Seahawks vs. 49ers: How Seattle should win on Sunday

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 14: Wide receiver Paul Richardson (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 14: Wide receiver Paul Richardson (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks have to win on Sunday, right? Seattle plays their first home game of 2017. Their opponent, the San Francisco 49ers, are not good. This is a must-win game for the Seattle.

“Must-win?! What?” I hear you. But think about this. The Seahawks already have one loss. After playing the 49ers on Sunday, Seattle plays in Nashville against a decent Titans team. In week four, the Seahawks play back in Seattle against the Colts. There are two games Seattle has to win among the first four. And those games are not against the Packers and Titans.

Just think if Seattle lost to the 49ers in week two. The team could easily start off 0-3. Then what are we 12s discussing? Coaching changes? The future doom of the franchise? We fans easily overreact the most everything. And that is OK. That is what we do. We have the right to overreact.

But losing to the 49ers? That would simply be unacceptable. The 49ers have a bad quarterback. (Sorry, Brian Hoyer. You are better than I am. But from NFL standards, you’re no good.) They have no real running game. The Carolina Panthers, who the 49ers lost to in week one, are good defensively. But the 49ers offensive statistics were awful.

San Francisco was 2-11 on third down. The team gained 211 yards of total offense. Hoyer’s quarterback rating was 70.3. The 49ers gave up four sacks. And now, in theory, the 49ers take on a better defense in the Seahawks.

As I said, losing to the 49ers would be unacceptable for the Seahawks. That said, here is how they win in week two.

On my mark, unleash hell…

Remember when the Seahawks used to be young and hungry and wanted to inflict pain? They still mostly are that way. But they don’t seem to play without a complete lack of fear anymore. Maybe it’s the money some players earn. Possibly other teams have figured out how to play against Seattle’s defense better.

How does Seattle fix this offensively? By doing what Seattle does when they are playing their best. Be unpredictable. Use Russell Wilson in read option. Have Tyler Lockett run jet sweeps. Hey, I am not the offensive coordinator. But Darrell Bevell should put on his “I have gone crazy!” hat and let it go. Also, as I wrote on Friday, embrace the no-huddle offense.

Bring the pain

Earl Thomas was flying around being Thomas against the Packers. He looked great. But Kam Chancellor was not his normal hard-hitting self. Chancellor needs to be aggressive against the 49ers. Let the single coverage be and be the enforcer at the line. Intimidate, which is what the Seahawks do better than anyone else defensively.

And Kris Richard should not be afraid to blitz. He doesn’t need to do it often, just enough to put it in the mind of Kyle Shanahan. Teams expect Seattle to play mostly straight up because Seattle’s talent defensively is good enough to do that and win.

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But remember the last meaningless play of preseason game one when the Chargers went for a touchdown with 10 seconds left and down 31 points? What did Richard do? He sent two cornerbacks on a blitz and blew up the play causing the Chargers quarterback to fumble. This was a fantastic play because it showed the Seahawks had no mercy.

This is the kind of play Seattle needs to have in week two and beyond. Show no mercy. Bring the pain.