49ers news: The key to beating each NFC West team in 2021
By Peter Panacy
49ers vs. Seahawks (Weeks 4 and 13): Exploit a bad Seattle defense
True, the 49ers’ No. 1 goal against Seattle will be to not let quarterback Russell Wilson “cook,” and every Niners fan understands why that’s important. It seems as if, almost on a yearly basis, Wilson engineers some sort of heartbreak for San Francisco regardless of his supporting cast.
But in the realm of “fighting fire with fire,” perhaps the best way for the 49ers to pull off wins over the Seahawks this season would be to take advantage of a defense that finished 22nd in yards allowed last season and still lost key pieces like defensive backs Quinton Dunbar, Shaquill Griffin and defensive tackle Jarran Reed during the offseason.
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Pro Football Focus isn’t overly bullish on Seattle’s defense heading into 2021, which will need to rely on new additions, including former Niners like EDGE Kerry Hyder and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, to gain any headway this year.
Currently, PFF ranks the Seahawks defensive line at No. 29 overall entering 2021 and their secondary at No. 26.
While Wilson is more than capable of engineering comebacks after falling behind early, forcing him to do so would be far better than trying to survive a low-scoring contest.
San Francisco simply has to take the approach of scoring early and often against a questionable Seattle defense, counting upon holes within the secondary and not having to worry too much about a formidable pass rush.
If things pan out well enough in these departments, perhaps the 49ers can finally sweep the season series over the Seahawks for the first time since… (gulp) 2011.