Seahawks’ potential difference-maker vs 49ers: Their big play ability

Nov 11, 2019, 12:38 PM | Updated: 12:46 pm

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett...

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett has a chance to play Sunday. (Getty)


The Seahawks could very likely have a new weapon in their offense when they take on the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football in the form of wide receiver Josh Gordon.

Huard: How Seahawks’ addition of Gordon sent a message to Metcalf

With a muscular build on a 6-foot-3 frame and above-average speed, Gordon could make an immediate impact in his Seattle debut against an undefeated 49ers team that owns the best defense in the league, allowing a league-low 241 yards of total offense per game this season. But don’t count on Gordon jumping right into a starring role for the Seahawks.

“He is definitely a difficult wrinkle to last minute throw into a game plan,” 710 ESPN Seattle’s Paul Gallant said of Gordon on Monday’s edition of Danny and Gallant.

Added Gallant’s co-host, Danny O’Neil: “I think Josh might catch one or two passes. I think he’ll be an afterthought in this game.”

But here’s the thing: With or without Gordon, the Seahawks possess some serious big play ability in their top two receivers, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. And their speed and aptitude for coming up with big catches on long passes from Russell Wilson may be what allows Seattle to beat San Francisco’s tough defense.

“It seems really strange to say that Seattle’s receivers are one of the keys to this game because I never feel that way,” O’Neil said. “I feel that Seattle has great receivers and I feel that they have a quarterback that makes the most of those opportunities. … The ability to have big plays downfield are the potential difference-maker in this game. … If Seattle has the ability to find time to go deep, I think there are questions about the speed at the back end of that (49ers) secondary.”

Those questions about speed could open things up for Lockett, who enters Monday’s game ranked seventh in the NFL with 767 receiving yards, and rookie Metcalf, whose 525 receiving yards are 34th in the league.

“When you have the kind of deep threats that Seattle has – Tyler Lockett is following up on what was an unbelievably productive season a year ago with an even better season, which I didn’t think was possible. And it’s not just the stats or the size of the stats, it’s how effective he is at the opportunities that he gets,” O’Neil said. “He goes downfield, he makes big catches, the average per reception (13 yards) shows you he’s a big play threat who’s incredibly efficient at catching balls that go his way. And then you add Metcalf to it, it’s a big play group. They specialize in going deep, and I think that lines up, if – and it’s a huge if – Russell has time in the pocket, there are huge opportunities downfield.”

Dealing with more than 49ers’ secondary

That big ‘if’ that O’Neil alluded to is San Francisco’s pass rush, which is as important a reason as any for the team leading the NFL in total defense. While Wilson and the Seahawks have the receivers that can get open downfield, they need time in the pocket to throw to those players, and that’s going to be extra tough against the 49ers’ defensive line.

“I don’t think he’s going to have that time (to throw),” Gallant said of Wilson. “I think it’s going to be really difficult for him to get more than three, four seconds (to pass in the pocket). If (San Francisco) had just one elite pass rusher, OK, I feel good. And Nick Bosa’s a young player, maybe you can think of a way to game plan against him. But you also have DeForest Buckner, who’s another former top 10 pick who I think is just as good.”

The advantage the Seahawks may have would be Wilson, who is plenty experienced at making plays under pressure.

“Here’s the one thing I’ll say about Seattle’s offense. Because it’s not a volume passing game, the pass rush won’t disrupt their passing game in the same way it would the Saints or Peyton Manning when he was with the Colts,” O’Neil said. “… The danger is if Seattle gets held to 17, 20 points and really isn’t able to have any big plays, I don’t think they have a defense to make that hold up anymore. But I think Seattle is going to be able to have some big plays down the field. I think that’s going to happen because their offense is not necessarily completely neutralized if Russell can’t get protection because Russell hasn’t had protection I would say for the bulk of his eight seasons in the NFL. He’s used to running for his life, Paul. He’s accustomed to it. This is right in his wheelhouse.”

You can listen to the full segment from Danny and Gallant in this podcast, beginning around the 35:45 mark.

More Seahawks-49ers coverage

Clayton: Seahawks can finally prove how good they are vs 49ers
Pete Carroll shares his keys for Hawks vs the 8-0 49ers
Moore: Why road warrior Seahawks will run to an upset vs 49ers
3 Key Players: 49ers have a weakness that plays into a Seahawks strength
Huard: Seahawks facing ‘scariest’ run game against 49ers

Danny and Gallant

Seahawks Alex Collins...

Brent Stecker

Huard: What do Seahawks do at No. 2 RB with Alex Collins, Rashaad Penny?

Alex Collins was impressive this preseason, but was it enough to earn the job as the Seahawks' backup to Chris Carson over Rashaad Penny?

3 years ago

Seahawks Darrell Taylor...

Paul Gallant

Gallant: 4 takeaways after Seahawks wrap up preseason with win

Paul Gallant takes stock of the Seahawks after they wrapped up the preseason with a 27-0 win over the Chargers on Saturday night.

3 years ago

Seahawks TE Gerald Everett...

Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: Why TE Gerald Everett will be Seahawks’ most impactful offseason addition

When it comes to every new player the Seahawks added this offseason, Michael Bumpus is counting on TE Gerald Everett to stand out the most.

3 years ago

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson...

Paul Gallant

Gallant: Will Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, a pioneer of mobile QBs, adapt into his 30s?

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has been a mobile QB for his whole career, but Paul Gallant hopes he'll consider a few things as he loses a step.

3 years ago

Mariners OF Kyle Lewis...

Brandon Gustafson

Jerry Dipoto Show: His future with the Mariners, Flexen’s consistency, Lewis’ return

Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto joined Danny & Gallant to talk about the playoff race, his future in Seattle, and the close return of a key player.

3 years ago

Seahawks John Reid...

Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: What the addition of John Reid means for Seahawks’ CB room

The Seahawks traded for second-year CB John Reid this week. Michael Bumpus breaks down what that means for Seattle's CB competition.

3 years ago

Seahawks’ potential difference-maker vs 49ers: Their big play ability