Sunday, September 11, 2011
49ers beat Seahawks in season opener 33-17
The Seattle Seahawks(0-1) opened their season up with a thud in losing a divisional game on the road to the San Francisco 49ers(1-0) 33-17. The Seahawks offense couldn't move the ball with much consistency behind Tarvaris Jackson while the special teams allowed back to back touchdown returns late in the fourth quarter to blow the game wide open. Pete Carroll couldn't have liked what he saw from his team this sunday down in San Francisco. The Seahawks overall proved many critics right when calling the Seahawks one of the worst teams in the NFL heading into the season. The Seahawks at times was looking like a team who is going to be headed for a long season. The Seahawks didn't help themselves with a horrible first half which set them behind for the entire game.
The first half was the type of half many expected out of these two bad teams. In fact the first quarter featured zero scoring from either offense. The 49ers were winning the field possession game due to great punting and Leon Washington not fielding two punts. The 49ers in the second quarter finally scored some points after Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt 31 yards to the Seahawks 27 yard line. After a Frank Gore 12 yard run the Seahawks stopped the 49ers and held them to a David Akers field goal. The Seahawks following possession saw Tarvaris Jackson fumble the ball as the 49ers recovered on the Seahawks nine yard line. The Seahawks defense once again held the 49ers to an Akers field goal giving the 49ers a 6-0 lead. After another Seahawks possession that went nowhere the 49ers went on a nine play 50 yard drive which was highlighted by Alex Smith hitting Vernon Davis for a 27 yard gain. Just like the two previous drives the 49ers would stall in the redzone and would have to settle for another field goal by Akers to take a 9-0 lead. The 49ers decided to kick the field goal instead of going for it on fourth and one. Harbaugh was also being ultra consertative in the red zone. He knew the Seahawks offense wasn't doing anything so he wanted to take the two possession lead over the defending division champions Seahawks.
All in all, the Seahawks have so much work to do offensively. The offensive line played pretty bad but the play of Lynch and Jackson makes them look worse than they truly are. The Seahawks defense played great against the run but still recorded zero sacks or turnovers which in the NFL won't get the job done one bit. The Seahawks dropped one of the few winnable games on their early part of their schedule. Now the Seahawks will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh in a super bowl XL rematch from the 2005 season. The Seahawks under second year coach Pete Carroll have a ton of work to do as they better figure it out soon. If the Seahawks don't figure it out soon expect a ton of fans to start openly rooting against them in a "suck for Luck" type of campaign. What a contrast from just a year ago.
Jackson was also sacked sacaked five times. Part of that was the offensive lines fault as they were blocking and the other part is that Jackson hangs onto the ball way too long which causes all these sacks. Next week against "Blitzburgh" Jackson better get rid of the ball quickly or the Seahawks are going to be in for a long day. Jackson may have had just one interception which was a hail marry but when you aren't moving the ball that does you no good.
Gore had just 59 yards(2.7 YPC) including getting stuffed several times for losses down in the redzone. Thomas is an electric player for the Seahawks and he'll probably end up being Carroll's best draft pick. In today's NFL you need a play making safety who is all over the field and that is exactly what Thomas is.
- For all the praise Lynch received this past offseason for that great run he had against the Saints in the playoffs many forgot just how disappointing he was last year. Like Jackson this isn't all his fault as the line simply isn't opening up enough holes for him to run through. Lynch also isn't helping matters with his constant dancing in the backfield and dropping passes out of the backfield as well. For a power back Lynch spends way too much time dancing in the backfield.
Lynch finished with 33 yards(2.5 YPC) against the 49ers which should come to no surprise to anyone. In 15 games with the Seahawks counting the playoffs Lynch has averaged under 4.0 YPC in 10 games. He was under 3.0 YPC in seven games which shows he isn't getting the job done. He has rushed under 50 yards in nine games, under 40 yards in six games in his brief Seahawks career. He has been denied out of the end zone in 10 games. So for all the noise about that run in the playoffs which by the way was terrific that overshadowed the fact that Lynch has been a total disaster since joining the Seahawks. The offensive line isn't very good but Lynch isn't helping that line out with all the dancing that he does in the backfield.
- Carroll is obviously trying to rebuild with this roster or he wouldn't have let Matt Hasselbeck go. The Seahawks lost a game in which their defense allowed just eight first downs to a crappy 49ers team which is headed nowhere. The Seahawks offense was that bad today and the special teams basically gave up 17 points today with the offense allowing another three points.
Look for fans to get on Carroll this season as he didn't help himself with the fans by getting rid of so many key veteran players. I honestly believe Carroll has this franchise moving in the right direction. He had the defense ready and in the second half the offense made some adjustments and started to move the ball. Jackson played just well enough to avoid any quarterback controversy but not well enough to land the victory for the Seahawks.
In conclusion, this was a key loss for the Seahawks losing in their division. I'm not talking about future years for this year the Seahawks needed that win over their divisional rivals. The Seahawks will travel next week to the defending AFC champions Steelers in a game that will see them be heavy underdogs. There is a very good chance the Seahawks start the year off 0-2 which is why today's loss was so hard to take. The defense played pretty good today and the Seahawks still couldn't win the game. The offense better improve as will the special teams or this is going to be a long season. The city of Seattle after enduring six months of crappy baseball I'm sure won't have the patience to go through four months of crappy football. The Seahawks better start winning or the city of Seattle will start talking MLS instead of the sports that have been here for close to 40 years.