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.
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.
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