SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Steve Wilks says 49ers will have to ‘earn’ win over Seahawks Week 14

Dec 8, 2023, 8:45 AM | Updated: 9:16 am

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks looks on during the game between the San Fran...

Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Coming off their biggest win of the season, the 49ers return home to face a familiar foe in the Seattle Seahawks. Despite thumping them only two weeks ago, the team is trending lightly this week, especially Steve Wilks.

The San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator is expecting a tough outing in Week 14 with their division rivals. And while the 49ers are riding high on a four-game win streak since the Bye Week, they know that their performance on Thanksgiving was only Round 1 with their foes from the Pacific Northwest.

“It’s going to be a difficult task this week. A lot of respect for [Seattle Seahawks coach] Pete Carroll and that coaching staff. Thanksgiving Day game has nothing to do with our performance and how we’re going to play on Sunday, nor does last week. We’ve got to go earn this one,” Steve Wilks said Thursday.

That’s partially due to the Seahawks’ stellar offensive performance in Week 13, putting up 35 points on the Dallas Cowboys.

In said contest, quarterback Geno Smith threw for 334 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Meanwhile, wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was the real star of the night, going for 134 receiving yards and all three TDs.

Despite the efforts, Seattle still lost to Dallas, 41-35, dropping them to 6-6 this season.

Those numbers are stark contrasts from a week prior when Metcalf was matched up with the 49ers’ cornerback Charvarius Ward. In that game, the speedy wideout only had 32 yards on the night.

The Red & Gold feel confident they can produce a similar result on the outside this week but are very wary of the big-play threat Metcalf and Smith present.

“Explosive plays. DK, of course we know at any time he can make those kind of plays, that’s what popped off. I know they’re running the ball well, trying to run it more. That was really Coach Carroll’s mindset and trying to get these guys going which is going to open up the play action for him,” Wilks explained.

“It’s going to be a difficult task. And like I said before, Thanksgiving Day, last week doesn’t have anything to do with how we’re going to perform and win this football game. That’s our mentality. So, we’re going to have to go out and earn it and I know it’s going to be a tough, hard battle.”

Don’t let the coach speak fool you though, the 49ers are more than confident they can handle the Seahawks just like they did two weeks ago. That’s because of how they played in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Walking into Philly and stomping the best team in the league, 41-19, sends a message to the rest of the NFL: The 49ers can learn from their mistakes.

Case in point, how they rushed the passer.

Instead of being gun blazing and blitzing QB Jalen Hurts over and over again, Wilks and Co. picked their spots, using coverage on the backend to give his rushers time to find the QB. That resulted in five sacks last Sunday, showing a formula for success against almost all NFL teams.

“It is always hard to try to really deter from your identity, but it’s all about the element that particular week, the situation and what’s best for the defense,” Wioks stated. “Kudos to those guys [defensive line coach Kris] Kocurek and [assistant defensive line coach Darryl] Tapp up front for number one, implementing the game plan and those guys going out and executing. It wasn’t about trying to get stats this particular game. It was about making sure that we maintain our rush lanes and didn’t rush past the quarterback, not giving them an opportunity to be able to step up inside the A and B gaps.”

Additionally, the 49ers have found that complementary football is the best way to succeed for this team. And luckily, they have players that put their egos aside for the greater cause, both offense and defense.

The Red & Gold made that apparent in the closing minutes in Philly when second-year defensive tackle Kalia Davis got his first sack of his career.

“This whole group, this whole defense is that way. You can see even at the end of the game when Kalia got his sack, everybody on the sideline was so excited. You even saw [WR] Deebo [Samuel], you saw [T] Trent [Williams], you saw Juice [FB Kyle Juszczyk]. Everybody was so excited for him. And that’s just how this team is, very unselfish players.”

Upcoming 49ers Schedule:

  • Sunday, Dec. 10th vs. Seattle Seahawks – 1:05 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 17th @ Arizona Cardinals – 1:05 p.m. PST
  • Monday, Dec. 25th vs. Baltimore Ravens – 5:15 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 31st @ Washington Commanders – 10:00 a.m. PST
  • Sunday, Jan. 7th vs. Los Angeles Rams – TBD

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