This is one of the weekly features you’ll be seeing this season, and is simply my take the scouting reports for each team. This week’s 5 reasons is a little light on substance since we really don’t know what to expect from either team. Seattle is so young, and the 49ers have a new coach and an all new offense. It’s going to be a tough game to game-plan for.
5 Reasons the Seahawks will beat the 49ers:
- The running game. While the pass protection was pretty bad in the pre-season, the running game was not. Both Carpenter and Moffitt are great drive blockers and ruteinly pushed their defensive linemen back. Combine that with Marshawn Lynch’s bruising running style and you have the makings of a special running attack.
- The run defense. When everyone was healthy at the beginning of last season, the Seahawks’ run defense was one of the best in the NFL. Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane are healthy again, which should worry a 49er team that lacks offensive talent outside of RB Frank Gore.
- The secondary is bigger. No more tiny DB like Kelly Jennings matched up against much bigger WR. The Seahawks finally have some bigger corners, and while they might be young, playing against a below average QB like Alex Smith should help.
- Leroy Hill is healthy. Last season, unless Chris Clemons or Raheem Block out pressure on the QB, no one did. This year, Hill is back as the week side LB, and should be able to provide additional pass run help like he did earlier in his career.
- So many offensive weapons. The Seahawks have a large number of talented receivers, a pro-bowl TE, and a pair of RB who are good in pass protection as well as running route and catching the ball. If Jackson gets time, there’s no way San Franciso’s defense can stop them all.
- Bonus: Alex Smith. No matter the 49er coaches keep trying to tell everyone, the dude just isn’t a good QB. Smith has the capability to lose games all by himself. Hopefully we’ll get to see one of those game this week.
5 Reasons for concern:
- The pass protection. Lets face it, the two rookie offensive linemen were drafted for their run blocking skills. Their pass protection remains a work in progress. If those two can’t get the job done, Seattle will have to resort to using backs and TEs to help, which really makes things easier on the SF secondary.
- Tarvaris Jackson. He has all the skills to get the job done, but he hasn’t done much other than run for his life since he put on a Seahawks uniform. He needs to show he can run this offense, and avoid locking on to a receiver and never never looking away; something he’s been known to do.
- Injuries. Sydney Rice, Robert Gallery, Russell Okung, and David Hawthorne are already banged. This team doesn’t have great depth. if a couple of key guys go down and can’t play, things could get ugly in a hurry.
- Frank Gore. The dude is a beast when he’s healthy, and he’s health. If Seattle falls behind early, Gore has the ability to wear down the entire defense and make this game really painful to watch.
- Seattle’s youth and inexperience. With this many young players, mistakes will happen. Can the Seahawks manage to keep the damage caused by those mistakes to a minimum?