Five things the 49ers must do to upset the Seahawks

FILE – In this Dec. 2, 2018, file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens passes under pressure from Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner during the first half of an NFL football game, in Seattle. The 49ers (2-10) host the Broncos (6-6) on Sunday. Two of the three undrafted quarterbacks to start a game in the NFL this season will square off. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The Seahawks expect to pound the 49ers into flat, little hamburger patties on Sunday and probably will. Face it.

Seattle put the 49ers through the meat grinder just two weeks ago, rushed for 168 yards and won by 27 points. Now, the Seahawks need just one more win to clinch a playoff berth.

They’re coming to clinch that berth, hurt the 49ers and break their will to play. I expect the 49ers will lose 20-13. The Seahawks simply are better.

But the better team doesn’t always win. The 49ers have a chance if they can follow these five instructions offered in a well-meaning spirit.

This article has 66 Comments

  1. The interesting part of your piece is the shortening of the game. Parcells practiced this and was fairly successful with the Giants. Have a strong D and a good bruising running game and you can wear other teams down. That’s where the WC offense phrase came from after all.

    In either case, do you see this brand of football to have a return? Ball control football? As a countermeasure to the wide open offenses we see now?

      1. Look at the caption. It mentioned the 2-10 Niners taking on the 6-6 Broncos. That picture was of Mullens and Wagner when they played at Seattle the week before.

  2. Good observation about the fewer number of possession in Seattle game plan. Year’s ago the 49ers loss to the Rams when John Robertson Rams controlled the ball for over 10minutes on a run first game plan. If we had a strong o line maybe we could beat Seattle at there own game.

  3. Is this anything like Sebber’s 10 point plan or Hammer’s 5 Burning Questions? Anyhoo, I approve of your plan, Grant. Well done!

  4. if wishes were dollars …
    we’d .. ALL… be rich …

    The SeaChickens have had our number for many years …
    especially …... at the mausoleum ! … and there’s
    little reason to be optimistic in this one as well … but…
    I do think…. this game will mark .. the last time … in a long stretch ..
    Seattle will dominate the Niners …

    Bring on 2019 baby !

  5. Curious… What would Grant’s game plan be if the 9ers had the record and the talent of the Chiefs–particularly Mahomes at QB and Andy Reid as HC? Grant gushed and gushed not long ago about that duo and the ‘new’ NFL. Would the 9ers be possession fanatics vs Seattle, or just fling the ball all over the place, mixed with some run?

    Just wondering.

    Shanahan will have a plan. Will be interesting–as always–to watch.

    1. Every team has its share of trolls, so don’t take it too personally. As a Hawks fan, I always enjoy reading both sides and opinions about my team. Just like the illegal block last week and the Seattle fans giving reasons it was legal and the Vikings fans thinking Seattle paid off the refs. Staying informed on both sides k eps me grounded. Merry Xmas. Go Hawks.

    2. Quit whining. You troll all the time. It is nothing new, and it has been done many many times before. Remember when Wilson threw that pass at the goal line that was picked off in the SB? Seahawks were trolled for months.

  6. Niners should run the no huddle with quick snaps if behind in the score. If they let the play clock run down to zero, they will be just trying to tank.
    The Niners should not run into the teeth of the defense.
    The Niner defense must set the edge, like Buckner said they needed to do, last time they played.

          1. Just offering help for the health of the team. Guess you don’t care if the players’ teeth rot? I’m a fan who cares about oral hygiene. If the NFL followed my advice maybe players wouldn’t die so young, as gingivitis has been associated with increased heart attack risk. But you obviously don’t care about player health!

    1. The Niners should run the no huddle with quick snaps, so they can get more drives, more opportunities to score. Seahawks should be a little bit more tired because they played on Monday.
      The Niners should study the SB game when they put Roger Craig in motion. Putting a man in motion has many tactical advantages, The man in motion will be at full speed at the snap of the ball. Goodwin could avoid the jam at the line of scrimmage if he is put in motion. Mullens could read the defense’s reaction to the man in motion. The TE could go in motion and pinch in the DE so Mullens could roll out. Fly sweeps could attack the edges. Putting a man in motion for a reverse will cause the defense to hesitate, even if the man running the reverse is only a decoy. Putting a man in motion, them making him stop, defeats the advantage man in motion presents to the defense. Putting a man in motion, then having him stop, is just a time wasting shift.
      Grant mentioned the Seahawks use a line man as a TE. The Niners should go jumbo, and line up Garnett as a TE.
      Hopefully, the Niners will not allow the Seahawks to shape them.
      I hope the Niners are balanced, and do not go pass happy.
      Easier said than done, but KS needs to anticipate what PC will do, and make counter moves.

        1. Many times, I feel like I am in a battle of wits against an unarmed foe.
          Cassie thinks she looks clever being a gadfly, but the stench of Baalke is overpowering.

    2. And, Niners offense should line up facing the goal they intend to score in. Before snapping the ball they should check to make sure they have 11 players on the field–that would be 11 offensive players, properly suited-up.

  7. Lay the Lumber on opposing team Rb’s….. Contain Wilson so Buckner can go to work…., Protect Mullens better….,cut off Seattle’s receiver Routes…….., . Open up playbook all game…. Of course Kittle Kittle kittle

    1. Funny contain Wilson. Best players in league have been trying that for years. Wait Niners don’t have any of those players. Take a lesson from Seattle dump the trash and rebuild

  8. First thing Seattle is a better team look at the numbers. Second look at the head coach and his coaching staff they have managed to clean house and make a contending team with a bunch of players who never played together before. Look up in the dictionary the word team. That’s Seattle. Merry Christmas GO SEAHAWKS. As for the Niners fans stop whining. As for the five things the Niners need to do to stop Seattle can’t be done with the team you have. Facts are facts

  9. How to beat the Seahawks:
    1. Score more points. A basic requirement to winning.😀
    2. Avoid Turnovers. This is the real key.
    3. Spy Wilson. Try to avoid giving up the big runs.
    4. Run for more than 150 yards.
    5. Keep the Seahawks under 100 yards rushing.
    6. Avoid stupid penalties. Sometimes it appears the Niners biggest problem is to stay out of their own way.
    7. Try to get the ball to a wide receiver in the 1st quarter. This will open up Kittle and the run game.
    8. Get off to a fast start. Try to score a TD in the 1st quarter, this seems to be a problem .
    9. Play like your job depends on it, because for many of the players it does.
    10. Did I mention score more points?

  10. Niners are a much better team than these other 3-10 teams let’s be real. Top tens across the board in offense and defense. Arizona or Oakland or even jets or lions cant say that. We got hit hardest and fastest by the injury bug. Who else can say their season was done by week 3 when our starting QB a d rb done for year. Today is ANOTHER trap game Seattle fans sorry to say. If seahawks dont play perfect ball they could be looking up at the playoff bracket after tonight.

  11. 49rs can be a good team, perhaps if they had the fan support like the Seahawks have with their 12’s. There are more Seattle fans at SF “home” games than SF fans. Maybe if they played at home in SF instead on Santa Clara, it would be different.

  12. As much as I hate them the Seahawks are mentally and physically tough – something the Niners haven’t been since Harbaugh left. The defense is going to have to man up or they’ll continue to get bullied by that front. Corner blitzes could be effective against Wilson since I don’t expect the DL to touch him much. It’s really up to the players to decide if they’re done being Seattle’s bi*tches…. Hopefully today is that day but I won’t hold my breath.

  13. The one part of Mullens game that is shocking to me is his inability to get out of the pocket and run, when necessary. Unless your Tom Brady, you almost have to have that skill, not only to extend drives, but to survive. He’s pretty much a statue back there, being closer to CJ than Tom! He’s rushed 15 times in his starts this year for -12 yards. When given the time, he’s quick to pass and is accurate, but to beat the good teams, he’s got to be able to escape when under pressure and pick up yards to keep drives going. Has Kyle instructed him not to run? It almost looks that way to me! If he can add that dimension to his game, he could be really dangerous. Hope to see some of that today.

  14. As a comparison, Wilson, who obviously is one of the best, if not the best, at escaping has rushed 52 times for 306 yards this year. Can we shoot for a tenth of that today! :)

    1. speaking of whom … he’s out of the hospital .. now
      and on the road to recovery … good news ! ..

      I wish him well going foreword …

  15. Juanhunglo

    In my opinion, Seattle has better, stronger athletes position by position than the niners do…and are better versed in their responsibilities than we are. It’s going to take another year or two (depending on drafts and free agents ). Whether or not you like him, Pete Carroll is a hell of a coach….I’ll expect the same of Kyle Shannahan in a couple of seasons with an equal team…

  16. Interesting game in Cincinnati.
    The EDGE player that went under the radar last year is owning the raiders Kolten Miller.
    Sam Hubbard is looking pretty good today.

    I believe he leads all rookie EDGE’s in sacks.
    Bradley Chubb leads the rookie class in sacks, but he’s listed as a LB.

    1. Dude, Chubb is an edge. The reason they are referred to as edge is because it includes both DEs and OLBs that play on the ball.

        1. And Hubbard is listed as a DE. Neither is listed as an edge. Edge is an encompassing name accounting for the fact different Ds use different alignments. You can keep arguing this point if you like, but you are wrong.

    2. Niners should have been patient, and waited for Pettis. Then, they could have saved that draft pick that they spent to get Pettis, and selected Hubbard, who went 4 picks after Washington picked.

  17. I agree O! No question about it! Contrary to what some say on here that place the blame on coaching for the teams troubles, I’ve stood firm in the fact that talent is what matters the most. The Niners, across the board, are inferior, not only to Seattle, but to a majority of the teams in the NFL. It’s the players!!! That’s not eliminating coaches from their responsibility to do their job, having the team being prepared to play fundamentally week in and week out. But if you have less talented players, that job becomes harder and the results are usually less than desired. I think Pete Carroll is among the top 5 coaches in football. I also think he has a future Hall of Fame quarterback. That’s a hell of a combination.

    That’s what Kyle means by “closers”, and those of us that have spent a good portion of our lives coaching know what he’s talking about. That is players who, in crunch time, know how to finish, eliminate mistakes and win games. If the Niners had some closers on this team, they’d probably have 6 or 7 wins, not 3. They’ll get there if they give Kyle the time.

    1. Juan, yes, the Niners need to improve the roster, but you seem to think they cannot improve the coaching, too.
      Yes, with better coaching, they could have won 4 more games, even with the present roster.
      Continuity in coaching helps, but BW had tons of turnover, because other teams would poach Niner coaches, and they still had that dynasty.
      My premise is supported with the fact that they had a 9 game losing streak last season, but once JG started, those same players with JG, went on a 5 game winning streak. They Niners do have talent. How that talent is utilized, is the difference between winning and losing.

  18. The Niners should take advantage of the Seahawk defensive speed, by doing counters, misdirections and reverses.
    The Niners should invite the blitz, then do screens and draws.
    The Niners should do lots of crossing routes with Kittle, quick slants with Taylor and swing passes to the RBs.

  19. Haha. Its ‘hard work like coal mining.’ That’s a good line, and a good way to describe Seattles approach. I hope Russell Wilson gets buried alive! (‘ In well meaning spirit’) of course.

  20. Seb, never once have I ever said coaching couldn’t be improved. Of course it can and hopefully will, but your example proves my point, not yours! They added just one “closer” to their roster, in Jimmy G, and walla! 5 straight wins, and 6-2 overall, two of those loses coming against playoff and possible SB teams in MINN and KC. One super “talented” player. The team just doesn’t have much talent on the field currently. I think where we differ is I believe the difference between winning and losing in any sport is 75% players, 25% coaching. You are more like 25% players and 75% coaching. We’ll have to agree to disagree!

    Oregon, I’m not asking for a running QB. What Mullens needs to be able to do is just escape when protection breaks down and get positive yards and possibly extend drives. 15 rushes for -12 is not good enough.

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