The San Francisco 49ers lost to the Seattle Seahawks. It's done. Nothing is going to change that. The best thing that can happen now is the 49ers can demolish the Colts out of anger and circle their next meeting with Seattle on the calendar.
But we shouldn't just move on from the game, not by a longshot. I wanted to have this up sooner in the week but I wasn't able to due to some technical errors, but each week, I'm going to break down the sacks allowed by the 49ers. Offensive line play is often my favorite aspect of watching football.
Fortunately, the 49ers don't always afford me with many breakdowns to break down, as they boast one of the top offensive lines in the NFL. Every player on the line is solid, but every player on the line can also be beat, and beaten badly. Kaepernick was sacked three times in Sunday's loss at Seattle, and I'll take a look at each.
Note: I'm still new at making gifs. I hope to find some solution to reducing the file size without it being a horrible gif so bear with me on this. Also, don't ask why the text is there -- it just has to be.
First Quarter: 2nd and 11 at SF 35, Colin Kapernick sacked at SF 26 for -9 yards (Michael Bennett)
As you can see in the .gif above, Anthony Davis just can't handle Bennett on this play. You'll notice Alex Boone get his man and get him well, and the rest of the line also does a solid job blocking, with Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin and Joe Staley sealing off the left side (after a mild struggle).
Davis doesn't quite get his hips around fast enough from the get-go. From the snap, he takes a step back and is almost unsure if Boone has his man (or at least it looks that way), and he hustles to swing around and stop Bennett coming in on the outside. He can't quite lock with him and Bennett gets around.
Kaepernick never saw it coming. As a side note, does anyone else notice just how slow tight end Vance McDonald is off the line? It's almost like he and the linebacker covering him were in a play of their own, that started half a second after the rest of the players happened to. Onto the next sack.
This play is partially on the offensive line, and partially on the quarterback. AThe biggest issue with the play is that both Jonathan Goodwin and Alex Boone have no idea what is going on at the start. They are completely taken aback by Seattle's rush, which is probably by design.
The only players who were effective on this play were Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati. Now, you might wonder why I single Davis out, because it was ultimately his man who got the sack, but Davis handled him for about as long one can expect in that scrambling situation. Iupati, naturally, just mauls his man for the better part of the play.
Boone, Goodwin and Frank Gore all back up and look at the same exact spot ... which was empty. Joe Staley struggles to contain his man and it was that which ultimately led to Kaepernick scrambling to the outside. One can argue that Kaepernick made a lot of mistakes on that play, from his extended dropback to the way he held the ball out.
I did go ahead and take a .gif of the coach's film, which I'm not going to embed but you can find it here. Do you think he should have made any of those throws?
Third Quarter: 3rd and 3 at SEA 3, Colin Kaepernick sacked at SEA 3 for 0 yards (K.J. Wright)
As far as the offensive line goes, Mike Iupati handles his man, and after a brief struggle, Joe Staley locks up his on the left side. Jonathan Goodwin and Alex Boone lock up their men, and Kaepernick is already moving at this point, not looking downfield at his receivers or even which direction is the right way to run.
Ultimately, Anthony Davis loses his man, and that's what prompts Kaepernick to run to the left side. Unfortunately, prior to this, he missed a wide open Quinton Patton and a wide open Anquan Boldin in the back of the end zone. Both receivers could have caught passes, though Patton was easily the more egregious error with how wide open his lane was.
Kaepernick probably should have scrambled the other direction. I also don't like how the rest of the line just stops and doesn't chase the play despite the fact that Kaepernick uses his feet to extend plays. Him going to the other side of the field doesn't mean "hey guys it's cool, drop what you're doing." It means: "get the hell over there and do whatever you can."
Just a bad play all around that killed all of the momentum the 49ers built on that drive (which, admittedly, probably wasn't a lot).