Monday, November 20, 2006
No, they didn't deserve to win that game.
Where do I even begin?
-- Seneca Wallace threw three picks. The third one was just about a formality, as the Seahawks were hanging onto some pretty feeble threads trying to get down the field with zero timeouts after the two-minute warning. The first one absolutely derailed the first Seahawk drive of the game, one that included a trio of half-decent runs by Shaun Alexander. They had marched from their own 7-yard line across midfield when a deep ball to Darrell Jackson was picked. The second pick came two possessions later. The Seahawk defense had just forced a punt from deep in San Francisco territory, and they were rewarded by the offense, as the pick occurred on the second play of Seattle's third offensive series, early in the second quarter. With how good Wallace has been the last couple of weeks, should we really be surprised that maybe the fact that he's a backup would eventually catch up to him?
-- I got the bad end on more than one facet. Not just because the Seahawks had Frank Gore ripping them a new one all day, but because Gore is on my fantasy team, the 49ers scored 20 points, and Gore never got to the end zone. Total crap.
-- In the first half, the defense sure did a 180 compared to the last two weeks. I should do some research on it, but the Seahawk defense seems to have a habit of allowing huge mondo plays on the first plays of drives. One example would be the Chester Taylor touchdown run a few weeks ago. Let's look at the first plays of the drives in the first half today: Gore runs for 2, Gore runs for 51, Gore runs for 9, a pass to Antonio Bryant for 16, Gore through the middle for 20, and Arnaz Battle for 12 yards on a double reverse. How much can you expect to accomplish when your defense is allowing an average of 18.3 yards on the first play of every opposing drive?
-- For as bad as the defense was in the first half, they did great in the second half. They were the only reason this team had a chance. What happened? The offense SUCKED, SUCKED, and SUCKED some more.
The Seahawk defense shut out the 49ers in the second half of this game. Let's see what the defense forced and how the offense nicely responded...
offense: touchdown to get onto the board
defense: let the 49ers get from their own 20 to the Seattle 13 in seven plays, but Joe Nedney missed from 31 yards
offense: they moved the chains once; six-and-out, punt
defense: after the 49ers got 17 yards on second down, the Seahawks weathered a near-crazy leaping catch by Battle (ruled a bobble and incompletion) on third down before forcing a punt (six-and-out)
offense: three-and-out with a Chris Spencer holding penalty to negate a 15-yard Alexander run, and there was a Tom Ashworth false start for good measure as well
defense: the 49ers got 16 on 3rd-and-4 but couldn't make good on 3rd-and-11 from near midfield and punted
offense: basically three long pass plays and an illegal contact penalty against San Francisco led to what would be Seattle's final score
offense: they moved the chains once, Wallace took a ten-yard loss on a sack, a pass to Deion Branch was two yards short of the chains, and Alexander needed one more yard on 4th-and-2
defense: Lofa Tatupu forces a fumble out of Frank Gore on the first play
offense: two plays later, Wallace gets in the shotgun and Walt Harris picks him for the second time
defense: the 49ers got from the Seattle 34 to the Seattle 9, the Seahawks burned all three of their timeouts, then Nedney inexplicably missed from 27 yards, giving the Seahawks another shred of hope
offense: two long incomplete passes, one short pass, and a too-short dumpoff pass to Mack Strong, some laterals, and an inconsequential fumble
Say you were sitting at your television after the Seahawks scored that touchdown to make it 20-7. If I tell you the 49ers won't be scoring at all in the second half, do you say the Seahawks can score 14 points and take the lead? I'd have to think most people would think the Seahawks would pull that game off. It's just sickening that time after time the Seahawk defense held the 49er offense back, and time after time the Seahawk offense responded with peanuts all but one time (the touchdown that accounted for the final score).
-- Alexander got 17 carries for 37 yards. Mo Morris got two carries for 12 yards. I know Alexander started, but it was his first game back, and I thought he was going to be eased into this a bit. Instead, he averages barely over two yards a carry, while Morris, who ran just fine the past couple of weeks, gets two measly carries. I would have been all right with a 50/50 split in carries between Alexander and Morris, but there's no way Alexander should have had the overwhelming bulk of the carries.
-- Jerramy Stevens' only catch ended with a fumble. Yup.
All in all, the Seahawks could have done themselves a massive favor in the NFC by winning to go to 7-3. Worse yet, they lose a divisional game and get pulled back into the fray with a just-above-mediocre 6-4 record. Even worse, I don't think this team is running the table with the remaining schedule, not with a game at Denver and a home game against San Diego. Who thinks an 11-5 record can get a first-round bye? No matter how bad the NFC is, I don't think there's any way 10-6 will net a first-round bye. I think even 11-5 is stretching it.
Based on the first half, the Seahawks didn't deserve a win. Based on the second half, they could have and should have won this game, and San Francisco gave them chance after chance after chance to put points on the board. I'm starting to wonder whether anything big is even in the cards this season.
And yes, the post title is a reference.