49ers activate Tevin Coleman and K’Waun Williams for Week 8 vs. Seattle; place Jeff Wilson Jr. on injured reserve

The San Francisco 49ers Tevon Coleman tries to get around the Kansas City Chiefs Tyrann Mathieu during Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb 2, 2020. Coleman is expected back Sun Nov 1st vs Seattle Seahawks (file photo from San Francisco Chronicle) 

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

The San Francisco 49ers are getting some reinforcements just in time for Sunday’s pivotal matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. The team announced Saturday that they have activated running back Tevin Coleman and K’Waun Williams from injured reserve.

The 49ers also announced that they placed running back Jeff Wilson Jr. on injured reserve.

Wilson was named FedEx Ground Player of the Week for his huge performance against the New England Patriots in Week 7. The running back rushed for a career-high 112 yards and three touchdowns in the 49ers’ 33-6 win over the Patriots in Foxborough, MA. His three rushing scores were the most by a 49ers running back on the road since Roger Craig lit up the Los Angeles Rams with three rushing touchdowns in 1988.

Coleman has been out of action since Week 2 with a sprain knee. He joins Jerick McKinnon and JaMychal Hasty as the only healthy running backs on the roster for the 49ers. Along with Wilson, starter Raheem Mostert has been placed on IR.

Williams has been out since Week 4 with a sprained MCL. His return to the field will help bolster a 49ers’ secondary that will be tasked to slowing down wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Lockett is coming off a 15-catch, 200-yard and three-touchdown performance in Seattle’s 37-34 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7 in Glendale.

Operating primarily as the team’s top slot cornerback, Williams has played 55 and 67 percent of defensive snaps in each of the first four games this year. Fellow cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and Jason Verrett have formed a good tandem for a team that’s been without veteran Richard Sherman (calf) since Week 2.

San Francisco (4-3) currently sits in last place in a highly competitive NFC West. But a win against the Seahawks (5-1) in Week 8 would pull the 49ers within a half-game of first place Seattle, and keep pace with the surging Rams and Cardinals who are both 5-2 this season.

The 49ers are just a half-game behind the New Orleans Saints for the No. 7 seed in the NFC, though they have played one more game than the Saints, who have already taken its bye. The two teams hook up in Week 10 down in New Orleans, before the 49ers go on their bye in Week 11.

49ers’ defense will have its hands full with Seahawks’ Russell Wilson in key NFC West showdown

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) on the move to throw to a receiver during Oct 11, 2020 game against the Minnesota Vikings at Centurylink Field in Seattle in first half action (AP News photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

Its no big secret that the key for any team into stopping the Seattle Seahawks is to corral quarterback Russell Wilson.

Easier said than done.

Wilson’s uncanny ability to avoid would-be pass rushers and find an open DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett downfield for big gains has become routine this season. You almost take him for granted because we expect him to turn a broken play into a great play.

Both Lockett (45 catches/542 yards/7 TD) and Metcalf (24 catches/519 yards/5 TD) have made huge plays for Wilson this year that has put Wilson in prime position to win his first MVP award.

Simply put, Wilson is amazing at playing quarterback in the NFL.

San Francisco’s defense will have its hands full with Wilson as the 49ers (4-3) travel to the Pacific Northwest for a pivotal NFC West matchup against the Seahawks (5-1) on Sunday afternoon from CenturyLink Field.

The last time the 49ers were in Seattle, Week 17 of last season, San Francisco prevailed 26-21 in a heart-wrenching game that was decided by a goal-line stop by then-rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw on Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister. Greenlaw’s tackle wrapped up the NFC West title and the No. 1 seed for San Francisco in front a loud sellout crowd.

This time around, the division isn’t on the line and there won’t be any raucous fans at CenturyLink Field due to the pandemic. But a win for the 49ers would pull them within half-game of first-place Seattle, making for a tighter race with both the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams both at 5-2.

The same Arizona Cardinals that handed the Seahawks their first loss of the season last week, 37-34, in overtime in Phoenix on Sunday Night Football. In that game, Wilson completed 33 of 50 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns, but tossed three costly interceptions in losing for the first time in his nine-year career when leading by four or more points at halftime.

He had been 59-0 in such situations according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Oh yeah, that same Arizona Cardinals team that shocked the 49ers 24-20 in Week 1 at Levi’s Stadium.

You don’t think the 49ers, the reigning NFC champions, wasn’t paying attention like the rest of America when Wilson looked mortal in game for once this season?

The answer would be a resounding yes.

Despite season-ending injuries to defensive end Nick Bosa (knee) and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas (knee), along with cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) and defensive end Dee Ford (back) both missing significant time this season, San Francisco’s defense has remained steady this season.

The unit ranks fifth in total defense this season allowing just 19.4 points per game, which includes the 43-17 home drubbing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins that left the 49ers at 2-3 and many declaring their season over.

Seattle’s offense ranks tops in the NFL in scoring, averaging 33.8 points per game. Wilson leads all quarterbacks in touchdowns (22) and passer rating (119.4) to go along with just six interceptions.

Last week, the San Francisco’s defense played without both starting safeties in Jaquiski Tartt (groin) and Jimmie Ward (quad) and limited the New England Patriots to just 241 yards of total offense in a 33-6 demolishing in an empty Gillette Stadium. The defense recorded four interceptions.

San Francisco must find a way to generate a consistent pass rush against Wilson, who is an escape artist when the pocket collapses. Tackling Wilson is harder than tackling a tadpole in shallow water.

Through seven games, the 49ers have sacked opposing quarterbacks 19 times this season, which is good for ninth in the NFL. Defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr. leads the 49ers with 3.5 sacks.

Fellow defensive end Arik Armstead has had some success at getting to Wilson in the past, registering 2.5 sacks in eight games.

Since the Seahawks drafted Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, he’s 12-4 against the 49ers (the most wins against any team) with 3,347 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions with a 97.9 passer rating.

With injuries to Chris Carson (mid-foot sprain), Carlos Hyde (hamstring) and Travis Homer (knee), rookie DeeJay Dallas is the only healthy running back on Seattle’s roster, so the game could be in Wilson’s hands even more come Sunday.

The last three matchups against these two rivals have come down to the final possession. So we could very well see a replay Sunday of Week 17 where Wilson has the football in his hands and San Francisco’s defense will need a stop to walk away with a victory.

 

 

 

The Raider preview: Raiders head to London for Week 6 matchup against the Seahawks at Wembley Stadium

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders are off to London to play in their third-straight international game, this time against the Seattle Seahawks. Sunday’s game from Wembley Stadium will mark the 53rd meeting between the two franchises, with Oakland leading the series 28-24 all-time. This will be Oakland’s fourth game in five weeks on the road.

This is the second time that two teams face each other in 2018, as the Raiders defeated the Seahawks 30-19 in Seattle to close out the preseason schedule.

Kickoff is set for 10:00 a.m. PT. So breakfast with football is always nice.

Last week, the Raiders (1-4) fell to AFC West division-rival, the Los Angeles Chargers, 26-10 at StubHub Center in Carson in what sounded like the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with many members of Raider Nation making up the  attendance.

Starting quarterback Derek Carr completed 24-of-33 passes for 263 yards with one touchdown and one interception as the Chargers’ defense held Oakland to just 289 yards of total offense. Through five games this season, Carr has thrown a league-leading eight interceptions, three coming inside the red zone and two into the end zone.

Coming into the Week 5 meeting with Los Angeles, the Raiders were averaging 411.8 yards of total offense per game ranking second in the NFL.

Wide receiver Jordy Nelson caught his team-leading third receiving touchdown of the year, a 1-yard score from Carr in the fourth quarter with the Raiders trailing 26-3. Since 2016, Nelson leads the NFL with 19 receiving touchdowns inside the red zone according to ESPN Stats and Information research.

After rushing for 130 yards on 20 carries against the Cleveland Browns in Week 4, Marshawn Lynch was quiet against the Chargers carrying the ball just nine times for 31 yards. Lynch will look to get back on track in London against his former team in Seattle, whose defense ranks 29th against the run surrendering 129 yards on the ground per game.

Defensively, Bruce Irvin recorded his team-leading third sack of the season, while linebacker Tahir Whitehead paced the Raiders with nine tackles for the second-straight game. It was the fourth time this season that Whitehead has led the team in tackles in a game.

Whitehead leads the Raiders with 37 combined tackles (26 solo and 11 assisted) this season.

The Seahawks (2-3) lost a close game to NFC West division-rival the Los Angeles Rams, 33-31 last week at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 13-of-21 passing. In five games this season, the former Super Bowl MVP has thrown for 1,086 yards, with 10 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

Running back Chris Carson tallied his second 100-yard rushing game in the last three weeks, carrying the ball 19 times for 116 yards against a talented Rams defensive front highlighted by reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year in defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh.

With veteran wide receiver Doug Baldwin slowed by a knee injury this season, Tyler Lockett has become Wilson’s top target in Seattle’s areal attack. Lockett had just three catches against the Rams, but finished with a team-high 98 yards receiving and one touchdown, a 39-yard strike from Wilson in the second quarter.

On the season, the fourth-year wideout from Kansas State leads the Seahawks in catches (20), targets (28), receiving yards (347), and touchdowns (4). His 17.4 yards per catch is second on the team behind rookie tight end Will Dissly, who is on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Oakland’s much maligned secondary must account for Lockett, who can blow by defenses in the open field with his speed.

With longtime safety Earl Thomas on injured reserve after breaking his leg two weeks ago in a Seahawks’ win at Arizona, the vaunted Seahawks defense that we’ve all come to know over the last few seasons is unrecognizable. Before the injury, Thomas was playing at a high-level, leading the Seahawks with three interceptions.

In the offseason, the team parted ways with lockdown cornerback Richard Sherman and terrorizing defensive end Michael Bennett. They saw the enforcer of the defense, strong safety Kam Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril retire due to neck injuries just to name a few.

Seattle still has middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is smart football player that can cover field, sideline-to-sideline, but strong safety Bradley McDougald has quickly become Seattle’s top defender.

Now in his sixth season in the NFL and second season in the Emerald City after spending the previous four seasons between Kansas City and Tampa Bay, the 6’1″, 215-pound McDougald isn’t the menacing presence that the 6’3, 225-pound Chancellor is, but he packs quite a punch. McDougald leads the Seahawks with 32 combined tackles (29 solo and 3 assisted) to go with two interceptions.

After Sunday’s game, both teams will be head on their bye weeks for Week 7. When the teams return in Week 8, the Raiders will host the Indianapolis Colts at 1:05 pm PT, while Seattle heads out on the road to take on the Detroit Lions at 10:00 am PT.