Here's a box score from a September 2003 week 1 game between the Patriots and Bills: final score? Buffalo 31, New England 0.
I know that this comparison may be a little bit crazy (OK, maybe a lot crazy), but hear me out. With a hat tip to Bill Simmons, it's crucial that we not overreact after Week 1's debacle. His words? "home dogs + raucous crowd + [Defensive] TD + dumb turnovers + bad weather + [Jimmy Raye] = FLUKE UPSET!!!!"
Delving into the similarities between the two games...
1) Bills were home in 2003. Seattle was at home last week.
2) Bills scored on a pick-6. Seattle scored on a pick-6.
3) Bills won the turnover battle 4 to 2. Seattle won the turnover battle 2 to 1.
4) Bills (10 for 119 yds) had fewer penalties than the Patriots (12 for 121). Last week? 'Hawks (5 for 35): 9ers (8-60)
5) Pats QB had a bad day: Brady went 14 for 28 (50% comp) for 123 yds, 4 INTs, 0 TDs, 22.5 rating
49ers QB had a bad day: Smith went 26 for 45 (57% comp) for 225 yds, 2 INTs, 0 TDs, 52.5 rating
1) Bills outgained the Pats in 2003 322 total yards to 239. 49ers outgained the Seahawks 263 to 242.
Even more interestingly, the 2003 Patriots went 14-2 having gone 9-7 the previous year, and the 2003 Bills went 6-10, having gone 8-8 the previous year.
The Pats starting receivers were Deion Branch and Troy Brown, neither of whom caught more than 60 passes for more than 804+ yards. Tom Brady finished the year with 3600 yards passing, and the Pats didn't have a 1000-yard running back. Somehow I think the Niners may have some better numbers than those...
Now, I'm not sure that Alex Smith will morph into 2003-era Tom Brady--in fact I doubt it, and I don't expect the 2010 49ers to go 14-2. But if the plays can come in quicker, and the team can rally around this early loss, they have a chance to be better, and maybe even to be special. GO NINERS!