The Seahawks will face a three-pronged running attack tonight, while the Niners really just have to worry about one player. No one said life is fair.
The Seahawks will have their hands full tonight against the 49ers. A lot of the focus will be on the Hawks offense versus the Niners defense. In particular, Russell Wilson needs to have another great game, just as he has all year. Chris Carson has to be at his best as well. On defense, Seattle has to control San Francisco’s dangerous running attack. The fact that they have three equally talented backs will make the task that much more difficult.
It all starts with third-year back Matt Breida. He slipped through the 2017 draft, much like he slips through opposing defensive lines. At 5’10” and 190 pounds, he’s on the small side, but he is most definitely not on the slow side. His 40 time is 4.44, and he’s topped 22 mph more than once. That’s fast, folks. Dangerously fast. He’s one of the best in the league at breaking long runs, ranking seventh overall. Breida is dangerous as a receiver, too. He’s caught 14 of his 16 targets this year. Combined with 2018, Breida has an excellent catch rate of 87 percent for three scores. He’s trouble with a capital T.
The Seahawks won’t catch a break when Tevin Coleman takes his turns, either. He’s bigger than Breida but has the same 40-yard time. Coleman isn’t as shifty, but he basically needs just one cut and he’s gone. If he has a defender in his way, he’s likely to run right over them. He may be averaging 4.3 yards per carry versus Breida’s 5.3 yards, but he’s the scoring machine for the Niners. Coleman leads the team in scoring with five touchdowns. He’s beasty, if that’s a word.
The third back the Seahawks need to track is Raheem Mostert. He bounced around the league in 2015 between three teams, then another in 2016 before he found a home in San Fransisco. He didn’t really get a chance to show what he could do until 2018. His 7.7 yard average on 34 carries opened more than a few eyes. So far this season he has 55 carries for 307 yards and one score. At 5’10” and 197, he fits squarely between the Niner’s first two backs.
The trio has run the ball 237 times for 1,186 yards and seven touchdowns. Add 28 catches for three more scores, and you get a picture of just how dangerous this unit is. Luckily for the Seahawks, their fourth back – yes, they have a fourth man in their rotation – is inactive tonight. Second-year player Jeff Wilson only has 25 carries, but he has four touchdowns. At least that’s one guy the Hawks won’t have to worry about tonight.