It was a very disappointing night Sunday for the 49ers, but don't be too upset, cheer up! Brighter days are ahead my friends, this was just a bad week. After a loss to your teams favorite rival, it's easy to be negative, but I'm here to bring a little calm to the storm. Here are some of the reasons why this game shouldn't have you panicking going forward.
The Lightning Delay
The point was made by Chris Collinsworth that the 49ers had the advantage when the weather delay took place. His reasoning was that because the 49ers experienced the blackout at the Super Bowl, which featured a lengthy delay, they should know how to deal with the down time. A one game sample size, albeit a big one, is not a good way to formulate how a team handles a delay.
Fooch's Note: It's pretty obvious at this point that networks have no clue how to handle lengthy delays.
No player or coach would use this as an excuse, but it certainly could have had an effect on the 49ers offense, and Kaepernick in particular. The delay didn't allow Kap to get in a groove or warmed up. Russel Wilson also had a night to forget, his biggest completions on an 8-19 night came to wide open Seahawks on coverage lapses. Being jacked up for such a big game, then having to go back into the locker room before halftime, then back in again at halftime, didn't allow for players to get in a good rhythm.
I think it's safe to say that CenturyLink FIeld is the most hostile place to play for visiting teams in the NFL, and especially so for the 49ers. With 68,338 on hand for their biggest crowd, they broke the record for the loudest stadium ever. It must have been nearly impossible for the 49ers offense to communicate and all be on the same page.
One Man Wrecking Crew
If it wasn't for Marshawn Lynch, the 49ers probably would have won this ball game. "Beast Mode" grinded out first downs and kept the Seahawks on the field drive after drive, and helped them win the time of possession battle 36:43-23:17. Lynch had 28 carries for 98 yards and two scores, and was their leading receiver, with 3 receptions and a touchdown
The Box Score Is Deceiving
While the 49ers could have played a lot better (especially on offense), it wasn't that big of a whooping. The final score was 29-3, but that really doesn't tell you the full story. The first half ended with the Seahawks leading just 5-0. The five points came off a Bruce Miller hold in the end zone, which went for a safety, and a Colin Kaepernick fumble, which lead to a Seattle field goal. The 49ers also had a chance to get points on the board in the first half, but Kaepernick threw an interception with less than ten yards to go before the end zone. Granted, things started to unravel in the fourth quarter, but for three quarters this game could have went either way.
The 49ers lost an away game to a really good football team in an insanely loud stadium, that had crappy weather. There are plenty of things that they could have done better to win this game, but there isn't a reason to freak out just yet. I'd even contend that the Niners defense was solid for the most part (besides a couple blown coverages and well, a lot of penalties). There's a game Sunday against the Colts, and I anticipate a lot of improvements that will make you singing the praises of your favorite player. I'll talk about the ways they will improve in my next post.
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