Clayton: Why it looks like Seahawks found themselves in win over 49ers

Oct 4, 2021, 3:41 PM
Seahawks Pete Carroll Russell Wilson...
Russell Wilson celebrates with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll after a touchdown against the 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Pete Carroll kept saying last week that in Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks would find themselves.

Though it took until the middle of the second quarter, they did find themselves and saved the early part of the season.

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It sure looked bad at the beginning of the game. The offense started with five three-and-outs. The defense couldn’t stop anything. At one point in the second quarter, the Seahawks had negative yardage and the defense had allowed close to 200 yards.

But the defense rebounded and Russell Wilson stepped up big time to fix the offense. The big thing Wilson did was go to offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and say to go more up tempo. It worked. Wilson moved around more and he had the ability to call more audibles when needed. And even though there was one incidence in which he called for an audible and received a delay of game, there shouldn’t have been a penalty. Carroll was calling for a timeout but the officials didn’t look to see him.

The Seahawks were good once things got fixed on offense. They came back from a 7-0 deficit, scoring a touchdown in the second quarter and three more in the second half. They had the balance Carroll wanted on offense, running 28 times and dropping back to pass 26 times. Sure the stats looked one-sided, but Carroll doesn’t care about the stats early in the second quarter. He wants the win.

The 49ers had 457 yards on offense. The Seahawks had just 234, but they scored 28 points.

Wilson ended up being sharp after the five three-and-outs. He threw 16 of 23 for 149 yards and two touchdowns. One of things that was also impressive was his running. It’s been said around town that Wilson has lost his speed. That’s not the case. His 16-yard touchdown run was a beauty and showed he still has the speed. He ended up with four rushes for 26 yards and a touchdown.

I’ve been saying since the middle of training camp that Alex Collins should be Seattle’s backup running back. That’s why it surprised me they made him inactive for the opener and went different directions after Rashaad Penny got hurt. Penny is now on injured reserve so he’s out at least three weeks.

Collins was huge on Sunday. He had 10 carries for 44 yards and two catches for 34 yards. That should secure him the backup job.

On defense, the Seahawks were able to get pressure on the quarterback in the second half. It helped that 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo couldn’t play in the second half because of a calf injury. You can see San Francisco rookie Trey Lance is talented but has a lot to learn. He completed 9 of 19 passes and was sacked twice. Of his 157 passing yards, 76 came on a play Seahawks cornerback Sidney Jones didn’t get over in time to keep Deebo Samuel from a long, uncovered touchdown.

There is still much more to work on for the Seahawks’ defense, though. Stopping the run remains an issue. Seattle gave up 143 yards to a team that was down four running backs. And the Seahawks still have to decide if Jones is the right choice to replace Tre Flowers as a starting CB.

A big plus was the improved coverage of safety Jamal Adams. He made two big hits that broke up completions and was close to those he tried to cover on the pass.

Overall, it was a great win that kept the Seahawks in the race.

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