San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan met with the media Wednesday and went full “coach speak” when discussing the Seattle Seahawks defense. Shanahan was asked, “what’s the best answer to describe Seattle’s defensive problems?” Here’s what Kyle said:
“They’re giving up a lot of yards. I know their numbers are real bad, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. The way their offense is playing, their offense is playing as good as an offense I’ve seen. They’re putting up the points. They’re putting up the yards. Whenever you do have an offense playing like that, usually the opposing offense is trying to play a lot of catch up and stuff, and they’re doing a lot of aggressive things. And they’ve given up some explosives, which gets the yards going, but they’re still third in the league in turnovers, which means they cause a lot of problems.
They haven’t had all their players out there, which I know that’ll help when they get them back, and I’m fully expecting them to get those guys back this week. I see some good players. We know how good their coaches are. I just think that’s how it’s gone a little bit with the balance of their games, but they’re playing good enough to win, and that’s why they’ve only lost one. I don’t think the numbers tell the whole story.”
We all watched Seattle versus New England during Week 2. That game was back and forth. A week later, both teams traded scores against the Cowboys, and Dallas had the lead in the fourth quarter when it was 31-30 before DK Metcalf caught a game-winning touchdown pass with just under two minutes to play. With eight minutes to go against Miami, the Seahawks were up 17-15. That game went off the rails as Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception the next time the Dolphins had the ball.
Do you see a theme here? The Vikings are not a good football team. They were up 26-21. The Vikings had the ball on 4th & 1 and were stuffed at the two-minute warning. If the Vikings kick the field goal, at worst, the game heads into overtime. If they gain a yard, the game is over. Instead, Seattle gets the ball back and drives 94-yards to win it. Then there’s last week’s game, where the Cardinals pulled a Seahawks and were beneficiaries of a bit of luck.
We all know the matchup between the 49ers and Seahawks will come down to the wire. There will be four or five unpredictable things that happen during the game. Seattle has been prone to mistakes, but teams have not made them pay. If San Francisco can capitalize, they’ll win.
Speaking of unpredictable, I asked Javon Kinlaw if he feels like he’s pressing for his first sack and if he feels like the game would slow down for him once that first sack finally happens. Here’s what the 49ers first-rounder said:
“I’m not really worried about sacking the QB. I’m just worried about just getting a win, honestly. All that stuff comes a part of playing D-line and trying to get the quarterback and things like that. But the main thing is to win. “And of course, (I’m) still learning how to play good technique. The sacks, they gonna come. They always gonna come, but right now, I’m still in the phase of just trying to play with good technique, play good football.”
I asked the question as it feels like once Kinlaw gets that first sack, everything else would be unlocked. There would be less thinking and more playing. Kinlaw isn’t wrong about continuing to develop his technique. He’s getting closer to the quarterback each week. Kinlaw has found out the hard way that you count out-muscle everyone you go against in the NFL. Once he establishes a go-to pass rush move and begins to layer moves together, “the sacks are gonna come.”