K.J. Wright: How struggling Seahawks can shake things up vs 49ers
Dec 7, 2023, 4:17 PM | Updated: 4:24 pm
(Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)
The Seattle Seahawks are close to entering uncharted territory.
The Hawks have another matchup with the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers this weekend, and Seattle enters the matchup on a three-game losing streak and losers of four of the last five.
Head coach Pete Carroll took over in 2010, and since then, his Seahawks teams have never lost four games in a row.
That is in danger of happening this Sunday, and a loss would move the Seahawks to 6-7 and slide them even further down the NFC playoff standings.
“It’s just slowly going downhill, unfortunately,” legendary Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright said during his weekly Seattle Sports show on Wednesday. “I know that Coach Carroll is gonna do everything in his power to keep these guys motivated, to keep them excited, to keep him them positive.”
What Wright is going to be looking for on Sunday is how the team reacts to the 49ers making plays and scoring touchdowns,
“They’re gonna have that moment on Sunday where things are going to get bad. The Niners are going to put up some points and are gonna get some sacks,” he said. “My question is what is going to be the vibe of the players on the sideline? Are they going to be like, ‘Ah, here we go again. We’ve got the 49ers, they just blew us out a couple weeks ago and it’s about to come again.’ Or are they going to be like, ‘Hey, let’s go at it. Let’s fight.’ If I had to choose, if K.J. Wright had to choose, I’m going with with point A. And that’s unfortunate. That sad.”
Carroll-led Seahawks teams have often played their best ball at the end of seasons. November was a month to forget with Seattle going just 1-4, and the Hawks’ first December matchup is a rematch with the 49ers, who won in Seattle 31-13 on Thanksgiving.
“We should be ascending in the month of December, the month of January. We should be capturing a lot of momentum going down this stretch of the football season,” Wright said. “But now we’re just like climbing up a muddy hill. It’s like we fell into a hill and we’re literally trying to climb up and it’s wet, it’s muddy, our feet keep slipping, our fingernails are getting dirty. But the million dollar question is, can it be fixed?”
When looking ahead to the rematch with San Francisco, Wright first pointed to the positive, which was Seattle’s offense putting up 35 points against a tough Dallas defense last Thursday.
“What has changed is our offense has some positive momentum,” he said. “They put up points. (Kicker) Jason Myers wasn’t our leading scorer, which I loved. (Quarterback Geno Smith) got the ball out quick, we put up points, we threw the ball up and down the football field. We didn’t punt the ball. That’s a plus. That’s a really big plus.”
Unfortunately, the Seahawks’ defense couldn’t get off the field, surrendering 41 points to the Cowboys for the team’s third loss in a row.
So what needs to change this week to get a win over the 49ers, who are closing in on the No. 1 seed in the NFC?
“You’ve gotta believe and you’ve got to capitalize when the opportunity does present itself. It’s gonna be all about the details, it’ll be all about the small things,” Wright said. “I went and watched the tape when we played the 49ers and when they came in here on Thanksgiving. And when I tell you that (running back) Christian McCaffrey simply made us look (silly). Like, the guy is right there. He’s in the hole, he’s in the backfield … He was actually getting touchdowns and 15-yard plays on what should have been (short gains).”
Wright called McCaffrey “the best running back in the NFL,” but he said the Seahawks have the ability to bring him down better than they did on Thanksgiving.
“He is hard in the open field. But he’s human. He’s a running back,” Wright said. “He’s a guy that you should be able to get down if you play cornerback, linebacker oe defensive end in the NFL.”
Wright also shared how he would scheme Seattle’s defense against a dangerous 49ers offense.
“Let me put my defensive coordinator hat on. If I do decide to go man-to-man, this is what I’m doing,” he said. “First of all, on third downs, I’m gonna go dime (with six defensive backs). What I’m going to do is I’m going to put (safety Julian Love) on (tight end) George Kittle. That’s what I’m going to do. And I’m going to put (safety) Quandre Diggs matched up on Christian McCaffrey somehow. And I’m putting (safety) Jamal Adams in the middle of the field. That’s what I’m doing … The corners, I truly feel good about our corners matching up. I know that Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk are No. 1 wide receivers in the NFL, but you’re gonna have to earn your paycheck this ballgame.”
Listen to the latest K.J. Wright Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story.
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