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49ers 2019 opponent preview: Seattle Seahawks

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It’s time to start scouting the 49ers opponents for 2019. Today it’s the Seattle Seahawks.

San Francisco 49ers versus Seattle Seahawks Photo by Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Let me begin this by saying I love dropkicks. No really, I love me some dropkicks. They are a spectacle to behold.

They are made even more amazing when they are what did the Seattle Seahawks in for 2018. In the playoffs without Sebastian Janikowski, punter Michael Dickson stepped in and did this.

So, that was awesome, but I also need to eat some crow. Last year, I said Seattle would fight to stay at .500. Seattle struggled to beat the San Francisco 49ers but still got into the playoffs. Somehow they have done much better than I anticipated.

That’s the thing about the Seahawks. Whenever you throw dirt on them, they find a way to come back. 2019 is a more suitable time than ever to throw some dirt.

For starters, the Seahawks have extended Russell Wilson...to the tune of $140 million. Mr. Big Chest, eat your heart out. Not only did they give Wilson some money, but they also have other issues. The Seahawks have lost Doug Baldwin to retirement;x Earl Thomas has taken money elsewhere, their offensive line is middle of the road—I could go on.

The thing is, I won’t— not this time. The Seahawks are still very much in the thick of things, even when it looks like it may be a dark time coming. They’ve had a decent draft and are almost out of the rebuild.

Well maybe. I’m trying to find any superstars on this roster, and besides Wilson and Bobby Wagner, no one sticks out. So we’ll see?

No. Not throwing dirt on these guys. Not yet.

Draft picks

Round 1: L.J. Collier (DE)
Round 2: Marquise Blair (S)
Round 2: DK Metcalf(WR)
Round 3: Cody Barton (OLB)
Round 4: Gary Jennings Jr. (WR)
Round 4: Phil Haynes (G)
Round 4: Ugochukwu Amadi (S)
Round 5: Ben Burr-Kirven (ILB)
Round 6: Travis Homer(RB)
Round 6: Demarcus Christmas (DT)
Round 7: John Ursua (WR)

Notable free agent acquisitions

Mike Iupati (G)
Jason Myers (K)
Ezekiel Ansah (DE)
Cassius Marsh (DE)

Notable departures

Earl Thomas (S)
Justin Coleman (CB)
J.R. Sweezy (G)

Notable trades

Frank Clark (DE) to Kansas City Chiefs

Now, this is a lot to take in. The Seattle Seahawks had just four picks, and it turned into 11. How did they get to 11?

Well, let’s start with that Frank Clark trade. This left Chiefs fans on the fence, especially when you see what they got for Dee Ford and what they gave up for Clark. The Clark trade got the Seahawks a 2019 first, third, and a 2020 second-round selection. Clark’s good, but those character concerns made me wonder if he was worth that much.

Good lord.

So onto the draft itself. L.J. Collier is a pick I’m not too sure about. He’s good, but I don’t know if he’s first-round good (especially when you compare him to Clark). Then again, this is the same team who took Bruce Irvin, and that worked out well for them. Collier is a strong dude, and if there’s anyone I’d reach for, it’s this guy. If anything, he’ll be great for the run. I love (or hate, depending on how you look at it) the Marquise Blair pick, both for the player and the system he’s going to. Who is Earl Thomas?

Then there’s D.K. Metcalf. Remember when he was a top-10 pick at one point? If he gets it together for the Seahawks, this could be ugly for 49ers fans. It will sting even more if he does well and everyone has to tell themselves Seattle got him at the end of the second round. Better hope all the scouts that made him fall were right, because if he pairs well with Wilson. Yikes.

The Seahawks did nothing until the fourth round to fix the offensive line, so it looks like Wilson gets to run around the backfield. Again. Speaking of the offensive line, a familiar face got added in free agency— none other than Mike Iupati, a former first-round pick of the 49ers. If Iupati can find his way to Los Angeles, he could get the quadfecta of playing on every NFC West team. As per tradition, Cassius Marsh found himself fresh off the 49ers and back in the welcome arms of the Seahawks.

Nothing here is exciting, but it’s solid nevertheless. That draft class, in particular, needs some development, but it could bring dividends in a couple of years.

The matchups

The 49ers beat the Seahawks in 2018, and it was awesome. How they did this with the injury-riddled list they had, we may never know. Going into 2019, I want to say the 49ers can sweep the Seahawks, but as we all know, it just isn’t that easy. Divisional games can always be tough, regardless of ability. Wilson may have gotten a ridiculous contract, but he’s also worth it given how many [says a bunch of obscenities to describe it] Russell Wilson specials he’s pulled off to win games. It all rides this 49er pass rush. If that pass rush can contain Wilson, the Seahawks are in trouble. Of course, containing him is much easier said than done.

Last year, I said the Seahawks were suffering a talent exit, and yet they were in the playoff hunt. This year, I won’t be as foolish. The Seahawks are going to be in it as long as they have Wilson behind center. I still have a prediction that the 49ers will beat the Seahawks in Seattle by two touchdowns despite the fact I think Seattle can get a playoff berth. With the Seahawks and the Rams in the same division, it makes things harder for the 49ers. While I don’t want to go back on my two-touchdown prediction (which looks even worse now than it did in January), the final game of the year in Seattle could mean a lot of things. If the Seahawks are out of it, that two-touchdown game could happen. If they are in the hunt, it could come down to the wire.

The thing is, I don’t see how the Seahawks are in it this year. I don’t. But every year I say this, they come in and make me look bad. I think the 49ers are a better team when healthy and should dominate the Seahawks.

And if the 49ers can’t, hope for dropkicks.