Seahawks Insider

Morning links: 5 keys to Hawks vs. Niners

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:26 am with 47 Comments »
September 15, 2013 9:26 am
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, looks to pass as Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch, second from left, moves past him in the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, looks to pass as Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch, second from left, moves past him in the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Good morning. Thunderstorms and rain are expected at CenturyLink for tonight’s big game between San Francisco and Seattle – perfect for this much-anticipated, heavyweight matchup.

So let’s get into it. Here are five keys for the Seahawks if they want to get off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2006. Seattle has won nine of its 10 home openers since 2003.

Pete Carroll’s teams also have played well in prim-time games. During his tenure in Seattle, the Seahawks have posted a 5-1 record in nationally televised games during the regular season.

First team to 100 rushing yards win: San Francisco dominated the line of scrimmage in the first matchup in 2012, running for a 175 yards in a 13-6 win over the Seahawks. In Seattle later in the year, the Seahawks ran for 176 yards in a 42-13 throttling of the 49ers late in the year. Both teams want to set the tone by running the ball and owning the line of scrimmage. The first team to establish the run likely wins this one.

Don’t let Boldin and Davis beat you: Anquan Boldin finished with 13 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown in his San Francisco debut. Vernon Davis was the second leading receiver last week, totaling six receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. The Seahawks will play more man and press coverage, which will be different from the zone looks Green Bay showed the 49ers last week. The Seahawks will try and take Boldin and Davis away, and make guys like Kyle Williams, Marlon Moore and Vance McDonald beat them.

Special teams must be special: The battle of hidden yardage, special teams, will be important today. Punter Jon Ryan has been impressive so far in helping Seattle control field position, with a 47-yard, net punting average against Carolina. And Golden Tate is giving the Seahawks a first down on punt returns every time he touches the ball. Coverage guys like Heath Farwell, Chris Maragos and Byron Maxwell need to make good, open-field tackles and stay penalty free so the Seahawks can control field position.

Take care of the football: It’s a given, but the team that wins the turnover battle has a good chance to win the game. Since 2010, the Seahawks are 18-3 when they win the turnover battle. Enough said.

Take some shots: The Seahawks need to test rookie safety Eric Reid and take some shots down the middle of the field. The LSU product played well against Green Bay. But if Seattle gets the ground game going, Reid could be susceptible to sucking up for the play action fake, giving Russell Wilson a chance to go over the top down the middle of the field. However offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell dials it up, the Seahawks need to create some chunk plays in the passing game to make it easier for Seattle’s offense to score against a talented San Francisco defense.

Dave Boling of The News Tribune breaks down the game here. He likes the Seahawks 24-21.

Here’s my story on Russell Wilson, who usually plays big in big games. Wilson has six, fourth-quarter comebacks in 19 career games as a pro.

Check out Doug Baldwin’s latest Fresh Files in the video below.

Clare Farnsworth of offers some matchup to watch here.

Jim Moore of 710 ESPN Seattle gives us 10 reasons why he’s picking the Seahawks to win today.

ESPN’s John Clayton writes that stopping Vernon Davis will be the key for Seattle.

Larry Stone of The Seattle Times writes that all eyes in the NFL will be on the heavyweight matchup between Seattle and San Francisco.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes that Jim Harbaugh has a chance to get birthday revenge. The Seahawks defeated San Francisco on Harbaugh’s birthday, Dec. 23, last year. Now Harbaugh has a chance to return the favor on Pete Carroll’s birthday, which is today.

Matt Maiocco of says the No. 1 matchup to watch is Russell Wilson against San Francisco rookie Eric Reid.

Longtime college football coach and Lakes High graduate Mike Dunbar passed on Saturday. He was 64 years old.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 47
  1. The running games are going to be very interesting today – beast mode will hopefully wear them down today!!!

  2. All the Fox tv guys (Bradshaw & co.) picked SF over Seattle.

  3. The lack of talk about this game on NFL Gameday Morning was baffling, and yet I’m not surprised. I have a bad feeling though, I honestly fear that the 9ers are going to whoop our asses, the O-line issues last week were not encouraging..

  4. JacDG–Watch out man, say anything less than super-positive about the Hawks and prepare to be attacked and ridiculed by drunken homer bloggers…

    I have little faith in our offensive lines ability to do much vs the niners front 7, and am very worried about how our banged up D line will fare against the best O-line in football. I am excited to see what Quinn dials up to get pressure on Kap, and to see RW do his thang…

    Go Hawks!

  5. sluggo42 says:

    JacDC –

    No soup for you!

  6. Hey Eric–enjoy covering your last game in the Clink for a while! Congrats on the new gig and soak in the Football Frenzy that is Seahawks Football one more time! Good Luck and thanks for the great work!

  7. Hahah, I’m just cautious that’s all. The Panthers defense was a good test, and I expected the outcome we saw last week, struggling but getting the W, I expect to see some improvement, and I expect this to be a close game, but I’m not feeling good about it, the team is missing some good players which is why I fear a potential whooping.

    The saving grace is that it’s at home, where Wilson and the rest of the guys usually perform better than in any other situation, especially early games on the east coast, which I hope caused some of the problems we saw last week.

  8. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    Here’s to hoping that Pete was exaggerating the extent of Brandon Browner’s injury, and that Brandon will play today. WTIII is good, but he can’t press like Browner. When is the soonest we’ll have a definitive answer on Browner’s injury status?

  9. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I like our chances in this one but if we lose it’s not the end of the world.
    Like Duke said earlier, It’s not a must game.

    Super Bowl contenders win big games on the road, and on the road in the playoffs, like Baltimore and San Francisco did last year.

  10. Mr Williams,
    Your Chargers have been playing great until they get inside the Eagle’s 10 yard line then they turn over the ball(?) Sure been great reading your blog and getting great feedback from you. But I understand ESPN doesn’t furlough their writers…

  11. Seems like there should be a way for fans to ‘help’ the referees make correct calls. Hand out one penalty flag to each fan at the gate and allow them to throw it if the refs make an egregous call or miss one. If the refs get showered with flags they are to go under the hood and review the play while the flags are being collected. Every play is subject to fan challenge, but fans only get one flag.

  12. wabubba67 says:

    I would hope that Golden Tate “gives the Seahawks a first down on punt returns every time he touches the ball.”

    Otherwise, he would be giving the 49ers a first down.

  13. I feel like we are going to split with the Niners again this year but in reverse. We each win on the other’s home field.

  14. I expect the Hawks to win this game. I think it’ll be close for almost 3 quarters and then for the Hawks to win by double digits. I have quite a bit of faith in these guys.

  15. I am way more worried about Davis rather than Boldin. We usually cover well on the outside, but continue to have real difficulty covering good TE’s and slot receivers.

  16. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    For all the hand wringing about the lack of production in the run game last weekend, this is the same Hawks O line versus the same SF D line and front 7 as last year. These units are both rather familiar with one another.

    I think the better assumption is that the the O line’s performance will be about the same against SF’s D as the past two seasons. Which is good enough to win and move the ball on the ground.

  17. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Agree SeventiesHawksFan.

    It’s typical for teams in week one of a season to have a less then average performance rushing. The average rushing for all teams this season in week one was 93 yards.

    I think fans that look at the big picture understands that. The ones that hang out in the woods don’t.

    BTW- I think that none of the Seahawks players suspended for Peds will be playing in this game. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  18. I just want them to make Crapernick look silly tonight & for Beast Mode to run roughshod over their vaunted she-fence. (see what I did there?) I wish we had Irvin, Clem & BB though. For all of you that are gonna be there I’m jealous but make em feel it! GO HAWKS!

  19. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Im in vegas, proudly walking around in my seahawk tshirt. 49er fans have been giving me crap all day, F them cocky sob’s..Watching the game at the Flamingo.

  20. GeorgiaHawk says:

    BobbyK’s man Moreno scores!

  21. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Cool MikeFromNewJersey, I wish I was there. And don’t let them give you any crap!
    And watch out, they may be undercover police officers. Lol.

  22. He may not be a star but he’s a bit better than Aaron Curry.

  23. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Playing with Peyton can elevate others to star status.

  24. jawpeace says:

    Ive been waiting all day for Sunday night…. Today is dragging on as time seems to be winding like a Dan Mcguire pass attempt.

  25. GeorgiaHawk says:

    OK, I looked it up. (hard thing to do during happy hour) And if Browner doesn’t play,(and I hope he does) There will be no Seahawks players playing tonight that were suspended for peds.

    In fact there are only two players left on this team that was suspended for peds. Browner and Irvin.

    “During Carroll’s tenure, Seattle players Vai Taua, John Moffitt, Allen Barbre, Winston Guy, Brandon Browner and Bruce Irvin all ran afoul of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs and were suspended for four games.”

  26. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    Btw what this game is REALLY all about and the reason for all the hype and wondering and anticipation and drama is not really NFC West or home field adantage for a Super Bowl run. Both teams are good enough to win on the road in the playoffs. And barring one team not losing another game this season both will be more than able to overcome a loss this game.

    This game is about the 42 part of the score of the last game. Which goes to the very heart of SF’s identity and foundation as a team. It meant that we know how to dismantle them. And like no one else can. Other than maybe Jimmy’s bro.

    A late game pull away and win going away will mean essentially the same thing. In that sense SF has WAY more to lose here. But not really. The Seahawks need just as much to assert that that’s who they are now. Which is why this game is just so damn interesting. It absolutely has that defining game potential and possibility on such a visceral and emotional and passing the torch level.

    The players on both sides clearly can sense it. The coaches undoubtedly know it. And all of us so tuned in can feel it too.

  27. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “You don’t have to be a star, Moreno , to be in Peytons show”
    “You don’t have to be a star, Moreno, to be in Peytons show”

    “Somebody BobbyK knows has steeled the show”
    “From Moreno this year”
    “Don’t stop your running around cause now you’ve found”
    “What was cloudy is clear, Peyton Manning”

    “There’ll be no cheering from this crowd”
    “Just Bobbyk’s heart beating out loud”
    “There’ll be no parades, no tv or stage”
    “Only BobbyK till your dying day”

    “You don’t have to be a star, Moreno, to be in Peyton’s show”
    “You don’t have to be a star, Moreno, to be in Peyton’s show”

  28. Browner just tweeted…sounds like he is inactive.

    BB: Lord knows I did everything in my power to get ready, slept with machines to my leg. I do know the team is ready tho #bestndawest

  29. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Im not taking any crap from any niner fan here. I told 3 of them off already. They are acting like they have the best team of all time… Im giving it to them pretty good.

  30. GeorgiaHawk says:

    So now it’s official, can’t blame this loss 49er fans on Peds.

  31. Georgia – Why are you such an asshole?

  32. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Give them Hell! MikeFromNewJersey. Especially after we beat them down again.

  33. GeorgiaHawk says:

    BobbyK- I was only having fun. Gee It wasn’t meant for you to get pissed off at.
    Just playing. Please don’t take that serious. I’ve been smacked around enough here myself.

    And I’ve been wrong too many times to remember.

    No harm intended. It’s just like an older brother giving his younger brother a wedgee.

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I only have one question to most of the bloggers here. Why in the hell is there only 23 comments (not counting mine) on this thread before one of the biggest games of the year?

    Are you afraid like some that we will lose? Where the hell is the spirit here?
    Get the F out from under the covers and root our team on! I can’t believe this lack of passion here.

  35. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    Just the quiet before the battle and moment Georgia. It’s a good thing. No one is lacking in anything. Century Link is about to erupt right on schedule and as planned. And this is a team built for that sort of thing. Carefully crafted for it. And I think ready. Enjoy the game.

  36. Christine Michael is inactive?

  37. Bobby’s–It’s best to ignore Trolls, especially drunk ones.

  38. DanielleMND says:

    I’m worried about this game. A struggling O-line and a banged up D-line is not what I wanted to go into this game with against SF’s lines.

  39. Hey Georgia – figure everything’s been said at this point! Nothing more to add. Enjoy the game everyone. Go Hawks!

  40. MoSeahawk12 says:

    It rained last year and the team kicked 9er ass. Maybe the rain is our good luck charm.

  41. GeorgiaHawk says:

    DanielleMND- Don’t worry too much, We have Wilson and the 12th man. We have the best secondary in the NFL, and a very good group of WRs. We have two Pro Bowl players on the O line and a lot of depth on the D line.
    We have an upcoming Middle LB and good players around him. And we have yet to unleash the beast.

    And if all else fails we have Wilson and the 12th man.

    Oh, and we have one of the best special teams in the NFL.

  42. DanielleMND–I hear you. I’ve got the same worries. Here’s hoping the line begins to click, and the D-line can hang tough.

    Homefield advantage is huge though! 12th man will be in full force!

  43. freedom_X says:

    The rain could help. Kapernick doesn’t have a lot of experience playing or practicing in rain. Bad conditions could clamp down on the passing game, making the 49ers more one-dimensional. Presumably Seattle is more used to such conditions. (Though, wasn’t last year’s Patriots-49ers contest in heavy rain?)

  44. GeorgiaHawk says:

    The Seahawks are the best

  45. GeorgiaHawk says:

    They are the best!!!

  46. GeorgiaHawk says:

    What are you going to bitch about now STTBM?

  47. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I don’t want to hear any bitching from you for awhile STTBM. Just shut your pie hole for a while and let us true Seahawk fans enjoy this beat down.

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