When the 49ers take on the Seahawks Sunday, they may zero in on their opponent's offensive line.
Though Seattle remains a formidable team with a fine quarterback in Russell Wilson, some dangerous wide receivers and running backs and a strong defense, its offensive line – which had problems in recent seasons – appears to be even worse in 2017.
In the Seahawks’ loss to the Packers in Week 1, Seattle was able to rush for just 90 yards and Wilson was sacked four times. The struggles up front could allow San Francisco’s defense to hold its own Sunday at CenturyLink Field. Certainly the Seattle coaching staff isn’t happy with the way its O-line played vs. Green Bay and wants to see improvement vs. the Niners.
“Not good enough,” said Seattle assistant head coach (and former Raiders head coach) Tom Cable. “Too inconsistent and not good enough. At the end of the day, we have to play better in a couple of situations, particularly.”
Cable, however, says the same five blockers that started vs. Green Bay will start vs. the 49ers.
“We are just working and competing every day,” Cable told the Seattle Times. “But there is no sense to panic or do anything crazy like that.”
The Seahawks’ front five is a group that consists of Rees Odhiambo (who made his first start at left tackle), converted tackle Luke Joeckel (who’s had just four starts at left guard), veteran center Justin Britt and right guard Mark Glowinski and right tackle Germain Ifedi (who both made their first starts at those positions last week).
Cable said only Ifedi had a strong game in the season opener.
The 49ers came into this season believing their defensive line and front seven would be able to better stop the run and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks in 2017. With first-round picks up front in Solomon Thomas, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, along with veteran pass rusher Elvis Dumervil and run-stuffer Earl Mitchell, San Francisco had great expectations. Yet vs. the Panthers, the 49ers didn’t get a single sack.
The Seattle offensive line may allow the Niners pass rushers to get on track.
“We just gotta work on it as a unit, working on pass rushing together,” Buckner told the media this week. “If we pass rush together, that’s when guys will start getting sacks.”
Sunday’s game is set to kick off at 1:25 p.m.