This post was written by Matt Hamm
I have an annual tradition of re-watching our beloved 49ers games each Tuesday and Thursday night. I will continue that tradition this season and share with you 10 key takeaways from each game all season long.
1) Earl Thomas is an absolute BEAST and that’s bad news for 49er fans and will be for a long time. Thomas was everywhere on the field Sunday providing excellent run support and coverage.
2) Aldon Smith is also an absolute BEAST and that is of course great news for 49ers fans. He didn’t make many plays in this game other than one pass deflection. His athletic ability is evident on almost every snap, even when he’s beat on a play, laying on the ground the guy seems to utilize that unreal wingspan and pop back up and get himself back in the play.
3) Braylon Edwards is going to have a huge year for the 49ers and is clearly their #1 WR right now. Smith and Edwards seem to have a chemistry he and Michael Crabtree have yet to establish. With Edwards size and ability look for the 49ers to try and get him the ball more vs. Dallas.
4) Ray McDonald over Aubrayo Franklin was a good decision; Ray looked great out there getting consistent pressure the entire game. What stuck out to me was his ability against the run which he wasn’t known for coming into the season.
5) Isaac Soapaga is going to be fine at NT. He was credited with just 1 tackle but had a very good game. He held the line and ate up blockers allowing Justin Smith and Ray McDonald to have superb games.
6) Ted Ginn is going to have a career year both on special teams and offense. Ginn broke 2 TDs but almost broke 4 and was on fire the entire game. The ST unit as a whole will be improved under Brad Seely but still something seems different about Ginn this season. I also think he could benefit from the new kickoff rules. I’ll elaborate on that in a future blog post (teaser!)
7) Crabtree is in the best shape of his life. With all the hate thrown Crabs way both fair and unfair given his 3rd straight absence in the pre season he looks to be leaner and faster on the field. Pre-injury that is of course, how quickly Crabtree can get and remain healthy will be extremely important to this team. Crabtree/Edwards combination is much better than Edwards/Morgan, Ginn.
8) The scheme was pretty vanilla but the coaching staff did what it took to win. Sure this team has some “tricks” up their sleeve but they are still learning. If Harbaugh was forced to open up the playbook he would have, the team didn’t need to. The team did what it took to win the game, nothing more, and nothing less.
9) Frank Gore has not lost a step. Seattle keyed in on Gore the entire game and the offensive line of the 49ers did not respond well. Gore had a nice running lane 3 times by my count, 2 of those carries went for over 10 yards, the other Gore was stopped after a 2 yard gain by Earl Thomas (see #1)
10) Alex Smith played a near flawless game. Ok before you freak out just bare with me, I know flawless is a bit of a strong term. Alex did exactly what was asked of him; he avoided getting hit by throwing away, tucking and running himself, or dumping to a RB/TE. He made some very nice throws and only missed a couple. He only had 20 attempts to work with the least in the NFL you can’t expect much more with the game plan and limited throwing attempts. I’d love to hear what everyone’s observations are, post a comment or let me via twitter @Matt_NinerNoise.
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