We knew Sunday would provide some unexpected results between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, but a blowout was the last thing we expected. We should have a couple of injury updates later on Monday. Hopefully, there are no severe injuries for the Niners.
Dante Pettis’ return to Seattle was an unwelcome one, as he took a huge hit on the ensuing kickoff and the ball was jarred loose by Cody Barton and the ball was recovered by Nick Bellore at the 49ers’ 21. A 6-play, 21-yard drive featured multiple third down conversions including this sick TD to David Moore. 27-7 Seahawks.
The beatdown of Jimmy Garoppolo continued as the impressive blitz schemes led to him getting sacked again on a 3rd down. That would be the end of his day after Alton Robinson wrapped him up. Seattle tacked on a field goal early in the 4th quarter to make it a 23-point lead by the time Nick Mullens entered the game. 30-7 Seahawks.
Well, DK is officially Baby Bron for the rest of his life pic.twitter.com/ffWrdLjNQe— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 1, 2020
Yes, unsurprisingly, the praise was directed at Seahawks wideout DK Metcalf.
The similarities are obvious enough: both have freakish athleticism and are visibly larger and stronger than their pro competitors. James, 35, is coming off his fourth NBA title, and stands 6’9, 250 pounds. Metcalf, 22, doesn’t quite have the same bona fides yet. But he is listed at 6’4, 229 pounds — allowing him to tower over cornerbacks — and is almost universally considered the most talented young receiver in the NFL. He managed to eclipse the 100-yard mark against the 49ers in the first half alone, and is well on his way to his first 1,000-yard receiving season.
The 49ers are not dead.
Not yet, at least.
It might feel convenient to write them off, especially after you wasted three-plus hours of a beautiful Sunday in the Bay to watch a submissive and anemic performance in Seattle. The 37-27 score did not properly reflect how roundly the 49ers were beaten by the rival Seahawks.
The Niners had to have known such an onslaught was coming, which meant it was time for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense to meet the challenge and engage in a shootout. That’s how the Arizona Cardinals took down the Seahawks last week, and it seemed like a reasonable ask, given that Seattle’s defense entered Sunday’s game riding a historically awful start in terms of yards allowed.
Instead of firing on all cylinders and trading offensive punches with the Seahawks, the Niners’ offense fell flat. With Seattle daring him to push the ball down the field, Garoppolo was inaccurate and indecisive. The pass protection was spotty at best, and a run game without the services of Raheem Mostert or Jeff Wilson Jr. offered little. It wasn’t until they were too far behind and backup Nick Mullens was in that the Niners moved the ball consistently.
Most of the United States turned back its clocks an hour Sunday for daylight savings, and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan turned back his playbook over a decade in an attempt to catch the Seattle Seahawks off guard.
With the 49ers facing third-and-5 on their first offensive series of Week 8, Shanahan split quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo out wide and running back Jerick McKinnon lined up in the wildcat, the same formation the 2008 Miami Dolphins used to devastating effect in a surprise playoff berth that season.
McKinnon was an option quarterback at Georgia Southern, but he looked the part of someone who hadn’t played the role for the better part of seven years.
Why the Seahawks won
It’s about time we start mentioning Metcalf when we discuss elite wide receivers in the NFL. He caught six passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns just in the first half, and he was bigger, faster and more athletic than anyone the 49ers had in the secondary. It’s almost unfair when you consider the kind of challenge he presents as both a jump-ball receiver and then a home-run hitter as well.
Metcalf’s two scores in the first half had everyone feeling like the Seahawks were in control, and Wilson was able to take it from there.
Why the 49ers lost
I’m not here to lead the “bench Jimmy Garoppolo” movement, but the quarterback situation is something we probably need to discuss. Garoppolo completed 11 of 16 passes for 84 yards and an interception, while Mullens completed 18 of 25 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns in just a single quarter. With Garoppolo, the offense was not in sync, and throwing downfield was not much of an option. The Seahawks came into this game with what really was the worst defense in the league, as they allowed an average of 479.2 yards of total offense per game.