Huard: Two ways Seahawks’ defense came up short vs 49ers

Jan 16, 2023, 3:24 PM | Updated: Jan 18, 2023, 2:19 pm

Seahawks 49ers Deebo Samuel...

San Francisco WR Deebo Samuel scores a 74-yard touchdown against the Seahawks on Jan. 14, 2023. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The difference in the Seahawks’ playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday clearly came down to defense.

Carroll explains why ‘there’s a distance’ between Seahawks, 49ers

Seattle scored 17 of its 23 points in the second quarter, meaning it was almost entirely shut out by the NFL’s top defense in the three other quarters. San Francisco, meanwhile, picked apart the Seahawks’ D in the second half, outscoring Seattle 25-6 after halftime en route to a 41-23 victory.

Former NFL quarterback and current FOX football analyst Brock Huard pinpointed two ways in which the Seahawks’ defense came up short in their season-ending loss during Monday’s edition of Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports. Here’s a look at what he had to say.

The ‘chess match’

Going up against the vaunted 49ers defense meant the pressure was on the Seahawks’ coaching staff to even the playing field.

In one respect, Seattle succeeded.

“Shane Waldron, I give an ‘A,'” Huard said of the Seahawks offensive coordinator. “… I thought Waldron was right back in some of his form this season where you had two offensive tackles coming in in your three-tight end package, you are motioning, you are mixing different personnel groups, there’s some cool little jet motions. You got back to some of your very effective boot game against a team as fast as San Francisco was defensively. You want to use that speed against them. I thought that their boot game, play-action game was on it. I loved a lot of what Shane Waldron did – took his shots when appropriate.”

Seattle was outmaneuvered on the defensive side of the chess match, though.

“(Safety) Ryan Neal came up to stop that run game – they were going to be committed, they were going to throw all the artillery to stop the run,” Huard said of the Seahawks. “They had seven, eight guys flying at the line of scrimmage, which you had to do. But then it left so many chasms in the play-action game to (49ers wide receivers) Deebo (Samuel) and (Brandon) Aiyuk. And then, you know, (running back Christian) McCaffrey gets out and there’s a 68-yarder – you miss one tackle and he’s gone. So I didn’t see any particularly creative blitzes. I saw a commitment, I saw an aggressiveness, I saw what you had to do just matchup-wise, personnel-wise, but I can’t say that there was any new wholesale chess moves that I was overly impressed with.”

From Denver Sports: Broncos reportedly add Dan Quinn to list of potential head coaches

The stat where the 49ers beat the Seahawks

Next up, Huard identified one issue the 49ers exploited Saturday time and again: the Seahawks’ tackling.

“(San Francisco had) 181 yards after catch – game over. Game over,” Huard said.

A lot of those yards came on Samuel’s 74-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, but not all of them did.

“When they catch the ball, there can’t be enough separation that they’re just running away from you,” Huard said.

You can hear Huard’s full thoughts during the Blue 88 segment from Monday’s show in the podcast below. Blue 88 is a daily segment at 7:45 a.m. on Brock and Salk where Huard answers three football questions from co-host Mike Salk.

Carroll: Where things stand with Seahawks, Geno Smith on a new deal

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford Cal Raleigh...

Brent Stecker

4 Takes: Reaction to Mariners player comments after missing playoffs

The voices of Seattle Sports weigh in on comments made by Seattle Mariners players including J.P. Crawford and Cal Raleigh, as well as manager Scott Servais.

11 hours ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Why did the Seattle Mariners miss the MLB playoffs? Brock and Salk discuss

Why did the Seattle Mariners miss the MLB playoffs? What was the biggest reason there season is now over? Brock Huard and Mike Salk discussed those questions and just what it means for this team heading into the off-season? Where do they go from here? What’s left for this team to do to become a […]

12 hours ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Joe Buck previews the Seattle Seahawks NY Giants MNF game

What will Joe Buck be looking for when he watches the Monday Night Football match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Giants? What does he think will be a key battle in this primetime game? He joined Brock Huard and Mike Salk to talk about that and much more. Who does he think […]

13 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Brent Stecker

Why ESPN’s Joe Buck likes Seahawks in MNF matchup vs Giants

Monday Night Football broadcaster Joe Buck thinks the Seattle Seahawks will continue "to build on what they did a week ago" on Monday night.

14 hours ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Impact of Jamal Adams return to Seahawks

What kind of impact will #Seahawks fans see from Jamal Adams returning on Monday Night? 📲 Catch the full convo @! #gohawks #MNF #jamaladams #seattlesports

4 days ago

Seattle Mariners...

Mike Salk

Ranked: 5 most surprising things from the Mariners’ season

Mike Salk shares his five biggest surprises from the Seattle Mariners' 2023 season, including the dramatic rise of J.P. Crawford.

4 days ago

Huard: Two ways Seahawks’ defense came up short vs 49ers