Seahawks 23 - 49ers 3: Jim Hostler, please pick up the courtesy phone

Uggghhhh. That's about the only word that can describe my feelings while fast forwarding on my TiVo. All I recall is Gore run for 2 yards, Trent Dilfer incomplete pass, Trent Dilfer sack, punt, wash, rinse, repeat with an occasional fumble mixed in.

I'm honestly running out of excuses. While I'd love to say Norv Turner's job switch is killing both the 49ers and the Chargers, I think the bigger issue continues to be the offensive line. Four weeks have come and gone and each time the offensive line has been absolutely shredded. Obviously Trent Dilfer is not the fleetest of foot, but even Alex Smith would have struggled with this lack of protection. Although, I will say, that I think Hostler would have instituted more roll outs to get away from the pressure, which is something Trent Dilfer just can't do anymore.

All in all, this was probably the toughest 49ers game to watch in the Mike Nolan era. When the team was creamed by Chicago and Kansas City last season, I got over the losses pretty quickly considering the team was clearly rebuilding. Now the team is trying to contend and it's so much more agonizing to see them yack it up like they did today.

As always I will do what I can to look at the positive of the day. The offense may have laid a big, fat egg, but there were notable performances. As happened last week, the defense stepped up early on and made plays. Unfortunately, as the defense was forced to spend more and more time on the field, they wore down and couldn't keep making the plays. Patrick Willis continues to make plays all over the field, Nate Clements continues to earn every penny of his contract and Marques Douglas has hooked up to the rejuvenation machine.

As I said earlier, the offensive line is the primary issue and it's something we all realize. There are some play-calling issues, but if the offensive line stepped up, Gore would be making better runs thus opening up the passing game. I'm somewhat kidding with the headline of this post, although I do think the OC needs to consider options to counteract a poor offensive line. However, the one plus about knowing the problem is that we can move past craptastic performances like we saw today.

It's frustrating to see the team blow a chance to gain the upper hand, but sometimes you just have to move forward. I know there is plenty to analyze from today's game, but I personally would prefer to start looking towards the Baltimore game. The Ravens are coming off an ugly loss in Cleveland and will be looking to let loose some frustration next Sunday. While I'd obviously like a win, I've reached a point where I'd just like to see some positive steps forward going into the bye week. There are enough winnable games on the schedule that we can afford some of these losses. However, we won't be getting future wins if we don't show some improvement soon.

Player of the Game
In spite of an overall ugly performance by most everyone, Marques Douglas had one hell of a game. Eight solo tackles and a sack only begin to describe Douglas's day. Each week, he seems to improve whether it be going after the quarterback, or stopping the running back behind the line of scrimmage. In fact, his tackle numbers have gone up each week and he's had at least a share of a sack each of the last three weeks. He's 30 and on pace for career highs in every category. Do you guys think he'll continue with this kind of performance? Or is this just an early season mirage? And yes, this is one more way of looking past today's abysmal performance.

EDITOR'S NOTE 10:57PM - Just found an article mentioning Marques Douglas is in his walk year. Not the most shocking quote then in the article:

"It's the last year of my contract; it's time to show what I can do," he said. "I was tired of the naysayers. People were saying we can't rush the passer, we need new defensive ends, we need a new defense. Guys get tired of it. I want to put to bed all those questions."
ALEX SMITH UPDATE: I'll update more tomorrow, but for now it looks like a separated shoulder. Eli Manning had what appeared to be a similar injury and was back the following week. Hopefully, Smith's isn't much more serious. Personally, I have no problem sitting him this week to combine with the Week 6 bye. There is no point in risking a season ending shoulder separation or dislocation. More to come tomorrow hopefully.
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