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Know Your Enemy: Seahawks and 49ers

Know Your Enemy rolls along to complete the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle went 11-5 and advanced to the divisional round in 2019 season under long-time HC Pete Carroll. Despite some turnover, Seattle was still a good team and Russell Wilson always has this team ready to win somehow. OC is Brian Schottenheimer and defense is run by Ken Norton Jr.

Strengths

Passing Game

Russell Wilson just has the it-factor. He wills that team to win and had 106.3 rating with 31 TDs and 5 interceptions for 2019. Tyler Lockett was a 1,057 yard receiver with 8 TDs. DK Metcalf dropped to Round 2 somehow and had a nice rookie season with 900 yard and 8 TDs. Will Dissly was producing at tight end as well before an injury (262 yards and 4 TDs) in 6 games. Add in veteran Greg Olsen to the mix and 4th round pick Colby Parkinson at TE and there are plenty of weapons for Wilson. The key as always will be protection. Wilson doesn’t need it as much as other QBs but it’s better when he gets at least average protection.

Run Game

Chris Carson is the workhorse back with 1,230 yards at 4.4 YPC and 7 TDs. Wilson is a scrambler and can get you 500 yards too. Penny had low carries but 5.7 YPC, 370 yards and 3 TDS. Seattle has a nice combo for 2020.

Linebacker

Bobby Wagner is one of the best MIKE LBs in the game. KJ Wright is a good veteran SAM LB And Seattle took Jordyn Brooks in Round 1 in the 2020 draft. They have a really good LB unit.

Secondary

It isn’t the legion of boom but there is talent on the back-end. Shaq Griffen and Tre Flowers stepped up as young CBs in 2019. Quinton Dunbar was ranked 2nd in PFF added from Washington but he got arrested. That is a big story there. Ugochukwu Amadi is a 4th round pick from 2019 that they will need to count on if Dunbar can’t play. Neiko Thorpe is another young CB but hasn’t been that good and drops on the depth chart. Seattle will need some pass rush to help these young CBS though.

Safety is solid with Quandre Diggs. He was up and down with Detroit but did well after the trade to Seattle last year despite some injury. Bradley McDougald is the veteran but Marquis Blair (2nd round 2019) and Delano Hill (3rd round 2017) offer some depth here.

Weaknesses

Offensive Line

The offensive line is typically a weakness for Seattle but it is a little better than usual. Duane Brown at LT finally solves their long-time LT issues. Ethan Pocic is a solid LG. BJ Finney surpised at center. Cedgric Ogbuehi is trying to salvage being a first round bust and will get a crack at RT for Seattle. Phil Haynes or 3rd round rookie Damien Lewis will battle for the RG spot. Seattle should still be able to run the ball and don’t need to be perfect in protection with Wilson. Unit isn’t strong but won’t hinder Seattle too much.

Defensive Line/Pass Rush

Seattle is really lacking at pass rush. Jadeveon Clowney could re-sign but he is still a free agent due to asking price. 1st round pick in 2019 LJ Collier did not have a good rookie year but Seattle is counting on him to take a big jump. Bruce Irvin is way up there in age but looks to revive his old days in Seattle with pass rush. Jarran Reed is a good DT and Poona Ford will need to take a step up in 2020 at DT. Benson Mayowa is a journeyman veteran DE and Rasheem Green is a 2018 3rd round pick that needs to put it altogether. Seattle does not have a good pass rush and this could hurt them for 2020.

Overall

Seattle hosts the Vikings in Week 5. The 12th man won’t be a factor if there are no fans though. Seattle should beat the Vikings though.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers came up just short in 2020 to Kansas City in the Super Bowl. They were a great team in 2019 under GM John Lynch/assistant GM Martin Mayhew and HC Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers went 13-3 in 2019 and have a very strong roster again. Shanahan calls the plays too and Robert Saleh is a good DC that returns.

Strengths

Run Game

This team just destroyed everyone they faced running the ball. Tevin Coleman (544 yards and 6 TDs) and Rasheen Mostert (772 yards and 8 TDs) should be a great combination. Jerrick McKinnon should finally be healthy too and they traded Matt Breida (623 yards and 1 TD). Mostert wants more money but the 49ers are stacked at running back and run blocking. The run game should be really strong still as long as Shanahan is running his scheme.

Offensive Line

Joe Staley retired which would be a huge blow at LT. However, 49ers traded for Trent Williams which is an upgrade. Williams didn’t play in 2019 but is still a top tier LT. Mike McGlinchey is a very good RT and a great pick in 2018. Laken Tomlinson has been nothing but solid since coming to the 49ers in a trade from Detroit. Weston Richburg is finally staying healthy and living up to his contract at center. Tom Compton is the veteran RG. Justin Skule and Ben Garland are veteran backups. Their offensive line is not flashy but it should be a strong unit.

Defensive Line

The 49ers traded a stud in DeForest Buckner for a 1st round pick. They re-signed Arik Armstead to a big deal and got Javon Kinlaw in Round 1 to replace Buckner.  Nick Bosa is a beast and will only get better in year 2. Dee Ford is a pass rush monster and was a great trade for the 49ers in 2019. Soloman Thomas is a high pick from 2017 but hasn’t lived up to expectation. Last chance for Thomas to shine in 2020. The 49ers are still stacked on the defensive line and will generate considerable pressure again.

LB

Kwon Alexander, Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner is a good LB unit. Alexander had some injuries in 2019 and if he is healthy watch out. Depth is lacking but the starters are good.

Secondary

Richard Sherman is still playing at a high level with the help of that pass rush. Ahkello Witherspon has finally developed into a solid number 2 CB and K’Waun Williams is an underrated nickel. Jimmie Ward re-signed and can play safety or slot. Jarquiski Tartt is a solid safety that continues to grow. Jason Verett is talented but oft-injured as the depth at CB along with Dontae Johnson. The 49ers secondary is helped by the pass rush but still has enough talent to force turnovers and shut down opposing offenses just enough.

Could be Strength/Weakness

Passing Game

Jimmy Garropolo had a good passer rating (102) but came up just short in the Super Bowl and divisional round. He wasn’t asked to do that much due to the running game and he gets dinged for it. The 49ers brass are looking for Jimmy G to avoid turnovers and do just enough to aid the running game. He has two good weapons in Deebo Samuel (802 yards and 3 TDs in 15 games) and stud tight end George Kittle (1,053 yards and 5 TDs in 14 games). Samuel enters year 2 and should continue to develop. Rookie 1st round pick Brandon Aiyuk should be a YAC guy as well with return abilities too. Aiyuk tries to replace Emmanuel Sanders (502 yard and 3 TDs in 10 games). Dante Pettis hasn’t lived up to his 2nd round draft status but will get one more shot. 2019 3rd round pick Jalen Hurd, Kendrick Bourne and vet speedster Travis Benjamin will be the depth replacing speedster Marquis Goodwin. 49ers have some weapons potential but the success will depend on Jimmy G raising his game to the next level.

Overall

The 49ers host the Packers in Week 9. San Francisco killed Green Bay twice last year including in the NFC Championship game. The Packers will want revenge but they must tighten up their run defense if they want any shot at beating the 49ers.