Before everyone starts sending the hate comments on me betraying my team. I write this as objectively as possible in terms of writing what went wrong in this "game" against the Seahawks.
Everyone will first and always point out how the defense didn't do their job. And its true giving up 42 pts is one of the many signs of a bad defensive game. All I can really say in regards to that is poor game planning. Give credit to Russell Wilson and the coaching staff. He was making great throws and being the most elusive person in the pocket. Every play that it seemed like the 49ers defense was going to get a sack, Wilson outmaneuvered linebackers. They didn't see that in game tape from previous games? And I think a part of it also was defensive players being indecisive attempts when running at Wilson. Go after the QB instead of biting on his fake throws and round about turns. And the other plays I felt that Wilson just outran our DEs. I counted several times Ray McDonald had Wilson but was just burned. And this game, the NY Giants, Rams, and Vikings showed that the 49ers defense is not a shut out defensive team. They are not the 85 Bears and are not the 2001 Ravens. The defense can get some stops and put the offensive in good positions to score. And despite giving up a lot of pts, they gave the offense several opportunities to score in the redzone. The corners for our defense are not elite corners. There are times when they play like elite corners but they cannot contest every passing play.
With this in mind lets focus on the offense. In all fairness, I do feel like the offense put some good strings of passing plays together, granted by then the score for the game was so lopsided the defense was probably just being conservative. The problem that is at the crux of the issue is the offensive planning and consistency of moving the chains and scoring. This has been an issue all year long, with Smith or Kaepernick.
Lets start off with the waste of time outs in the 1st quarter and lack of fluidity of making audibles at the line. We can sort of forgive this game, due to the 12th man stadium noise, but we also can't. Going into this game the 49ers game planned for the noise, so they said, blasting music to simulate the noise. So if you game planned for the noise and the noise was still disruptive, either your game planning was useless or you just weren't executing plays properly. With this in mind, why are you calling audibles at the line with 4 seconds left on the snap clock? This has been an issue all year long stadium noise or not. There are no excuses for this. If you are going to give the QB options for calling audibles then switch to a no huddle because it is ridiculous how much time is wasted communicating the next play and getting set.
This offense has no offensive identity. They say our offense is running dominated, which is not true. Our running game was non-existent this game. The running game is not a game changer for us and doesn't give us the edge to come back from games that end up this way. The offensive line was having issues all game getting pushes on running plays and on one key special teams play with the blocked field goal. 4+ times the offense was put in the redzone and 4+ times resulting in the inability to get to the endzone. Thats unacceptable in any game but especially in the game where your defense is getting throttled by 3 TD scores early on. Field goals will not win high scoring games if you can't get touchdowns. Field Goals keep you in the game if you can score some TDs or win you the game if your defensive is lights out.
This team has struggled offensively to develop a consisting passing game to compliment its above average success with the running game. And because of that the 49ers are left at the end of regular season trying to find answers.
Ok you are thinking I am being harsh on the 49ers, this is one game and we are still in the playoffs. True, very true and as I always like to say any given sunday. But lets consider the facts, from what we know of the Superbowl teams they typically spend the 2nd half to last 4 games of the season putting things together and correcting their weaknesses as a team. As far as I am concerned, creating consistent offensive scoring possessions and extending the drive was that issue and has been the issue since Harbaugh took over. Last year, it was getting TDs in the redzone, which is still the issue this year but at least last year we had the options of kicking field goals every redzone opportunity from a lights out kicker with a lights out defense that kept games close.
Last time we played Seattle this year, the game was close. And you can argue that Seattle should have won that game had their WRs made catches (Wilson was hitting WRs in the hands all game). Seattle seems to be that team that spent the 1st half of the season struggling but putting it together through the 2nd half. This 2nd game demonstrates that. Seattle has seemed to address their WR issue, they were making great catches this game. Lynch has always been a solid runner and only gets better with Wilson's growth. That is the momentum you want as a playoff team.
To complicate the matter more, the 49ers took a major hit in this game losing VD and Manningham with injuries. And while im confident that the 49ers can beat the Cardinals, these are not the signs of a team that will make it far in the playoffs. While there haven't been any teams that look unbeatable this year, there are clearly teams that look like they are moving into the playoffs getting better and playing more consistently and the 49ers are not one of them.
I don't really have a great feeling going into the end of the year or playoffs with the way the team is playing. The Seattle game was an example of our team failing on all levels. Each time the 49ers have gotten behind against early scoring teams, they have lost the game. Vikings, Giants, and Seattle. For the Patriots we jumped ahead and even then they were able to come back. This team has really only worked in one way, relying on their defense to set the tone of the game and bail them out. That needs to change. The offense needs to come up in the last week and into the playoffs and set the tone for putting pressure on opposing teams. The Saints, Packers, Broncos, Patriots, and Falcons respectively do that the best. If theres any hope for an improving 49ers team, that needs to change starting now, not when we are down 3 TDs and we feel compelled to open up the book.
a 49ers fan, 100% Win, Lose or Tie.