As I emphasized in my recap from last week, I'm not feeling all that confident about winning up in Seattle. However, in looking at the Week 4 result and looking at our victory up their last year, my optimism is once again returning (shockingly enough). I'm sure this is one more opportunity for the 49ers to smack me back into reality, but once again, this is a WINNABLE game. I'm not saying we'll win it. I'm not even saying we won't get killed by Seattle. I'm just saying there's a chance we could win it. Of course I've decided to still predict a 49ers loss in hopes of reversing some karma. It's sad and pathetic but I'll do whatever it takes.
Seahawks Rushing Offense
Both teams have seen their Pro Bowl running backs struggling. While most of us agree the offensive line is Frank Gore's problem, Shaun Alexander just seems to just be getting old. Or maybe he was never as good as people thought. I'm putting together 5 questions for the folks at Field Gulls, and the Alexander question is the one I'm most curious about. Of course, we hooked up Warrick Dunn to the rejuvenation machine, so I'm really not sure what to expect.
Seahawks Passing Offense
We all thought it was a steal to get Darrell Jackson for a 4th round pick. And it did in fact turn out to be a steal...for the Seahawks. It doesn't look like Deion Branch will be playing, as he missed practice Wednesday with his foot heavily wrapped. Matt Hasselbeck hasn't been spectacular for Seattle, but he continues to produce with a less than stellar wide receiver corps.
The Seahawks defense has been a bit inconsistent at times, but overall, they've done some good things. While I'd expect a decent pass rush, this game should be a little different than Week 4, when they recorded 6 sacks and 2 interceptions. Dilfer was coming off the bench cold and clearly was not in his element (not that he ever is anymore). Aside from the Week 2 victory over the Rams, Alex Smith has thrown for less than stellar completion percentages of 48.4%, 48.6%, 51.2% and 44.7%. So if the pass rush is on, will we just see a repeat of those performances?
While I'm guessing Jim Hostler isn't listening to me, I'd like to think the 49ers would combat the pressure with roll outs, with which Smith had tremendous success last week. If Smith can have the opportunity to make those short passes, particularly to The Disease, he could make some things happen for once. While The Disease can stretch the field, he can also make things happen on short passes with some open field in front of him. It takes multiple guys to take him down and with his speed, a few key blocks can spring him for a big gain. MAKE IT HAPPEN! Maybe mix in some slant patterns to Battle and D-Jack on 3-step drops. Really, how difficult is it for the coaching staff to see what we see? ESPECIALLY, considering the amount of game tape they have at their disposal.
The 49ers will not be a deep threat offense in part because of Smith's lack of accuracy deep and in part because the offensive line has struggled. This offense could still become a big play offense on some these shorter plays. You spring a block in the right place and you turn a 6 yard gain into a 15 or 20-yard gain.
So those are just my two cents. Opportunities exist for this offense to make things happen and I just want to see them take advantage of these opportunities. The 49ers going to be under the spotlight Monday Night so how about they actually show the world something?