The San Francisco 49ers looked like a completely different team in Week 2 from the one that scored 34 points and had 494 offensive yards in the season opener. The Seattle Seahawks showed the 49ers why they are the best team in the NFC West and legitimate Super Bowl contender.
At the conclusion of the 49ers 29-3 loss, I was left wondering what happened to the offense from last week that consistently moved the football down the field and put points on the board. A lot of credit goes to Seattle’s defense that was physical all game with the receivers and stopped the 49ers running game from every angle.
The Niners defense held the down Russell Wilson and his offense as long as they could, but injuries and fatigue slowed them down towards the end of the third quarter. As Mike Singletary once said after a loss to the Seahawks: “Thank you very much for kicking our tails. It was good medicine and we’re going to take it. And we’ll go from there.”
Hopefully this will be the last time this game is talked about on Niner Noise.
(Game Gold Nuggets Scale)
It is rare when handing out GGN’s that coal is awarded. Only when one of the three units or coaching staff is just awful from start to finish of the game is when it’s handed out. That was the case for Colin Kaepernick and his offense. You know the 49ers offense was bad all game when the same player who had four turnovers, also was the leading rusher. Kaepernick finished the game with three interceptions, one fumble and a 20.1 passing rating.
The ineffectiveness of the offense was not all Kaepernick’s fault. The Seahawks’ cornerbacks were physical all game, bumping Niners receivers right off the line of scrimmage. They were led by Richard Sherman, aka Superstorm Sherman, who was all over Anquan Boldin and limited the receiver to just one catch. Even when the receiver could shake free, Seattle’s coverage was too good for Kap to find openings.
When the pass does not work for the 49ers offense, they always know they have the run game to rely on. But so far this season the rushing attack has not resemble anything close to a top running game. Frank Gore only managed 16 yards on nine carries, averaging 1.8 yards per rush. The offensive line could not open holes for Gore and they also gave up three sacks and allowed too much pressure. A big reason why Kaepernick was the leading rusher with 87 yards was because of the protection breaking down.
The Niners defense held steady for most of the game, but being on the field for 36-plus minutes took its toll. The Seahawks did not score their first touchdown until the middle of the third quarter. One of the things the defense accomplished was holding Wilson to just 142 passing yards, a 42.1 completion percentage and 63.9 QB rating. Safety Eric Reid picked off Wilson for his second INT of the season before he left the game with a concussion.
Yes, Marshawn Lynch had 98 rushing yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns, but it did not come easy for him. On 17 points the defense gave up, the Seahawks had drives of 46, 17 and 2 yards.
NaVorro Bowman led the defense with 11 tackles. Ahmad Brooks was equally as impressive with nine tackles and two that went for a loss. Aldon Smith added to his sack total with two takedowns of Wilson. However, as good as the outside linebackers played, they had costly penalties in the second half. Brooks was flagged for a late-hit on Wilson and Smith was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when he retaliated by pushing a Seahawks lineman.
Safety Craig Dahl had a huge play in the first quarter with a blocked punt at Seattle’s 33-yard line. Andy Lee had one punt go 60 yards and he averaged 49 yards on four punts. The coverage return team allowed Golden Tate to take a punt 33 yards. On a kickoff return in the fourth quarter, Perrish Cox fumbled at San Francisco’s 20-yard line.
Are the 49ers truly the second-best team in the NFC West or does Jim Harbaugh and his staff draw up terrible game plans against the Seahawks? I hope it’s the latter. But either way, Harbaugh needs to throw out whatever strategies he came up with the last two games for the Seahawks and go back to the drawing board to figure out something new.