As the reigning champions of the NFC West, the 49ers have established themselves as the bar to overcome within the division. The Seattle Seahawks experienced this firsthand this past season, having their promising year cut short at the hands of a 49ers team that swept all three meetings in the season series between the two rivals.
The 49ers outscored Seattle 89-43 in those meetings, winning two of the contests by more than two touchdowns. San Francisco was particularly dominant in the trenches, averaging 180 rushing yards per game against Seattle this past season, which was consistent in each contest as they eclipsed 170 rushing yards in each of the three games.
Based on the play of their rookie class from this past season, it’s reasonable to expect that Seattle has a bright future with a solid foundation to build on. However, in the present, it is clear there is still work to be done if they are going to be able to compete with the dynamic roster that has been put together by John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan.
Nobody is more aware of the challenge that presents than Seahawks general manager John Schneider. During his presser at the Scouting Combine, I asked Schneider about the gap that currently exists between the Seahawks and 49ers and what stands out about the challenge that Schneider and the Seahawks face as they attempt to unseat the 49ers at the top of the division
Schneider didn’t mince words as he relayed just how much respect he had for the team the 49ers have put together.
“You gotta give San Francisco a ton of credit. They’re a tough, young, fast, big physical football team. Run after the catch. Guys that are really sound tacklers. So our guys know, they know what it looks like. They just saw it firsthand. And you know if Purdy doesn’t get hurt who knows what happens there. That was a damn good football team”
I asked Seahawks GM John Schneider about the gap between the 49ers and Seahawks— Jordan Elliott (@splash_cousin) February 28, 2023
Schneider was quick to point out how much respect he has for the 49ers and the team they’ve put together
“Purdy doesn’t get hurt, who knows what happens there. That was a damn good football team” pic.twitter.com/uPbWGWoaeF
Schneider is well aware of how difficult the task at hand is. However, they are more than up to the challenge, as Seattle is loaded with draft capital to build on the already stellar rookie class they brought in just a year ago. This is shaping up to bring back the intense rivalry of the previous decade, with the Seahawks and 49ers battling for supremacy in the NFC West for years to come.