Offensive & Defensive X-Factors for San Francisco
Feeding Carlos Hyde more
For some reason, running back Carlos Hyde was lightly featured to open the season. Hyde only received 9 carries the entire game in Week 1. The utilization of Hyde was marked by a strikingly barely used running game, with the 49ers only tallying 15 total rushes against the Panthers.
There’s some confusion surrounding that, as Hyde was particularly effective when used running the ball. On those nine carries, Hyde rushed for 45 yards. Hyde was quite involved in the passing game though, finishing with a team-high 6 receptions for 32 yards.
There just needs to be more opportunities for Hyde to be involved, and if the 49ers are able to establish the run, passing the ball against the notoriously stout Seattle secondary will become a little bit easier. With the attention more zoned in on Hyde, this would lessen the focus on Hoyer (who desperately needs it).
Defensive line generating pressure on Wilson
As mentioned previously, this is the marquee matchup of position groups in this game. If one game is any indication, the Seahawks offensive line might be one of the worst in the league. Against the Green Bay Packers, it was a terrible showing for the unit who couldn’t keep a clean pocket for essentially the entire game.
It’s what could turn out to be the Achilles heel of these 2017 Seattle Seahawks, who have high aspirations. Another group with high aspirations, the 49ers defensive line, are at maybe a turning point in their future. As The Atheltic‘s John Middlekauff puts it:
This was noted earlier, but Buckner was just about the only presence felt in the pass rush against the Panthers. That can’t be the case when you have three first-round draft picks invested in the defensive line. The 49ers are hoping to make this line the backbone of the entire team. So far, the results are mixed. The game against the Seahawks will be a vital test for the defensive line.