Monday, September 16, 2013

Takeaways: Seahawks Beat the Niners

By Jackson Safon

That my friends, was a good old fashioned butt-whooping. The Seahawks not only beat their archrival, the San Francisco 49ers, but they beat them handily. Now over the previous two games against the Niners, the Seahawks have outscored them 71-16. I had the privilege of going to this game (Shout out to Zack Packer and his family for taking me) and I can tell you firsthand that it was every bit as loud as it seemed. The noise was so deafening that when you walked from the concourse into the actual seating area the noise hit you like a wall. It literally slowed me down. I truly believe the 12th man is one of, if not the most impressive and helpful home field advantage in all of sports today. I can also say that I am now a proud, world record holder as the members of Century Link Field broke the record for loudest stadium ever early in the third quarter. Well done 12’s, well done. All of that being said, after every game there are positives and negatives, so as always, I will help try and determine what is important to take from our most recent game.

It was a wet and sloppy game, but the Seahawks pulled out the win in the end.

1. This defense is going to be legendary
In Cliff Avril’s first game as a Seahawks, he played great, getting consistent pressure on Kaepernick, and recording a sack-fumble. Michael Bennett and K.J. Wright recorded sacks as well, and the defensive line was consistently getting in the backfield and making Kaepernick uncomfortable. In addition to the sacks, the Hawks defense had three interceptions (all three healthy members of the Legion of Boom had one) and two forced fumbles. The Hawks defense has allowed 10 points total so far this year, to two pretty strong offenses with dynamic young quarterbacks. Plus, this is all without Bruce Irvin, Chris Clemons, and Brandon Browner. Once those three rejoin the defensive unit, I don’t know how anyone will be able to score on the Hawks. This defense is already the best in the NFL today, and when fully healthy, I could see this unit being one of the best all-time.

2. Beastmode is fine
Marshawn Lynch silenced all concerns about the running game following the week one struggle against the Panthers, as he ran for 98 yards and two touchdowns against one of the leagues better front seven’s in the 49ers. Granted, it took him 28 carries to reach the 98 yards, but he still ran the ball pretty effectively, and this success is what allowed Russell Wilson to be much more successful later in the game. Although the loss of Michael Robinson will hurt a bit, I think it is clear that we don’t have to worry too much about the running game.

Marshawn Lynch has destroyed the 49ers the last four times he has faced them.
Steven Bisig - USA Today Sports

3. Offensive line play continues to be questionable
The offensive line was shaky once again, leading to four sacks on Russell Wilson and constant pressure in his face as well. I believe this is one of the reasons that the passing game and offense as a whole got off to a slow start, which is something that needs to be fixed if this team is going to win a championship. Additionally, Russell Okung was forced to leave the game because of a turf toe injury. This will hurt the offensive line even more. However, it will be a good chance for guys like Paul McQuistan and Alvin Bailey to prove that they belong in this league. The offensive line play must improve if the Seahawks offense and specifically the Seahawks passing game is going to perform at the elite level we all expect.

Paul McQuistan will have to step up in the absence of Russell Okung.

4. Are we the best team in the NFL?
I know it is only week two, but the past two times the Seahawks have played the defending NFC champions, they have outscored them by a combined 55 points. Furthermore, if you matchup the ‘Hawks against any of the NFC’s best teams such as the Packers, Saints, or Falcons, I would expect the ‘Hawks to win all of those games and I don’t think they would be all that close. Obviously, the ‘Hawks had to squeak by the Packers last season in the famous “Fail Mary” game, and we lost to the Falcons in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, but I think that by the time the playoffs roll around this year, we will be able to beat them handily. Think about it. Not only do we get back the three defensive starters I mentioned earlier, but potentially as soon as week 7 we can get PERCY HARVIN back. I am not sure if you realize how big of a help that will be to the offense, but I can assure you, his dynamic ability will change the offense completely. The Hawks are the best team in the NFC in my mind, which would leave teams in the AFC that we would have to match up against in the Super Bowl. With the Patriots and Texans at 2-0 by very slim margins, and the Ravens struggling to beat the Browns this week, it would seem that the Broncos are the logical team to make it out of the AFC. This would be a very intriguing matchup and one that I think would make for a much closer game than any team the Seahawks played in the NFC. Could we beat the Broncos in a game? Sure. But are we better than them right now? I can’t say for sure if that is true or not. In other words, I am avoiding the question that I myself posed. But what I can say is that the Seahawks are one of the two best teams in the entire NFL, and should only get better as the season goes on.

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