San Francisco 49er 33
The San Francisco 49ers won yesterday is dramatic fashion beating divisional rivals the Seahawks 33-30 in overtime. Joe Nedney who missed a game winning field goal as time expired redeemed himself in overtime as he kicked a 41-yard field goal to win the game.
This is what the 49ers needed. A win against the team that has dominated the NFC West for the last five years and on the road in which the Seahawks have fans known to be the loudest in the NFL. QB J.T. O’Sullivan had his coming out game going 20 of 32 for 321 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, and more importantly no fumbles by the QB recovered by the defense. The game did not look like it was going to go the 49ers way in the first half as Manny Lawson blocked a punt only for the Seahawks to recover and get a first down, another punt should have been downed at the 1-yard line by the 49ers special teams only to have it botched and go into the end zone for a touchback, and Frank Gore lost a fumble as the Seahawks D ran it in for a score. Down 14-0 and 17-6 the team showed reliance by not faltering and fighting their way back into the game.
I wrote on Saturday the 49ers needed to get the passing game going and with the teams first 300-yard game by QB since 2004 when Tim Rattay had 417 yards passing the slumbering passing game awoke. Gore was held in check by the Seahawks D only rushing for 61 yards with a touchdown, but Mike Martz knew they going to make the 49ers beat them with the passing game and oh did they ever. I called for Isaac Bruce to be more involved and on a 63-yard gain from O’Sullivan with the 49ers trailing 17-6, the 49ers passing game made their first statement of the year. A more important catch was Bruce’s 33-yarder in overtime that set-up the winning field goal for the 49ers. Bruce finished with four catches for 153 yards. The Red and Gold did not have a 100-yard receiving game at all last year and with the first one coming in the second game of the year bodes well for the 49ers passing game.
The 49ers D mostly went with 5 and 6 defensive backs the whole game which was surprising given the Seahawks depleted receiving core. They had only one sack late in the game and gave up 169 yards rushing. The 49ers should have pressured Matt Hasselbeck more in the game and taken a cue from the Seahawks in making them beat them with their passing game. Nevertheless LB Patrick Willis ran a 86-yard interception for a touchdown which proved critical at the end of the game.
Overall the 49ers did well in all aspects of the game making plays on offense, defense, and special teams. Martz showed what his offensive schemes can do and that the 49ers are capable of having a great passing game. However he also showed with his spread formations the QB’s in his offense are going to get sacked, a lot. The O-line gave up eight sacks not from the lack of protection from them but the lack of help in the backfield when the Seahawks blitzed. The 49ers as a team showed they can picked themselves back up after being knock downed in a game, especially with Nedney missing the game winner only to come back and win the game on a kick from almost the same distance.
Next Week: @ home vs. Detroit Lions
Forget that his might be a redemption game for Martz who was fired by the Lions as offensive coordinator, the 49ers start a string of games against very good and tough teams and starting out 1-1 gives the 49ers confidence. The Lions D have been torched the first two games making Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers look like veteran QB’s. O’Sullivan could have another great passing game, but the Lions will be throwing out everything they have to avoid an 0-3 start. This will be a tough matchup.
Briefly: I saw on the scroll on ESPN this morning that the Buccaneers contacted the 49ers about trading Jeff Garcia which the team said no thanks. The 49ers seem to have their man in O’Sullivan and the team has done there, done that with Garcia.