September 11, 2011

49ers 33, Seahawks 17

Remember how everyone said our win over the Chargers last year was "lucky" because we scored two "fluky" touchdowns on Leon Washington kick returns? I ranted and raved at those fuckers, proclaiming that special teams is every bit as important and legitimate as offense or defense.

So don't go around saying that the Niners got "lucky" on those two Ted Ginn Jr. TDs- Our special teams catastrophically failed on those plays, and cost the rest of the team a chance to prevail in an imminently winnable game. People who didn't watch the game will see the score and think "Wow. Those shitty-ass Sea Chickens got blowed out just like I thought they would. Hyuk-hyuk!" We know the truth. The Niners were perilously close to blowing a 16-point half-time lead- and if our kick coverage teams had done their job, our defense probably at least gives Tarvaris Jackson a chance to drive the team into position to win the game.

For all of the flaws in Seattle's performance today, this one was a missed opportunity- A game they could have and SHOULD have won. The good news is that the defense appears to be on the verge of being a very dangerous unit- Earl Thomas is laying down evidence that he'll soon be one of the best safties in the NFL, and the run defense already looks impressively stout. Particularly with the noise and energy of the Twelve Army behind them at Seahawks Stadium, this defense could almost win games on their own.

The offense seemed to grow in the space of a single game, going from absolutely 1992-level atrocious to downright competent in the 2nd half. Tarvaris Jackson improved as the game went on and showed that he can be dangerous if kept "clean." He'll never be an All-Pro, but as the pass protection improves (and with Sidney Rice on the field), T-Jack can be an effective, maybe even slightly-above average NFL QB. To just lay down this marker: No, he wasn't nearly bad enough to justify Whitehurst taking his starting job. Yet.

I liked the commitment Bevell showed to running the ball, even if it didn't pay great dividends today. Doug Baldwin was a standout on offense, I found Marshawn Lynch's aggressive style inspiring yet again, and it was nice to see Golden Tate find the end zone. 17-24 points is about what we can expect the offense to put up on the board on a week-to-week basis. We aren't going to win a lot of shootouts.

That means that we need not only excellent defense (which we largely got today), but we also need the special teams to at least NOT TOTALLY FUCK US UP. Ideally, they'll dominate games like they did many times in 2010. Giving up TDs? We aren't going to win many games when they do that.

It's pretty simple. The Seahawks will win with competent offense, great defense, great special teams, and winning the turnover battle. We only had 1.5 out of 4 of those today, at best. The good news is that the flaws we saw today should fade away as the team gets healthier and gains experience. This team is going to win plenty of games this year (and yes, they might even win next week).

Even if the Seahawks come away with a loss at Pittsburgh next week, it won't be time to panic unless we lose at home to Arizona in Week 3. The Rams are battered and face a daunting early season schedule- They won't run away with this division. The Cardinals just barely beat the Panthers at home, so I'm not exactly terrified of those jokers.

The Niners? Fuck em. We'll get payback on Xmas Eve. No doubt about it.

This isn't a time for despair. The Seahawks WILL get things going in the right direction, and sooner than a lot of people think.

What do you think, sirs?


Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, agreed %100 with everything you wrote. Couldn't agree more, we could've won, and Our D is looking really good (Browner got bullied today, unfortunately). even though we didn't get the W, the Hawks are definitely on the right track to bigger and better things!

el padrino said...

Well said. There were lots of positives to take from this game. My biggest fear is how bad the running game looked, but I think with experience the line will improve.

Eric Flatness said...

My only concern (defensive-wise) was that I didn't see them create any turnovers. The Hawks lost three today (though admittedly two were in garbage time in their given halves). The team is minus three in turnover differential. Carroll loves guys that create turnovers, yet there were no fumbles, no interceptions, no nothing today. The Hawks needed a few big plays today, and the only guy that seemed to be dealing today was Baldwin. And while there's certainly something to be said about a steady team, and that turnovers come more frequently with pressure, I really wanted to see Browner come away with a pick, or Curry jar a fumble.

Big Thing said...

I agree. The Hawks moved in the right direction in the second half. I just hope the Offensive line can continue to grow to allow the offense to find it's groove.

While i don't think the hawks will be world beaters this year, watching the improvement is something that I look at being paramount to our success, not even perhaps this year, but in the years to come. I trust Pete to build out team up - from the core of the offensive line, WR etc (like is attempting to do this off season) to I am sure a QB, and defensive draft additions that will make us winners of the NFC west division title for many years to come.

Nick said...

The team is incredibly young and barely had an off-season. I'm not at all surprised that our special teams weren't up to snuff. Give them a few weeks and they should shape up.