2023 NFC Wildcard: San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks

Ahhhhh yes!! The NFL playoffs are upon us and the first matchup has two divisional foes that can’t stand one another. The 49ers are coming in hot having won 10 straight including a 21-13 win in Seattle just a month ago. The 49ers bring the NFL’s #1 ranked defense which plays at a blinding pace. Everywhere you look there is speed and Seattle has to establish Kenneth Walker early in this game and match the 49ers intensity & emotion in the first quarter.

However when you think back to the 1st game between these two, Walker and Rashad Penny combined for 25 yards on 10 carries. Which puts the ball sqarely on Taylor Blitz Times comeback player of the year Geno Smith. However a closer look shows how much the team has slowed after a torrid start.

In the 1st 10 games, Seattle scored over 27 points 5 times while only twice in the last 7. They haven’t scored 27 in any of the last 5.

Smith went 399 of 572 for 4,282 yards 30TDs and 11 ints. Do you realize 7 of the picks thrown were in the last 7 games as well? Two came in the finale against the Rams to even make it into the postseason.

Geno isn’t the most fleet of foot for an NFL QB and he will be hounded all day by a DE who is in Nick Bosa. Yes Mr 18 1/2 sacks coming out of his sprinter’s stance could be a step slower with today’s rain but will be a serious factor in determining today’s outcome.

Nick will chase Geno Smith all day today.

Seattle can’t overload to stop Bosa as fellow All Pros Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga will come on timely blitzes. Hufanga sacked Smith and forced a fumble the last time these teams played. He will be near the line of scrimmage to stop Walker and the running game and will be there to shut the door if Smith tries to scramble.

Offensively the 49ers need to stay aggressive in the running game and run “Power” and get away from bubble screens which can backfire with a wet football. These are needed to keep Seattle away from rookie QB Brock Purdy and dictate tempo and play with a lead.

With McCaffrey playing his first playoff game, he will be featured heavily today. A long time Taylor Blitz Times favorite should have 100 yards and 2 TDs today. With Kittle and Deebo Samuel as quick pass options and available for jet sweeps.

Misdirection plays will have a chance to break open today. Especially toward the end of a long drive. We know Coach Shanahan will stay patient and continue even with moderate success early. Its 3, 5, 5, 4 and boom 25 yards and a TD.

Seattle could get knocked out of this game early. They have to steal possessions with early turnovers to neutralize the crowd and gain strategic control of this football game.

Geno Smith can make plays to keep you in a football game but not the great play needed to win an important game.

San Francisco should roll today on a wet field 34-20. This is with Seattle scoring late to make it look closer.

Thanks for reading and please share the article.

 

 

 

2019 NFC Championship Preview: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers

There is a tremendous amount of shared history between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. Of course there is a tremendous amount of history dating back to the Bill Walsh coaching tree bearing fruit with Mike Holmgren heading to win in Lambeau to Steve Mariucci leaving Green Bay and coahing by the bay. Well this generation has Packers Head Coach Matt Lafleur having coached with Kyle Shanahan over the last 8 years.

Both Coaches are making their 1st appearance in a championship game and there are several questions:

  • Which coach will abandon the run first?
  • Which coach has self scouted their tendencies and know when and how to break them?

All year long the 49ers have boasted one of if not the best front 7 in all of football. With the return of Kwon Alexander, last week San Fran returned to the emotion & speed they played with earlier in the season.

Dee Ford has come back from injury and with NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa (9 sacks) and Arik Armstead (10 sacks) have their complete package of pass rushers to get after Aaron Rodgers.

The unsung hero on the defense this year in The Chancellor’s eyes is Fred Warner. He’s made several splash plays this year (118 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 int & 3 forced fumbles) has become the Novorro Bowman of this incarnation of a Niner championship defense. Warner & Alexander will eat up the intermediate throws if the Packers can’t establish the run. Which is the key to this game…

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Jones runs during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

The Packers have to take the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hand and feed Aaron Jones. They can’t get impatient and sit in shotgun and throw the football 30 plus times or they’re traveling back to Lambeau a loser. Surprisingly this is a weakness on an otherwise rugged #2 ranked defense. San Fran ranks 17th against the run but will LaFleur stay with it long enough??

In the last 5 games Green Bay has rushed the football more than 30 times, including 3 in the last 5 games. Even in last week’s playoff game when the run didn’t produce splash plays, they kept feeding Jones the football. His 21 carries for 62 yards allowed them to keep the ball out of Russell Wilson’s hands just enough in a 28-23 win. However on the road it’s real easy for a young coach to try to show his genius and throw the football more than he should.

The problem is the 3 headed monster in San Francisco with Tevin Coleman (544 yds) Raheem Mostert (772 yds) & Matt Breida (623 yds) has shown the penchaant to stay with the run. Last week they ran it 43 times and wore Minnesota down. Green Bay is 18th in defense 23rd against the run and tied for 24th allowing 4.7 yards per carry.

To win this game Green Bay needs to force several turnovers to steal the momentum. One of the problems is they haven’t forced any opponent with a winning record into just 2 in any game this season. In fact they haven’t forced more than 2 since they saw Mitch Trubisky (3) on December 15. Can they force Jimmy G into turning it over?? He has the most interceptions thrown of all QBs in the playoffs.

However we can’t bank on that… San Francisco wins 38-17 and make the trek to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

Thanks for reading and please share the article.