Before we get started, I'd like to congratulate my #Channel49 partner Aaron Malone on the birth of his son, Quincy Michael Malone. Hopefully the little man brings some good luck tomorrow. Also, I'd like to thank Oscar from the Better Rivals podcast for helping me answer questions this week, it was a good time.
What can the Niners D do different than other teams in order to stop flushing Wilson out of the pocket for long gains? #channel49— Andy LoFaro (@CNasty5682) December 6, 2013
Many strategies have been implemented by teams in trying to bottle up Wilson. Last week the Saints left a spy on Wilson at times, but predominantly tried blitzing him, and that didn't work out well. Wilson recognizes blitzes well and has a knack of knowing where to scramble to buy time. Other teams have used a spy and that only bottles Wilson up temporarily and he can still beat the spy if he wants to run down field. In Week two versus the 49ers, Wilson did not have a very good game. Although the Seahawks won the game, Wilson went just 8-19 for 142 yards, and rushed for 33 yards on 10 carries. The 49ers had their most success in this game against Wilson when they just rushed four. The key is to get to Wilson quicker than other teams have, and when they get to him, they can't allow him to escape. If he's allowed to buy extra time, a big play or two are bound to happen.
#Channel49 I've heard conflicting opinions on what the Niners should start the game with offensively. Your thoughts?— Jason (@BayAreaFan2) December 6, 2013
I'd like to see them punch them in the throat on the very first play. Two receiver, two tight end set, play action pass, throw it deep to someone if they're remotely open. If they're stacking the box, more play action passes should be called no matter the down or distance. What I don't want to see is a pattern of down predictability on offense. Last week Greg Roman and company did a great job of mixing things up and keeping the Rams defense honest, the 49ers will have to mix it up even more against the Hawks.
The 49ers aren't really in a position to play it safe anymore this season, as their playoff spot isn't guaranteed. Expecting to play Seattle again and holding back would be a mistake, this isn't a "must win" game, but it's a very important game to win. If the 49ers win out, they control their own destiny as far as being in the playoffs, slipping up at all would leave them in a situation where they can't really lose another game.
Do you think we possibly see some more 3WR sets now that Crabtree is back? #Channel49— Sean Silveira (@seancca) December 6, 2013
I believe so. Earlier in the season with no Crabtree, Manningham, and Quinton Patton, the options for the number three receiver were limited. Now there are multiple options that can be plugged in at No. 3 receiver. Mario Manningham was building a good rapport with Colin Kaepernick before he went down to injury last year, and he has shown he's a good option in the passing game already since he's returned. Quinton Patton is near his return as well, and showed flashes of his talent this preseason. More weapons at their disposal means more of a diversity in formations, and with that will come more looks out of a 3 wide set. How much more? We will see, but certainly more than we have seen thus far.
Who will be our offensive and defensive x factors on Sunday? #channel49— Ali-son (@Alison_Redden) December 6, 2013
Offensive- Colin Kaepernick It's easy to point to the quarterback every week as an X factor, but against this stingy of a defense how the quarterback plays is even more crucial. He will be facing a stiff pass rush play in and play out, and a secondary that still looks pretty good despite Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner being out. Kaepernick will have to be decisive and gutsy, at times throwing into small windows and trusting his ability as well as his receivers. When there's an opportunity to run and gain some yards he needs to take it, against the Seahawks there is no time to be indecisive, take any positive yardage when you're able to. Defense- Aldon Smith After being back with the team nearly a month, Aldon Smith started looking like the dominant Aldon Smith we know last week. If he has a great game, the 49ers have a great chance at a victory. Aldon not only has the ability to get to Wilson for sacks, but also to continuously pressure him and make him get rid of the ball sooner than he'd like to. Cowboy has an honorable mention here, because he opens up so many opportunities for Aldon to do his thing.
Win or loss, there's still a chance of going to Seattle in the playoffs and winning. A loss tomorrow would mean that the 49ers have lost three straight against the Seahawks, and that would be rough mentally. This game would quell any doubts the 49ers have of being able to beat this team. The Niners have had enough lessons in humility this year, it's time for a good win to gain some confidence heading into the postseason.
The Hawks have a stiff run defense, but being at home will help matters some. Against Seattle earlier this year Frank had 9 carries for just 16 yards. It is true his numbers are down overall, averaging just 4.0 yards per carry this season after averaging 4.7 last season. Part of that is in part due to teams not respecting the 49ers passing game and stacking the box heavily. Opposing defense will not be able to do that as much with the return of Crabtree, his return makes a big difference in how defenses play them snap to snap. It's not going to be easy for Frank, but the run game will need to get going somewhat if the 49ers are going to win this game. My prediction is Frank has 17 carries for 85 yards and a score.
@Woods49ers with the niners constantly trying to find a backup to replace McCoy this year, do you think they just go all in for Schuab?— Paymon sohirad (@Paymon52) December 6, 2013
I'd be shocked. Matt Schaub is thirty two, and a regressing thirty two. The 49ers can find many better, younger options, that are less inclined to throw interceptions to the opposing team and help get his coach fired. And I'm still mad at Schaub for throwing a pick six to Richard Sherman earlier in the season when the game was in hand for the Texans until that moment.