Seattle's defense is still upset about two late touchdowns allowed to the 49ers in Sunday's 37-18 win.
While the Seahawks’ offense hopes to carry the momentum of a fast start last Sunday against the 49ers into this week’s game in New York against the Jets, the defense will be looking to unleash a little frustration at the way the game ended.
It might have been easy to overlook some of the evident anger on the faces of the Seattle defenders at the end of the 49ers’ game considering that it was an easy win for the Seahawks, who beat the 49ers 37-18.
But the two touchdowns that the 49ers scored in the final 7:50 — after Seattle had built a 37-3 lead — were hardly meaningless to Seattle defenders.
Seahawk cornerback Richard Sherman declined to talk to the media following the game, and confirmed Thursday the reason he did so was because he was upset that the Seattle defense allowed the 49ers to score.
“Yeah it was frustrating,” Sherman said. “We have a high standard and we didn’t live up to it.”
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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said earlier this week that one reason the 49ers were able to move the ball is because Seattle was largely still playing a nickel defense and in an aggressive pass rush mode assuming that San Francisco would throw the ball.
Said Sherman Thursday when told what Carroll said: “Well, that’s the way they called it. They called it to rush the passer and anytime you focus on rushing the passer on run downs you are going to have holes in the defense.”
San Francisco running back Carlos Hyde took enough advantage of those holes to rush for 67 of his 103 yards, becoming the first opposing running back to break the 100-yard barrier against Seattle since Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles on Nov.16, 2014. Hyde’s running keyed scoring drives of 75 and 47 yards.
Defensive end Cliff Avril said Thursday that letting Hyde rush for 100 yards was one reason for some anger among Seattle defenders.
“Prior to those last two drives, they didn’t have that many rushing yards and we pride ourselves on trying not to allow anybody over 100, well really like 80,” he said. “They ended up getting a lot of yards on the last few drives because we kind of changed our mindset as far as thinking they were going to throw the ball. They continued their same game plan and it kind of messed us up a little bit at the end.”
Defensive coordinator Kris Richard agreed with his players that the last two drives were a disappointment.
“It wasn’t up to our standard and that’s the bottom line,” he said. “We want to start and finish and play the game to the best of our ability. At any given moment that we’re not doing that, if we’re not working at our best, we’re not staying true to who we are. The score, situation, none of that stuff is ever going to make a difference. We want to go out there, we want to play to the best of our ability at any given moment.”
Richard said the fact that the 49ers ran against a Seattle defense largely playing the nickel shouldn’t have mattered.
“It doesn’t really make a difference,” Richard said. “You don’t know if they’re going to run, throw on first, second or third down. It doesn’t make a difference. We’ve got to line up, we’ve got to play our keys, we must stay true to who we are and we must execute.”
If nothing else, Avril said the end of the game shows the Seattle defense it still has work to do.
“I think for us there’s still a lot of things to correct, like the end of last game,” he said. “Not being content with being up 20 some odd points. Try to get a goose egg, try not to allow anybody to score.”