Fooch's Note: This is a nice little dissection of the 49ers loss in Seattle, along with a general look ahead.
Prior to Sunday's game, I published a Fanpost dissecting the 49ers/Seahawks rivalry. In hindsight, I may have sold the current Seahawks squad a little short. I described them as "very good," but buried in my write-up was the idea that they may not quite be on the level of the 49ers. After two thorough beatdowns in the Emerald City, the Seahawks look like a team very capable of rolling the 49ers on any given day. That's not to say the 49ers aren't capable of doing the same, but it has yet to be seen.
A game like this is bound to generate a variety of knee jerk reactions. Of course there's always the obligatory NN day-after-loss blame it on Greg Roman campaign, but some others that I've noted today include; 49ers can't win in Seattle; Kaepernick can't crack the Seahawks stingy secondary; Carroll has found a blueprint for shutting down Harbaugh's scheme; Seattle's weather is ALWAYS awful. That last one might not be far from the truth and if Ray Lewis says that some greater power had a hand in this one, I have no choice but to believe him. I'm kidding, of course, Ray Lewis is out of his f-ing mind. Knee jerk reactions are common after a disappointing outcome like Sunday's NFC West showdown and when Monday arrives, we're stuck looking for silver linings. Don't look too hard though folks, there's not a lot of them after this one. It's safe to say it's time to just move on and realize that there is a whole lot of football to be played.
If the past is any indication, I think the 9ers bounce back strong this weekend against Andrew Luck and the Colts, avoiding back to back losses as the team has done since Harbaugh arrived. But there are adjustments to be made going forward. Below are some observations from the game as well as some things I'd like to see happen this season. Keep in mind, these thoughts are only from what I've observed and no credible metrics whatsoever have been taken into account. I write for my own enjoyment and got fired from the football management team when I was in high school, so take it for what it is.
From the game:
Why do the Seahawks look sooooooooooo fast at home? It's honestly incredible. Their defense just plays at a different speed in front of that crowd. Had Kaepernick not been so elusive, Seattle could have racked up double digit sacks. I really wish Harbaugh had gone for it on that 4th and goal in the third quarter. At the time, 3 points just didn't seem to matter with the way the game was unfolding. A score would have made it 12-7 and forced the Seahawks offense into a pressure situation. Instead, they were given the ball with a two possession lead and reinforcement from their defense that the 49ers weren't going to get into the endzone. Aside from some dumb penalties and a handful of play action gaffes, I thought our defense played pretty well. Let's remember, this was still a game, albeit a sloppy one, until the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, the Seahawks were the better team and it's on to next Sunday for the 49ers. I'm glad this Seattle trip is over. The Seahawks come to San Francisco in December where the 49ers will be ready to rebuttal.
-This one might be a little obvious, but the coaches have to find a way to get Quinton Patton and Vance McDonald involved in the offensive gameplan. Without Crabtree and Manningham, we need legitimate receiving threats and these rookies are going to be relied upon to develop quicker than they might have been had key playmakers not been injured. Both players have shown flashes of real NFL talent but it hans't translated into immediate production, and that's okay. McDonald had a nice grab on Sunday in which he ran over Rich Sherman for a little YAC action (There's your silver linin… oh wait, Sherman absolutely OWNED otherwise… nevermind). It's only Week 2 so there's plenty of time for these talented dudes to be integrated into the offense. I look forward to seeing it happen sooner rather than later.
-It's silly for me to say this because I have absolutely NO CREDIBILITY WHATSOEVER, but there will be games where our coaches have to be more creative with the gameplan than they were last night. To a certain extent, I agree that this falls on G-Ro's shoulders. It seemed like he and his staff got outcoached for most of the tilt. The run game was never established and might as well have stayed in California. From the get go, Seattle's secondary was giving Kaepernick nothing and forcing him to like it. Kap look frustrated all night and it never seemed like he was really seeing the field (despite Harbaugh saying otherwise in his presser today). As this became increasingly obvious, I really thought they'd counter the DB's aggressive tactics at the line with more bunch formations. But it happened far too infrequently, and only when it was too late did the staff switch it up with five wide sets, yielding no significant results. I like the guy a lot, but Bruce Miller costs the team two points and still sees the second most targets while Kendall Hunter gets one carry? Chaos.
-Would it be crazy to put Kap under center every once in a while? I realize that doing this regularly would take away from what makes Kap special, but there have to be times where it could be beneficial. In an earlier post, Fooch pointed out what others had been saying about how going back under center occasionally could help revamp the missing run game. I couldn't agree more. I was actually hoping for some ass-to-hand action last night when it was obvious that the run schemes weren't working. Kap has been taking snaps out of the backfield since his time in Nevada so I understand that putting him directly behind Goodwin is never going to be the coaching staff's first option. However, it would be nice to see a little more of it going forward.
The 49ers are two games in on a tough opening stretch and sitting at 1-1 is about what I expected. It's not going to get easier, but obviously the ultimate goal was never to beat Seattle in Week 2. Adjustments will be made and onward we go.