Moore: 8 reasons for hope Seahawks could beat undefeated 49ers
Nov 5, 2019, 1:43 PM
When you look at the Seahawks’ Monday night matchup with San Francisco, the 49ers have the superior team. They’re 8-0 and the Seahawks are 7-2. They also have the home-field advantage, they’re favored by six points and their defense is much better than the Seahawks’.
Seahawks need to make changes on defense, but what should they be?
But the purpose of this post isn’t to tell you what you already know, it’s designed to give you hope. We’ve been focusing so much on the Seahawks’ defensive deficiencies and just assume that Pete Carroll’s team is about to be exposed by the 49ers and the next four opponents with winning records.
I understand that I’m usually the distributor of doom and gloom, but I’m going to pretend I’m Carroll in this post and give you the top eight reasons why the Seahawks can beat the 49ers. Why eight? I couldn’t come up with nine or 10.
• 8) Linebacker Kwon Alexander won’t play. One of the 49ers’ biggest free-agent acquisitions in the offseason tore his pectoral muscle in last Thursday’s 28-25 win over Arizona and is out for the season. It’s a big hit for the 49ers’ defense.
• 7) The 49ers had to fight hard for their three-point win at Arizona while the Seahawks cruised to a 27-10 win over the Cardinals in Glendale. I know you can’t really compare one matchup to another but I’m doing it anyway. Even if you’re not buying it, the 49ers, for an unbeaten team, looked vulnerable against the Cardinals. To those who say they weren’t up to snuff because they were playing on a short week, I would say the Cardinals were playing on a short week too.
• 6) The 49ers are 14th in the league, or middle of the road, in run defense. And the rushing offense is a Seattle strength. If Chris Carson can run for 105 yards against Tampa Bay’s top-ranked run defense, shouldn’t he find some room to operate against a 49ers’ defense that allows 102.9 rushing yards a game and 4.7 yards per carry?
• 5) The Seahawks should have a chip on their shoulder. Surely they’ve heard the chatter this week about their team not being as good as their 7-2 record suggests it is. Questions continue to circulate about their substandard defense. Won’t that cause them to arrive with a we’ll-show-you attitude more than usual? There’s a good chance they’ll want to prove that the haters and doubters are wrong.
• 4) Josh Gordon adds another weapon to Seattle’s already loaded passing game. Maybe it’s too much to ask in his first game here, but Gordon has a chance to be the viable third option Russell Wilson has been missing. We already know how effective Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf can be. With Gordon, Wilson has another play-making target that could prove to be too much of a combo platter for the San Francisco secondary.
• 3) Russell Wilson. Hasn’t he reached Tom Brady status this season? In every game that Brady plays, the Patriots have a great chance to win. I feel the same way about the Seahawks’ chances with Wilson at quarterback, especially this year during an MVP-type season.
• 2) The Seahawks’ habit of playing to the level of their competition. I don’t know if this has necessarily been the case this year since they pretty much were handled by the Saints and Ravens, but typically Carroll’s teams can look bad against bad teams and good against good ones. I chalk this up to Human Nature and expect that to happen again Monday night.
• 1) Carroll is 27-5-1 in prime-time games as Seahawks’ coach. The Seahawks rarely fall flat under the brightest lights. It’s a standard we’ve come to expect. There’s no reason to think that will change in San Francisco.
Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore on Twitter.
More from Jim: Hawks can’t shake kicking issues even with a Pro Bowler