Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, Charles McDonald and Jori Epstein talk about the Wild Card matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, and debate what fans should expect to see from 49ers QB Brock Purdy in his first playoff start.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Getting to Brock Purdy though, Seattle at San Francisco, it's an interesting-- I love this game because I think it's-- you have two quarterbacks right now that-- I think Geno is fine. Like, I really do. I think he's going to come back. I don't see them going and getting another quarterback. I'd be surprised. I think they have their guy.
But he can make money in this game. He can solidify that next contract in this game. And then I think Brock Purdy also, this is the start of where people are going to have to really take serious. What he does in the playoffs could completely shape how he's looked at next season. I mean, I brought up, like, hey, like, maybe Trey Lance shows up for the first team huddle in training camp, and Brock Purdy is doing the Chris Tucker in "Friday," like, yeah, get on. Get out of here. And people are like, no way.
I don't know. With what he's doing right now, I said the last time we talked, it seems like every single time they lose a quarterback, the quarterback play seems to get a little bit better. Charles, you say that's because of Kyle Shanahan. But you say for now--
JORI EPSTEIN: Dun-dun-dun.
CHARLES ROBINSON: You think it changes?
CHARLES MCDONALD: No. I just say for now because if Brock Purdy has a bad game, I don't think anyone's allowed to be surprised, considering where he got drafted. It's been a cool run. But maybe it's just the pessimist in me. I feel like we're going to run into a wall here at some point. But I don't think it's this week. I think the 49ers, they match up really well against Seattle. They should be able to run the ball all over them.
I was talking with one of my nerdier football group chats today about the 49es running out 21 personnel with two running backs and a tight end and really how bad Seattle is at that. So if you can just get Christian McCaffrey behind Juszczyk and figure out some ways to just get into the second level, I kind of expect the 49ers offense to have a lot of success again, which will make life easier for Brock Purdy in the long run as the game goes on.
So I think that this is just a bad match-up for Seattle in general when you look at where the 49ers are strong. And I'm not really surprised to see the line be as high as it is when you just kind of compare the two teams on a strength versus weakness and weakness for strength type of skill.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Pete Carroll 8 and 4, though, against Kyle Shanahan.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. Yeah, he is.
CHARLES ROBINSON: And Kenneth Walker is back in the fold. And they do still have Tyler Lockett. They have DK Metcalf, again, another situation where it's not a talentless team. I think defensively, we've started to see a little bit of the youth. It was great early on. But now as the season's worn on, people have figured out how to play some of those guys and isolate them in situations, mismatched situations. But again, Pete Carroll is 8 and 4 against Kyle Shanahan.
I don't-- I never discount that kind of thing. I tried to discount it forever with Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan. And now I'm just like, yeah, Kyle owns them like he does. Pete, you know, I'm with you. I feel like the mismatches, the way that the two rosters are pressed against each other, there's a reason why San Francisco beat Seattle twice this year. But now they got to beat them a third time.
And again, as you said, it's still, no matter what we want to think about Brock Purdy-- and I've said, look, hey, he sucked me in too now-- he's never been on this stage. And it does change. I am a full-- I'm 100% on board with people who say that the playoffs are just a completely different animal. And you have to learn what that feels like. And he has no clue what that feels like.
JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah, I think it does help a little bit that the amount of college experience he had, not that it's the same, but versus a guy who like played a year in college or played a year and a half, whatever, COVID. One of the things I was reading today-- ESPN had an article about it-- and they were talking about how even though the Seahawks are-- I think we're seventh in the league in terms of sacks.
But their pass rush win rate actually wasn't all that great. And so I think it's like if they get to him at some points, but they have a lot of failed opportunities that allow him to get the ball to one of his many options, like, I think that it's just going to be a little bit hard to overcome.
CHARLES MCDONALD: The 49ers team is really good. They're really, really, really good.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Especially defensively.
CHARLES MCDONALD: It's not even like Seahawks disrespect here to me. It's just I think we look at the 49ers roster from top to bottom, it's incredible. Like, that's a big reason why they've been able to sustain this winning streak with Brock Purdy too, even with-- Brock Purdy's played. He's done what he's been asked to do. Kyle Shanahan has been great. But the whole roster is really incredible from top to bottom.