starting LT Joe Staley was lost in the Rams Game (last week, Dec. 1st) with a sprained medial collateral ligament. He was a limited participant in practice on Thursday and Friday after missing Wednesday’s practice.

Because of Staley’s absence, Starting RG Alex Boone has been shifted to LT as a result.

Joe Looney (a 4th Round Pick out of Wake Forest in 2012) has now become the starting RG.
Adam Snyder has been filling in for Iupati at LG.

The only ones who haven’t been shifted around are C Jonathan Goodwin and DT Anthony Davis.

The Saints absolutely gave the 49ers fits, sacking Kaepernick 3 times, hitting him 7 times, and limiting him to just 127 yards passing and a 54.8 pass completion percentage.

Last week, though 49ers won 23-13 … but their Offensive Line gave up 4 sacks.

All of that is bad news against a Seahawks Defense that, according to Pro Football Focus, comes in to this game with a Pass Rush Score of 45.2 (#1 in the NFL). San Francisco’s Offense Line surrendered 3 sacks and 5 QB Hits against the Seahawks last time, and it should be pointed out that neither Bruce Irvin nor Chris Clemons played in that game.

Not only that, but since Iupati went out, the 49ers running attack has been as lethal as a 3 legged chihuahua with no teeth. Here are the 49ers Rushing Statistics over the past 3 games …

Week 11 vs. Saints … 22 carries … 81 yards rushing (3.7 yards/carry avg)
Week 12 vs. Redskins … 33 carries … 76 yards rushing (2.3 yards/carry avg)
Week 13 vs. Rams …. 30 carries … 83 yards (2.8 yards/carry avg) … 1 TD

According to the official stat sheet, the Seahawks greatest weakness is their defense against the run (they average 107.2 rushing yards/game allowed [13th in the NFL]). Those stats are a bit deceptive, as over the last 3 games, Seattle has been pretty good against the run. The Falcons obviously don't run the ball that much, but they limited them to 64 yards on the ground in Week 10. They totally shut Steven Jackson down (just 11 yards rushing on the day) and Jacquizz Rogers got 17 of his 31 yards on just 1 play.

In the Vikings Game, the stat sheet is going to say that the Seahawks allowed 132 yards on 33 carries. However, if you go back through the game logs there and/or actually watch the game, you get a whole different perspective. Here are the rushing yards that the Seahawks Defense allowed by quarter in that game ...

1st Quarter -- 12 yards total on 10 carries
2nd Quarter -- 24 yards total on 8 carries
3rd Quarter -- 37 yards total on 8 carries (13 yards of which came on 1 play)
4th Quarter -- 58 yards total on 6 carries (32 yards of which came on 1 play)

What’s noteworthy about that game ... is that after the 12:00 mark (around there) of the 4th Quarter, Seattle had pulled most of its starters (offense and defense), so it was the backups that were playing from there on out. So, 58 of the Vikings 132 Rushing Yards came against the 2nd and 3rd String. The Vikings managed only 73 yards on the ground total against the starters -- and if you look at the game logs, you'll see that the Vikings were making it a point to try to establish the run, even late in to the 3rd Quarter when they were down 24-13 and really should have been being more aggressive in throwing the ball at that point. Holding Adrian Peterson and those guys to just 73 yards (Peterson averaged only 3.1 yards/carry, as he was shut down all day long) I'd say is fairly impressive.

Against the Saints last week, Seattle allowed just 44 rushing yards on 17 carries (a mere 2.6 yards/carry), so they are obviously hoping that things will carry over this week. If the 49ers are able to get their run game going, then play action opens up for them … and they are a whole different team when that happens. Pro Football Focus explains ...

Both Wilson and Colin Kaepernick throw deep (over 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage) on about 15% of their attempts, and Kaepernick also happens to use plenty of play action (28.3% of his attempts). The difference in his effectiveness with and without play action is striking. With play action, Kaepernick completes 60.2% of his passes, has eight touchdowns, one interception, averages 8.5 yards per attempt, and has a QB Rating of 113.3. Without, his completion percentage drops to 56.7%, he’s thrown seven touchdowns to six interceptions, he averages 7.3 yards per attempt, and just a 78.9 QB Rating.
Source:
https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/12/06/3tfo-seahawks-49ers-week-14/

LT Joe Staley himself expects to play in this game, but after suffering a sprained MCL last week, it remains to be seen exactly how effective he’ll be. If he ends up playing, how well he does will go a long ways towards determining the outcome of this game. Pro Football Focus gave Staley a pass blocking grade of 97.2 (2nd Best among tackles) and an overall grade of +25.5 (again, 2nd Best Overall). It goes without saying that the 49ers Offensive Line will give Seattle their best shot, as both pride and their season is on the line. Seattle’s Defensive Front 7 has been dominant lately and they’ll have to continue to be so if they expect to win this weekend.


Key #3: Advance, Don’t Retreat ...
Hi res 158710801 crop 650x440

It’s relatively easy to point to a banged up San Francisco Offense Line as reasons for optimism However, Seattle’s struggles in the Offensive Line Department recently shouldn’t be overlooked either.

Though Russell Wilson had a good day against Minnesota, the Vikings were able to pretty much shut down the run, as they held Marshawn Lynch to just 54 yards rushing on the day and Seattle to a mere 3.3 yards/rush that day.

Last week New Orleans also fairly effectively held Lynch in check, as he gained just 45 yards on the ground and averaged a mere 2.8 yards/rush. What was particularly concerning about that game is how the Saints were able to shut down those run lanes with only 5 and 6 man fronts many times.

Lynch and the Seahawks Offensive Line has at times struggled to establish the run against some of the best defensive fronts in the game this year. While it’s easy to point to injuries to the Offensive Line as being the reason why the Hawks managed only 44 total rushing yards against the Rams … that wasn’t at all the case in the Carolina Game. Marshawn Lynch gained only 43 yards on the ground in that game and averaged a mere 2.5 yards per carry behind a totally healthy Seattle Offensive Line.

Like San Francisco, when Seattle is able to establish the run, they are a completely different offense, as Russell Wilson is able to utilize play action like a dagger to the heart of opposing defenses. Pro Football Focus notes …

When using play action, Russell Wilson averages 10.0 yards per attempt, has thrown 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions, and has a QB Rating of 120.9. Much of this success comes from the extra time that Wilson gets to throw when using play action.
https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/12/06/3tfo-seahawks-49ers-week-14/

So as always, establishing the run will be a focus for Seattle in this game. And the Seahawks have had a lot of success doing just that against the 49ers …

Back in Week 2 at Century Link, the Seahawks found relative success running the ball, as they gained 172 yards rushing on 42 carries (3.7 yards/carry average) and 2 touchdowns by Marshawn Lynch.

In Week 16 last season, the Seahawks did it again, as they racked up 176 yards rushing on 39 carries (4.5 yards/rush average) and a touchdown by Lynch.

In Week 7 of last season, the Seahawks gained 136 yards rushing on 29 carries (4.7 yards/carry) in that 13-7 Loss to the Niners.

So why shouldn’t Seattle be able to do the exact same thing this time around? Because San Francisco has some very talented run defenders that are going to make that challenging. Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith both rank in the top 10 in terms of run stop percentage this year. Novorro Bowman is always a challenge, as he ranked 4th last year in run stop percentage (12.7%) and currently ranks 4th in the NFL in tackles with 111.

PFF notes that though RT Breno Giacomini is back, he has struggled against San Francisco. Over the last 3 games against San Francisco, they have Giacomini graded at -4.9, -4.2, and -5.5. Since returning from injury, even Russell Okung has struggled in run blocking, as they have him graded at -4.4. While it’s true Marshawn Lynch leads the NFL with 66 broken tackles and averages 2.64 yards after contact, he needs help from the Big Boys up front if he’s truly going to be effective.

And while most of us point to the 29-3 score in our last meeting back in Week 2, the Niners also sacked Russell Wilson 4 times, had 7 QB Hits, accumulated 21 overall pressures, and had 9 Tackles for Loss in that game. The Seahawks Offensive Line has got to do a much better job this time around.


Key #4: Go, Speed Racer …
6882366

In September of 2011, ProFootballFocus put out an interesting article in which they released the results of a then 2 year study on the relationship between QB Release Time … and the average time that it takes a defender to sack the QB. Here is what they concluded ...

The median sack time has hovered between 2.7 and 2.8 seconds throughout the two years of the tracking.
Unless a quarterback falls down or drops the ball, a sack of 1.7 seconds or less generally involves a rusher coming completely free.
Source:
http://www.footballoutsiders.com/under-pressure/2011/under-pressure

So according to the study, the average sack takes place between 2.7 and 2.8 seconds. Because of that, QB release times have increasingly become something that teams and those associated with them have studied.

Last season, the fastest release in football belonged to Tom Brady, who on average was getting rid of the ball in 2.47 seconds. Peyton Manning ranked second with a 2.50 average. This year it’s a whole different story. On November 24, 2013, the Denver Post put out a list of the top QB releases in the game today. Here was their list at that time of the fastest … and some of the slowest releases in the game …

1] Peyton Manning (Broncos) … 2.33 seconds
2] Chad Henne (Jaguars) … 2.42 seconds
3] Matt Stafford (Lions) … 2.44 seconds
4] Andy Dalton (Bengals) … 2.48 seconds
5] Carson Palmer (Cardinals)… 2.50 seconds

25] Cam Newton(Panthers) … 3.00 seconds
26] Colin Kaepernick (49ers) … 3.07 seconds
27] Geno Smith (Jets) … 3.09 seconds
28] Russell Wilson (Seahawks) … 3.10 seconds
29] Terrell Pryor (Raiders) … 3.47 seconds

Source:
http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_24588578/quick-draw

Notice who was toward the bottom of that list -- Russell Wilson. Now, some of that certainly can be attributed to injuries along the offensive line. After all, Wilson was the most pressured QB in the NFL coming in to the Saints Game (44 QB Pressures) and just 3 short weeks was the 8th Most Sacked QB. Not all of that was the offensive line though, as many times early this year Wilson simply held on to the ball too long. Russell Wilson has made significant improvements in that arena over the past several games however. I noted a few weeks back that in the Buccaneers game that I had Russell Wilson averaging 2.87 seconds from the time the ball was snapped to the time he released it. Wilson has gotten even better since then. Here is a chart of every pass that he threw in the Saints Game along with his release times ...

Russell Wilson Time from Snap to Release (Saints Game 12/2/13)

1st Quarter …

(1st Drive) ...
2nd and 7 at SEA 34(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to M.Robinson for 21 yards (3.03 sec) [wasn’t expecting snap]
1st and 10 at NO 35(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to G.Tate for 12 yards (1.87 sec)
2nd and 12 at NO 15(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete to Z.Miller. (2.37 sec)
3rd and 12 at NO 15(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to M.Lynch for 7 yards (2.0 sec)

(2nd Drive) …
1st and 10 at SEA 27(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete to G.Tate (3.22 sec)
2nd and 10 at SEA 27 R.Wilson pass short middle to M.Lynch for 9 yards (2.87 sec)
3rd and 1 at SEA 36 R.Wilson pass to Z.Miller for 60 yards (2.68 sec)
3rd and 2 at NO 2 (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to Z.Miller for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN. (1.53 sec)

2nd Quarter …

(1st Drive) …
3rd and 3 at SEA 23(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to D.Baldwin for 52 yards (1.85 sec) [all out blitz]
1st and 20 at NO 35(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to Z.Miller for 13 yards (1.82 sec)
3rd and 13 at NO 28(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to G.Tate for 17 yards (1.32 sec)
2nd and 6 at NO 7 R.Wilson pass incomplete to J.Kearse. (5.12 sec) [scramble by Wilson]

(2nd Drive) …
1st and 10 at SEA 12(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to M.Lynch for -4 yards (5.50 sec) [scramble by Wilson and flip to Lynch to avoid sack]
3rd and 9 at SEA 13(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to J.Kearse for 19 yards (2.35 sec)
2nd and 5 at SEA 37(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to D.Baldwin for 7 yards (1.0 sec)
1st and 10 at SEA 44(No Huddle, Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete to M.Lynch (2.5 sec)
1st and 10 at NO 42(No Huddle, Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete (4.40 sec) [Wilson throw-away after trying to create a play downfield]
1st and 10 at NO 15(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to J.Kearse for 7 yards (2.15 sec)
1st and 4 at NO 4 R.Wilson pass to D.Baldwin for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN. (3.22 sec)
50.8
3rd Quarter …

(1st Drive) …
3rd and 11 at SEA 17(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to Z.Miller for 1 yard (4.18 sec)

(2nd Drive) …
1st and 10 at SEA 21 R.Wilson pass to G.Tate for 4 yards (2.15 sec)
2nd and 6 at SEA 25 R.Wilson pass to D.Baldwin for 14 yards (3.29 sec)
1st and 10 at SEA 39 R.Wilson pass incomplete to D.Baldwin. (4.09 sec)
2nd and 10 at SEA 39 R.Wilson pass to R.Lockette for 33 yards (2.03 sec)
3rd and 2 at NO 20 (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete to D.Baldwin (1.75 sec) [WIlson had gotten rid of the ball quickly. Roughing the Passer call gives Seattle a 1st Down]
2nd and 8 at NO 8 R.Wilson pass to D.Coleman for 8 yards, TOUCHDOWN. (3.53 sec) [Wilson on the rollout, deflected pass off of Davis]

(3rd Drive) …
1st and 10 at SEA 25(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to G.Tate for 12 yards (1.35 sec)
2nd and 9 at SEA 38 R.Wilson pass incomplete to Z.Miller. (3.87 sec) [Wilson on bootleg, throwing the ball away]

4th Quarter …

(1st Drive) … No Passes Thrown by Wilson

(2nd Drive) …
2nd and 7 at SEA 25(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete to Z.Miller (1.44 sec)
3rd and 7 at SEA 25(Shotgun) R.Wilson pass to Z.Miller for 10 yards (1.84 sec)
3rd and 9 at NO 43 R.Wilson pass to L.Willson for 2 yards (2.56 sec) [Wilson on rollout]

82.88 Total Seconds/32 Pass Attempts = Average of 2.59 seconds from the time the ball is snapped until Wilson releases the football.

So, Russell Wilson on average was getting the ball out in 2.59 seconds in that Saints game. Those split seconds obviously can make all the difference in the world and Wilson has improved immensely since the beginning of the year.

Russell Wilson has apparently shaved a full .51 seconds off of that time. If we were to re-rank those times again, that would put Wilson right up there among the top releases in the league.

On average, Wilson is getting rid of the ball between .1 and .2 seconds prior to the average sack time in the NFL. Couple that with the fact that he is a virtual greased pig of a QB who is pretty lightning quick and Russell Wilson just might be the most dangerous passer in the game right now. Several times in that game, he was able to connect on deep passes, getting the ball out in under 2.5 seconds in the face of immense pressure. In fact, Russell Wilson comes in to this game with a 60% completion rate on his deep balls -- #1 in the NFL. If his offensive line gives him time and he continues to do what he did in the Saints Game (getting the ball out quickly and with the accuracy he’s shown), then the Seahawks are frankly going to be a very hard team to beat.

Against a San Francisco defense that (according to Football Outsiders) ranks #6 overall (-9.8%) in DVOA, Wilson’s going to have to continue to be quick in his decisions and right on his game.

Key #5:Avoid Miscues ...
NLynchScottShanleSeattleSeahawksBOv9XVbTdUYl

Mental mistakes and turnovers are the one thing that can truly derail Seattle’s chances tomorrow. It goes without saying that turnovers in the NFL -- especially on the road -- can be absolutely deadly. Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks got lucky on this play … and they got lucky on a couple of others last week as well. That ball that banged off Kellen Davis’s hands could have just as easily found the hands of a Saints Defender rather than finding Derrick Coleman.

And Lynch has put the ball on the turf a number of times this season (4) … only once did it bite him (in the Titans game). Russell Wilson has thrown only 6 interceptions on the season (tied with Kansas City for the lowest in the NFL). Seattle is +12 in the Give Away/Take Away department (tied for 2nd in the NFL), while the 49ers are only +6 in that department. They have given up 10 fumbles on offense on the season (tied for the 4th most in the NFL). The Seahawks are going to have to continue to do what they’ve done all season long that if they hope to win on Sunday.

But beyond turnovers, the field position battle will be crucial in this game. To this point, Seattle’s Special Teams have been phenomenal. The Seahawks have not allowed a return (either on punts or kickoff) for a touchdown all season long. Though they are allowing an average of 24.3 yards per return on kickoffs (tied for 22nd) … their punt team coverage has been historically good. Through 12 games this season, the Seahawks (get this) -- have allowed only 15 yards total on on punt returns this season. That’s a whopping low 1.3 yards/punt return (far and away #1 in the NFL in that category) thanks in part to Jeremy Lane, who has been an All Pro as a gunner. Seattle has got to continue getting more of that if they hope to win on Sunday.


Bold Prediction …

In terms of the atmosphere itself, it’s tough to know what exactly to expect at Candlestick Park tomorrow. This week, the 49ers Front Office went so far as to send out a memo to its season ticket holders instructing them on how to be fans. I guess they figure their fans don’t don’t how to cheer. Could be. Maybe they’re trying to send a message to the two fans who wrote in to the San Francisco Chronicle and then were subsequently interviewed by Dori Monson on 97.3 FM in Seattle, complaining about the crowd noise at Century Link Field. Those 49er Fans have apparently decided that’s not enough, as they started an online petition as well. Seahawks fans, on the other hand, will certainly be showing their pride, as a group of them have chartered a plane that will fly a banner over Candlestick saying, “Go Hawks.”

Personally, I don’t expect any of that to affect the players on either side all that much. At the end of the day, these are two teams that just flat out don’t like each other and will give their all in this one. If the Seahawks win this game … they will clinch the NFC West and no worse than the 2nd Seed in the playoffs. If the 49ers lose, they will fall to 8-5 and will be fighting for their playoff lives.

Last week, the Seahawks had scored 17 points before the Saints were to 17 yards of total offense. If the Seahawks bring the exact same kind of complete effort that they showed against the Saints, then frankly they will be hard to beat regardless of where the game is played.

Since 1966, only two quarterbacks have reached 22 wins in their first 2 years in the league -- Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Seattle’s Russell Wilson. Though I expect this to be a hard fought extremely physical game, barring turnovers and injuries, I honestly don’t see Seattle losing this one tomorrow if they play anywhere close to what they showed on Monday Night. When the shelling finally stops and the smoke clears … I see Russell Wilson … standing alone with 23 wins … the winningest QB in the history of the NFL over his first 2 seasons.

Let’s call it …
Seahawks … 24
49ers … 14
 

Seahawkfan80

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
11,224
Reaction score
619
Panthers' Greg Olsen: Check.
Falcons' Tony Gonzalez: Check.
Saints' Jimmy Graham: Check.
49ers' Vernon Davis: ???
From Facebook Seahawks page. LOL
:thirishdrinkers:
 

RolandDeschain

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
33,143
Reaction score
978
Location
God's cycling country (Miami, FL)
Russell Wilson will never top the list of QBs who get rid of the ball the quickest, nor should we want him to top it. He's got incredible scrambling ability, and he should use it regularly (if somewhat sparingly) because it's a great tool in his arsenal that few others can match.

Good write-up, thanks for taking the time!
 
OP
OP
Hawkscanner

Hawkscanner

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
0
Location
Middle of Nowhere, Washington
RolandDeschain":1fkbcwfy said:
Russell Wilson will never top the list of QBs who get rid of the ball the quickest, nor should we want him to top it. He's got incredible scrambling ability, and he should use it regularly (if somewhat sparingly) because it's a great tool in his arsenal that few others can match.

Good write-up, thanks for taking the time!

Oh I completely agree with you Roland on Wilson and his scrambling -- that's something I hope he NEVER changes (well, maybe not until he's a bit long in the tooth). Anyway, I agree with you that because of that, he's never going to be the absolute fastest in terms of his release. HOWEVER, I DO believe that it's important nonetheless.

Perhaps memory isn't serving me well right now, but I don't know that I've ever seen Russell Wilson quicker in his release and decision making than he was on Monday Night. He scrambled on a handful of plays in that game (and well he should have). Wilson absolutely is dangerous with his legs, as he can create on the run or simply tuck it and gain big yardage if need be. BUT, I was most excited to see several times that he was getting rid of the ball in under 2 seconds. For example, on a 3rd and 3 in the 2nd Quarter, the Saints came with an all out blitz. Russell Wilson recognized it was just single coverage downfield ... and adjusted lickety-split by hitting Doug Baldwin on a beautiful 52 yard teardrop in 1.85 seconds. WOW!

I don't know that I've seen Wilson be able to do a lot of that as consistently and as effortlessly as he did on Monday Night. To me, I just viewed it as just another positive step in the evolution of Russell Wilson the QB. In the case of Russell Wilson, I just treat the Quick Release as yet another tool in his Swiss Army Knife. He has become that much more dangerous because not only can he scramble and buy time ... he can also hit the hot read and beat the rush. That's fantastic to see, especially heading in to this game.
 

RolandDeschain

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
33,143
Reaction score
978
Location
God's cycling country (Miami, FL)
Hawkscanner":2ji55bds said:
Perhaps memory isn't serving me well right now, but I don't know that I've ever seen Russell Wilson quicker in his release and decision making than he was on Monday Night.
Oh, I completely agree; however, I think a fair part of that is because it's the first time (to my memory; correct me if I'm wrong) where we actually did quite a bit of short and intermediate passing. I wonder how much of that Russell already had in him/was capable of prior to that game, but we simply never really tried much?
 
OP
OP
Hawkscanner

Hawkscanner

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
0
Location
Middle of Nowhere, Washington
RolandDeschain":170jm1w6 said:
Hawkscanner":170jm1w6 said:
Perhaps memory isn't serving me well right now, but I don't know that I've ever seen Russell Wilson quicker in his release and decision making than he was on Monday Night.
Oh, I completely agree; however, I think a fair part of that is because it's the first time (to my memory; correct me if I'm wrong) where we actually did quite a bit of short and intermediate passing. I wonder how much of that Russell already had in him/was capable of prior to that game, but we simply never really tried much?

I dunno man. I honestly don't know. Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I sure don't remember a whole lot of this from him last season. That Bears game, for example, those 2 game winning drives I sure remember him making a lot more plays with his LEGS ... than with his arm (and even then, I'm not remembering many real instances where he was ZIPPING the ball out of there as quickly as he did in this game). There were times in that Saints game I was saying to myself, "Dang, the only one who seems to be able to sack Russell Wilson ... is Russell Wilson."
 

RolandDeschain

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
33,143
Reaction score
978
Location
God's cycling country (Miami, FL)
What I meant was, I think this is the first game we've had an actual intent to have a primarily short & intermediate passing game, with receivers running routes designed for it, etc. To this extent, in any case.

I remember plenty of times with our decimated O-line earlier this year when we were stubbornly sending our receivers out on longer-developing ones, watching DEs own our backup tackles. :(
 
OP
OP
Hawkscanner

Hawkscanner

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
0
Location
Middle of Nowhere, Washington
RolandDeschain":1742f5wr said:
What I meant was, I think this is the first game we've had an actual intent to have a primarily short & intermediate passing game, with receivers running routes designed for it, etc. To this extent, in any case.

I remember plenty of times with our decimated O-line earlier this year when we were stubbornly sending our receivers out on longer-developing ones, watching DEs own our backup tackles. :(

I'd say you're exactly right they employed a lot more of that ... and I believe there's a reason why. I did some research on the 46 Defense prior to that Saints game, as this question just continued to plague my mind, "Why is it we don't see much of it anymore?" I mean, for anyone who saw Buddy Ryan's Defenses back in the day, they were ferocious, attacking, nasty, quick, turnover creating machines. So why the heck did it get relegated mostly to the history books. In case you missed it the first time around, check this article out that I found on exactly that question in the New York Times ...

But the personnel was the key. Ryan started tinkering with the scheme in 1982, but it wasn’t until Dent broke out in 1984 and Marshall and Perry began contributing in 1985 that the 46 really hit its stride. And the 1986 team, which wasn’t coordinated by Ryan, may have been even better than the team that flirted with perfection in 1985.

Ryan had very good personnel in Philadelphia and Houston. But the 46 gradually fell out of favor as teams began to exploit its primary weakness – an undermanned secondary. If you protected well enough or had a quarterback with a quick, accurate release – or both – you could get rid of the ball before the pressure got to the pocket. West Coast offenses and premier quarterbacks strafed the 46 with big plays. Even in its best seasons, the Bear 46 was giving up very high yards-per-completion numbers. The big plays eventually sank the scheme as a base defense. Don’t be left with the impression that Ryan was a one-hit wonder. He was instrumental in designing the Jet defense that helped Joe Namath pull off the upset in Super Bowl III and later had a big role in the development of the Purple People Eater lines in Minnesota. The 46 just became too risky to play every down.
Source:
http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/guide-to-n-f-l-defenses-part-6-the-46-defense/?_r=0

Ergo, the game plan Monday Night -- executed to perfection.
 

Laloosh

New member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
8,688
Reaction score
0
Location
WA
Terrific job on this. Thanks for all of the info to chew on. Loved that you included data on Russell's release times as of late.

On that note, Roland, I completely disagree with you. I think that RW should definitely aim to have that ball out in 2.5 or less. If it's not there, it's not there and he can rely on his legs but if you can do that to a defense it will completely demoralize them. Can't get to the QB, can't get him off of his spot, might have to rush more than 4 if you're a team like SF.

Loved reading this. Would like to have seen a bit less QBR and a lot more efficiency info but overall I appreciate the investment of time. This had to have taken a while to compile and write.
 

ivotuk

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2007
Messages
23,134
Reaction score
1,855
Location
North Pole, Alaska
Beautiful work Hawkscanner! Thanks for taking the time. My biggest worry is fumbles but i think our defense is going to own their offense. Seahawks defense wants to make a statement, and they will do so on Sunday, December 8th, a day that will go down in Seahawks history!
 

RolandDeschain

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
33,143
Reaction score
978
Location
God's cycling country (Miami, FL)
I don't get it, Laloosh. What do you disagree with that I said? I didn't mean he should stay in the pocket for longer than that, I just meant he should never lead the stat, because it includes time spent running around in the backfield, where Russell can do a ton of damage at. If he NEVER stays in the pocket for more than 2.5 seconds before scrambling or throwing away, I'm fine with that, and that would be a sign of being elite; but regardless, this stat will never "serve him well", you might say.
 
OP
OP
Hawkscanner

Hawkscanner

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
0
Location
Middle of Nowhere, Washington
RolandDeschain":1x9t50r7 said:
I don't get it, Laloosh. What do you disagree with that I said? I didn't mean he should stay in the pocket for longer than that, I just meant he should never lead the stat, because it includes time spent running around in the backfield, where Russell can do a ton of damage at. If he NEVER stays in the pocket for more than 2.5 seconds before scrambling or throwing away, I'm fine with that, and that would be a sign of being elite; but regardless, this stat will never "serve him well", you might say.

Completely agreed. I just included that study on his QB Release Time, as it just showed me that he can do it. Now I'm fairly positive he always could ... I just hadn't seen it, that's all and it was good to see. Just one more tool to add to the already full Swiss Army Knife.
 

MizzouHawkGal

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
13,477
Reaction score
846
Location
Kansas City, MO
I definitely noticed in the last 3-4 games Wilson is releasing the ball much faster like he is starting to know stuff pre-snap similar to Brady. It's scary because he's just as mobile as Keapernick but processes information so much faster that it's noticeable even to a casual fan with only their naked eye. But he never needs to be insane quick because his game is Tarkenton with a rocket arm.
 
OP
OP
Hawkscanner

Hawkscanner

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
2,145
Reaction score
0
Location
Middle of Nowhere, Washington
KCHawkGirl":2mya6e4d said:
I definitely noticed in the last 3-4 games Wilson is releasing the ball much faster like he is starting to know stuff pre-snap similar to Brady. It's scary because he's just as mobile as Keapernick but processes information so much faster that it's noticeable even to a casual fan with only their naked eye.

Exactly why I decided to study this, as it's noticeable to my eye.

You want to know what's even scarier? As I cited in the article, Russell Wilson is completing 60% of his deep passes downfield -- 60%!!!! (#1 in the NFL). He really and truly DOES throw a sexy deep ball ...

http://www.nfl.com/videos/seattle-s...00/Russell-Wilson-on-the-art-of-the-deep-ball
 

MizzouHawkGal

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
13,477
Reaction score
846
Location
Kansas City, MO
Check my edit, Fran Tarkenton with an elite arm by modern standards absolute best deep ball in the league. Need evidence? Check who his receiving corps is. He like Brady and Manning is making average to slightly above straight elite.
 

MizzouHawkGal

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
13,477
Reaction score
846
Location
Kansas City, MO
I definitely noticed in the last 3-4 games Wilson is releasing the ball much faster like he is starting to know stuff pre-snap similar to Brady. It's scary because he's just as mobile as Keapernick but processes information so much faster that it's noticeable even to a casual fan with only their naked eye.
 

Laloosh

New member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
8,688
Reaction score
0
Location
WA
RolandDeschain":2q09n4hb said:
I don't get it, Laloosh. What do you disagree with that I said? I didn't mean he should stay in the pocket for longer than that, I just meant he should never lead the stat, because it includes time spent running around in the backfield, where Russell can do a ton of damage at. If he NEVER stays in the pocket for more than 2.5 seconds before scrambling or throwing away, I'm fine with that, and that would be a sign of being elite; but regardless, this stat will never "serve him well", you might say.

I thought you were inferring that he shouldn't be trying to get the ball out quickly. If not, my apologies. Was a little preoccupied with some college football highlights as I was reading/typing.
 

Dismas

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
345
Reaction score
2
Location
Reno,NV
The run game vs the Saints was a bit misleading, imo

While the box wasn't usually "loaded" so to speak, it seemed to me that NO was crashing the safety down at the snap quite often, turning a 7 man box into an 8 man box as soon as the play started.

Also, there is no doubt in my mind that the Saints were super-conscious of their tackling, doing everything they could to make sure there was no Beastquake 2.0 . . . Bennetquake sufficed though, I think!

The niners play a lot of 2 deep coverage, historically, against us, to take away the deep shots. If they do that again today, it will limit the box to 7, and I am comfortable with Marshawn against those odds.
 
Top