Seahawks versus 49ers
The big question mark regarding the 49ers is who is going to be at QB. They have given up an awful lot of draft capital to move up to the 3 slot in the draft, which surely means they have a QB in mind, which one they pick is therefore a critical decision for that franchise.
Not only for this season, but for the next five years and beyond. If you are going to spend that much capital, you want a long-term return on that investment. Whoever they pick, it must mean Jimmy Garoppolo is on borrowed time as the 49ers starter. I will refer to this further as we go through the 49ers roster.
What are the 49ers strengths?
- The offensive line, notably the tackles
- Defensive line
- Multi-faceted running game
- Receivers, particularly George Kittle.
And the weaknesses
- Jimmy Garoppolo
If we are looking at how the Seahawks can limit the 49ers strengths on offense, then scheming to take Kittle away as a weapon will be key. By doing so you force either Jimmy G or a rookie QB to look for the less experienced wide receivers, which means the ‘Hawks corners need to sep up in these games.
The ‘Hawks defensive ends and linebackers will also need to use their experience to correctly diagnose the variety of running plays/short passes to backs that the 49ers will deploy. Wagner, Hyder, Dunlap and Smith have the requisite experience to do just so.
Limiting the TE/RB options available to the 49ers offense then makes it a straight head-to-head between the 49ers WRs and the Seahawks secondary, which will then be the key battles to win in these games.
The 49ers also have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, so again Russell Wilson will need to use his feet to keep plays alive long enough to find his receivers. Key Seahawks against the 49ers will be Russell Wilson, Ahkello Witherspoon, Kerry Hyder, Bobby Wagner and Carlos Dunlap.
Given the matchups, and the fact that the Seahawks win both games against the 49’ers last season, I would be optimistic of getting at least a split of the two games in 2021.
In summary, taking a game of each of the Rams and 49ers and winning both games against Arizona will secure a 4-2 or even 5-1 divisional record for the Seahawks, which would make them well placed to retain their divisional title.