By Brady Henderson
Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright broke a bone in his foot during Seattle’s Week-14 loss to San Francisco, the injury occurring sometime before Frank Gore broke free for a 51-yard run that put the 49ers in position for the game-winning field goal.
Frank Gore’s 51-yard run set up the game-winning field goal when Seattle and San Francisco met back in Week 14. (AP)
Were Wright’s absence and the breakdown in Seattle’s run defense related? Danny O’Neil suggested that possibility when asked during the latest edition of “Hawk Talk” about the linebacker’s potential return for the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco.
The full transcript can be found here. Highlights are below.
CTL asked if Wright’s return would help Seattle’s run defense on Sunday or if the Seahawks would be better off sticking with his replacement, Malcolm Smith. Wright has a chance to play after missing the last four games.
O’Neil: Do you think it’s an accident that the last two times K.J. Wright has left a game with injury, the Seahawks have been gashed? It was true against Minnesota in 2012. Wright left the game with a concussion sustained on the Vikings’ first play from scrimmage. Adrian Peterson finished with 182 rushing yards. Wright suffered the broken bone in his foot at San Francisco on Dec. 8, and Gore had the 51-yard run in the fourth quarter that game.
Evil Penguin asked what it is about the 49ers’ running game that has given the Seahawks problems.
O’Neil: The same thing that gives the rest of the league problems. Seattle is very physical, a man-blocking unit that is very well versed and Jim Harbaugh’s run game has been pretty darn revolutionary in the way it creates gaps. And the 49ers can get creative, too. Just look at the trap that gashed Seattle in 2012, Week 7.
destroy_whiners noted that Seattle’s run defense looked shaky during the first half against New Orleans. The Saints had 79 rushing yards on 15 attempts in the first two quarters but only 29 after that.
O’Neil: Red Bryant said after the game he felt that most of New Orleans’ yardage came on a G Stretch play. After consulting Brock, G Stretch is a zone-blocking concept with a pulling guard. Brock did not think Bryant had one of his better games against the Saints.