Seahawks-49ers: Vision Board
How Tyler Lockett, Boye Mafe, and Shane Waldron help Seahawks end losing streak to 49ers: Seaside Joe 1742
The Seattle Seahawks need this one against the San Francisco 49ers as badly as they’ve needed a win all year. It’s not just about how this impact Seattle’s playoff chances or viability to compete for a Super Bowl, it’s what it says about Pete Carroll and Geno Smith’s (if he plays) ability to compete against good teams and avoid the NFC West basement…Arizona Cardinals being a constant basement resident notwithstanding.
The last time the Seahawks had a good win over a quality opponent after September was probably in 2019. They almost had it last week against the Cowboys and I don’t think any fan is satisfied with “almost”.
But the Seahawks didn’t “almost” beat the 49ers when they faced each other a couple of weeks ago. Can they “actually” beat the 49ers in the remake?
Jason Myers hits all his kicks, including 3 from deep
DK Metcalf has 101 yards, 1 TD
Leonard Williams has 2 sacks, 1 FF
Not that bad. Metcalf had 134 yards and THREE TD, Williams had a sack, a TFL, and he really impacted Dak several more times, Myers went 5-of-5 on extra points but unfortunately 0-of-1 on field goal tries.
I could take one point, or 1.5 points, but I’m taking two points because DK gave me two extra touchdowns. That makes my season total:
We are back at 50%.
Since the Seahawks are meeting the 49ers for the second time in three games, lets use “remakes that are BETTER than the original” for this week’s vision theme.
Today is the day you, the free Seaside Joe subscriber for a while, consider subscribing to the premium section. Help keep as much of this content free to the public as much as possible so that Seaside Joe can continue to grow, but also to just support a daily-working Seahawks writer. Most writers on Substack give you like 3 articles per month for $8. I give 40-50 articles for $5. Thank you for your support.
I wouldn’t feel good about saying that Ocean’s Eleven is better than the original, but I’ve seen the one with the Rat Pack and I found it almost unwatchable. Maybe you had to be there.
Shane: 20 points oughta do it, don't you think?
Pete: [Stares away in silence]
Shane: You think we need 10 more?
Pete: [remains silent with his head leaning on top of his folded arms while hunched over on the bar]
Shane: You think we need 10 more.
Pete: [remains silent]
Shane: All right, we'll get 10 more.
It is perhaps the boldest vision of the entire season that the Seahawks will score 30 points and gain 400 yards, but this is where we are and this is what Seattle needs.
Last season, the Seahawks scored 7, 13, and 23 in their three contests against the 49ers (in the playoffs, 6 of the 23 came on a meaningless garbage time touchdown) and they haven’t even gained 300 yards in any of their last three regular season matchups. Again, they only got 300 in the wild card because of garbage time.
But this is a do-or-die (as in a pair of dice, sticking to the casino theme, get it?) situation and this is what a vision board has to do: WILL IT INTO REALITY.
Shane Waldron has been the scapegoat for anyone who doesn’t want to throw the head coach or quarterback under the bus—and I’m not defending him so much as I am calling it a ‘team problem’ that can’t all be blamed on the OC—and he’s at a fork in the road in which one direction had people saying he’d be a head coach next year versus the path of those who say he should be fired.
What I can say is that when Waldron was calling plays against the 49ers in 2021 with Russell Wilson at quarterback, the Seahawks scored 28 points and 30 points, sweeping a playoff San Francisco team in the series. Seattle had eight touchdowns in those two games, compared to four touchdowns in their last four games.
A Waldron-called offense scored 4 touchdowns per game against a GOOD 49ers defense. I can’t imagine that the coordinator is incapable of success on Sunday.
The Vision: Shane Waldron calls his best game of the year
Is it impossible for a team to score 30 points against the 49ers? The Bengals did it and Joe Burrow went 28-of-32 in a 31-17 win even though we all thought he was broken. Is it impossible to gain 400 yards? Not only did the Bengals do it, the Vikings did it without Justin Jefferson and won 22-17.
Another thing that the Vikings, Bengals, and Seahawks have in common: Kevin O’Connell, Zac Taylor, and Waldron all branch off the Sean McVay tree.
I put into the universe 30 points and 400 yards for the Seahawks on Sunday.
But the Niners aren’t going to just give it to you…they have to steal it.
Boye Mafe does his Thing
What’s in Boye Mafe’s blood? Hopefully a lot more sacks.
Mafe set a franchise record with a sack in seven straight games, but in the last three games he’s had zero sacks, one QB hit, four tackles, and has shown up on film getting criticized by K.J. Wright for poor technique. We knew Mafe needed more refinement as a complete outside linebacker, but what the Seahawks can’t afford is an edge rusher who isn’t good for more than one sack per game.
A sack is nice. A complete player who does it all is much better. The Seahawks have given up 72 points in their last two games, including 31 to the team they’re about to face again, so Seattle is needing a lot more complete players. For now, I’ll take a sack to get Mafe back on track…or the Seahawks will be left out in the cold.
The Vision: Boye Mafe has his first sack in a month
Are you Mac-Ready for a comeback? Mafe had his first career sack against the 49ers, let’s put it out there that he will get his most recent career sack against them too. Maybe two? Maybe two sacks and a forced fumble?
The Seahawks need to force turnovers to stand a chance to win this game, probably. Remarkably, Seattle has forced an average of 2 turnovers per game in their four losses to the 49ers since the start of last season. They’re winning the turnover battle but getting their asses kicked like it’s tied to a chair next to an alien.
The Seahawks need a complete effort and they need to turn those turnovers into touchdowns. Or they’ll have to transform into somebody else.
I can watch almost anything without needing to avert my eyes for any reason, but I have to admit that David Cronenberg’s The Fly is one of the most visually disgusting movies ever made. Even horror legend Vincent Price, who was in the 1958 original, said that it went “a little too far”.
Equally disgusting would be having to see the 49ers get another win over Seattle or slowing down one of the best receivers in Seahawks history.
Tyler Lockett is still a master at gaining separation and it’s time Geno Smith (or Drew Lock) found a way to take advantage. According to this chart, Lockett continues to be a good NFL deep threat, per at-fball_insights on Twitter:
Lockett has “a step or better of separation” on about 75% of his targets and he’s over 12 yards average depth of target. That puts him up there with CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks.
But Lockett hasn’t hit 100 yards in any game yet this season and he hasn’t had much success against the 49ers lately. However, he did have nine catches for 107 yards in Week 2 at San Francisco in 2022. Lockett is defying the odds a little bit at 31, but is being overshadowed by the fact that Keenan Allen leads the NFL with 102 receptions and is also 31. Allen is also, probably, in a better situation for a receiver.
Let’s let this weekend by the Sunday that Lockett flies.
The Vision: Tyler Lockett’s first 100-yard game of the season
Lockett had 94 yards against the Bengals and 92 yards against the Moons, but right now is on pace for 84 catches and 881 yards in 17 games. That would be his lowest total since 2017 and Seattle has a big decision to make in 2024, when Lockett’s cap hit will be $27 million.
A big game against the big rivals would be a big step towards Lockett proving his value to the Seahawks at this stage of his career. Be afraid, 49ers. Be very afraid.
Be a doll and subscribe to Seaside Joe…do it for the holiday season.
Seaside Joe is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.