Where to begin?
It was highly anticipated that from the starting kick-off, these two caliber teams would square off equally in the 1st quarter. Showcasing two quality defenses battling back and forth on both the field and the scoreboard. However, after the unexpected weather delay, the game would surely turn into a one-sided affair. After Marshawn Lynch entered into his patented “Beast Mode”, the San Francisco 49ers knew beforehand it was going to be another “sleepless night in Seattle”.
Both the running and passing game for the 49ers were wiped out indefinitely by the Seattle Seahawks‘ defensive front and a gritty secondary unit led by Richard Sherman. Frank gore struggled eminently on the field having only 9 carries for a total of 16 yards. On the contrary, Lynch finished off the day with 28 carries for a convincing 98 yards and two touchdowns easily slashing through the 49ers’ defense. Anquan Boldin’s offensive performance was almost non-existent, only recording 1 reception for a couple yards from the entire game. Colin Kaepernick threw the rock for an adequate 127 yards, had three interceptions, and got sacked three times for good measure. His gazelle legs did allow him to rush for a sufficient 87 yards. Gore and Kendall Hunter could not find any running lanes to take advantage of throughout the game, giving the 49ers no optimism and energy whatsoever to put points on the board. The wide receiving core of Marlon Moore, Anquan Boldin, and Kyle Williams could not get open in the backfield due to Seattle’s excellent man-to-man coverage. Moreover, Vernon Davis was also ineffective to produce any offensive yardage against Seattle’s cornerback Walter Thurmond.
Penalties were a monumental factor in this game; the 49ers were penalized for a shocking 121 yards, the most under head coach Jim Harbaugh. From Nnamdi Asomugha’s 40 yard penalty for pass interference, to Aldon Smith’s costly personal foul that converted into another Seattle touchdown in the 4th quarter. The 49ers’ inability to reach the red zone frustrated their players both emotionally and physically. Another predominant factor that controlled the tempo of this game was the resounding noise level at Seattle’s CenturyLink stadium. The Seahawk nest reached a jaw-dropping 136.6 decibels in the 3rd quarter, officially breaking the Guinness World Record for loudest stadium. Consequently, the 49ers had plenty of communication problems on the field, encouraging Seattle fans to squawk even more.
The injury bug struck the 49ers hard, losing NT Ian Williams to a broken left ankle, S Eric Reid to concussion-like symptoms, Vernon Davis (hamstring), and DE Ray McDonald (right-leg). Losing McDonald will open up some vulnerability to the 49ers’ defensive front, replacement Glenn Dorsey needs to compete at a high level to keep the defense in tact. Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, and Demarcus Dobbs are required to cover for the decorated Pro Bowl tight end. If Reid has to go through the NFL’s concussion protocol, it will be up to Craig Dahl to shoulder his load on the defensive side. The 49ers made the safety position a priority one on the 2013 NFL Draft after the departure of two-time Pro Bowler Dashon Goldson. The NFL needs to find a way to restructure protection rules for both the offensive and defensive linemen to reduce injury occurrences. Extra rules have been reinforced to protect the quarterback, why can’t the linemen be treated the same way?
The “Legion of Boom” lowered the hammer last night against the helpless 49ers. They outplayed the 49ers emphatically in both the offensive and defensive departments. The defense for the 49ers held up for the first half and crumbled terribly in the second giving Lynch too much room on the field. The 49ers were given some opportunities in the first half to capitalize on, but they never followed through. This was a classic slugfest between two NFC rivals that have nothing but pure animosity for each other. The Seahawks sent a compelling “statement” to the current reigning NFC champions. Unquestionably, a “rebuttal” will be ready for the Seattle Seahawks once they step into San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on December 8.
“We’ll be ready!”