Seahawks versus 49ers: 3 players that need to step up for Seattle

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 01: Thomas Rawls (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 01: Thomas Rawls (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks started off their 2017 season with a loss to the Green Bay Packers. In 2015 Seattle began with two straight losses so there is no reason to panic; Seattle still made the playoffs that season. There will be panic, though, if the Seahawks do not beat the lowly San Francisco 49ers.

The Seattle Seahawks want to make the Super Bowl. This is not an unrealistic hope for a team as talented as Seattle. Execution, of course, is the key to making a deep playoff run. Take the offensive line in week one, execution was…um…terrible.

But let’s put that unit aside for now. 12s all know that the Seahawks have to block better. Otherwise, even making the playoffs cannot be assumed.

The 49ers are not a good team in 2017. Seattle needs to defeat them decidedly. To do this, the Seahawks need these three players to play well.

Thomas Rawls

There is no mystery that the Seahawks struggled with doing anything offensively against the Packers. Except for Chris Carson (and even he was limited in what he could do), Seattle’s running backs were not good. Maybe this was the blocking. Could be that the Seahawks running backs are simply not good enough to overcome even mediocre offensive line performance.

This is where Rawls comes in. At his best, Rawls brings an energy and quickness that no other Seattle back has. Carson is good at power and making one cut. Prosise is versatile. No one knows yet what Lacy could do as a Seahawk. Rawls, however, has had past success. And success that has broken records. Like last year in the  playoffs against the Detroit Lions when Rawls ran for 161 yards. That was a Seattle record for rushing yards in a playoff game.

Rawls’ issue is that he has been injured so much. Coach Pete Carroll says the running back is “full go” against the 49ers. Rawls should start. He can once again prove his importance to Seattle with an excellent game.

Tyler Lockett

Lockett almost made a game-changing catch on a fly route against the Packers. Due to quarterback Russell Wilson having a Packers defensive lineman in his face, though, Lockett was overthrown. The receiver can impact a game in ways other Seahawks cannot. Lockett can return kicks and make great catches on deep routes. Even the play where he broke his leg against the Arizona Cardinals in 2016 he caught the ball. It was incredible.

Seattle needs to get Lockett more involved. He scored on a jet sweep against the Carolina Panthers last year, for instance. Lockett has huge explosive play ability. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell should use him often and be creative. Lockett can make the Seahawks offensive so much more dynamic. If only he is used correctly and enough…

Sheldon Richardson

Richardson was not bad against the Packers. But that was his first game with the Seahawks. Now the former All Pro defensive tackle has a game’s experience playing alongside fellow Seattle lineman. He knows better what other players want to do.

Richardson was brought in for one reason: to be a disruptive interior force. At his best, he makes the Seahawks defense special. He has a one-year deal really to play in Seattle. He can earn a lot of money in the future if he has a good year. Richardson has a big chance to be special against the poor 49ers on Sunday.  He can bring the tenacity Seattle clearly loves.

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Do this on Sunday, and week one is a distant memory. Week two is just another step towards Richardson making the Seahawks defense dominant again.