It’s week two, and the Seahawks take on divisional rivals the San Francisco 49ers. The win against the Broncos on Monday night has definitely infused the 12’s with more hopeful enthusiasm and perhaps bolstered the Seahawks’ reputation nationally, or at least shut up the haters for one week. Can the Seahawks continue to surprise, delight and maintain the lead in the NCF West? Only Sunday will tell.
Here’s my wish list for the game:
- A bold run game. On Monday night, Rashaad Penny had a tasty little blast for 26 yards. (Unfortunately, that ended in a fumble. Fortunately, Seahawks center Austin Blythe recovered.) Fingers crossed that Penny continues the same monstrous production that we saw at the end of last season. Kenneth Walker III has recovered from his injuries and will make his debut against the 49ers. High hopes all around for the rookie.
- Continued improvement from the offensive line. Despite a few rough patches, the up and coming young o-line showed a lot of promise. I’d like to see stronger run blocking so the aforementioned run game can get established. Nick Bosa, 49ers game-wrecking defensive end, will be a pain in the ass all day. The young fellas will have their hands full. Let’s hope they can protect the pocket and keep Geno safe.
- Nasty pass rush. Right now, I think this is probably the weakest aspect of the Seahawks defense. (And one of my favorite aspects of defensive play.) The talent is there. It just needs to show itself, over and over and over again.
- 49ers tight end George Kittle is one of my favorite players in the NFL. I could so easily envision him in a Seahawks jersey. All that said, I hope the Hawks can contain him. It’s unclear to me if he’ll play- I believe there is an injury issue- but if he does, he could be a problem.
- I’d love for Trey Lance to get completely exposed. There’s a lot of chatter about him right now and a lot of controversy. Many question his talent. There’s plenty of debate on whether the 49ers were wise to go all in on a quarterback that has yet to prove he’s worth it. Adding more fuel to the controversy is the fact that the Niners signed Jimmy Garoppolo, the quarterback who took them to the Super Bowl, to a one-year deal. They’re keeping him around, but for what? Lance fans claim that his less than stellar showing in last week’s loss to the Bears was due to the heavy rains throughout the game. (Fun side note: There is rain in the forecast for Santa Clara on Sunday.) I don’t know if Trey Lance is a good quarterback or not. I’ll let others argue over that. I just know that if he’s destined to ultimately be exposed as subpar, I’d love the Seahawks to do the exposing. I might add that recent photographs of Trey Lance throwing bills around at a strip club did not exactly endear him to me.
My player to watch this week: Tariq Woolen
His performance on Monday night was very encouraging. He was fast, strong, aggressive and smart. He went up against all the Broncos receivers and never flinched once. Although he did draw two pass interference penalties, he made adjustments during the game, basically learning fast on the fly. It doesn’t hurt that he’s been coached up by Richard Sherman, of the iconic LOB. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a super scary secondary again? With the help of Tariq Woolen, we could very well get there.