Game 2 of the pretty rough 5 game start to this season is coming to you (like a lot of Niner games this year) in prime time, Sunday Night. I guess this means I need to tape Breaking Bad. Anyhow, Seattle escaped from the steaming cauldron that is Carolina in September with a fugly win punctuated by the Panthers beating the Seahawks all over the field. Marshawn Lynch had an uncharacteristically quiet day. Gaining only 43 yards. The Seattle run game was shut down. Russell Wilson passed for 320, but only scored once as he fumbled on the Carolina 18 right before the close of the 1st half to kill their drive and close the half down 7-3. The killer turnover however goes to DeAngelo Williams, who had a sweet 16 yard run down to the Seahawk 8 yard line ruined by a fumble. This was with 5+ minutes left, and would have put Carolina up 14-12, and could have provided the margin of victory.
Anyhow, Seattle looked like a team tired from travel, and playing in a hostile, hot, sweaty, and humid environment. Much like the last time these two teams met. The 49ers were coming off a hugely emotional win near Rhode Island on a Monday night, one where the Niners squandered a 31-10 lead, only to regain the lead in the closing minutes for a 41-34 win. Lost in the amazing come-from-ahead victory was the fact that the defense was on the field for 65 plays in the 2nd half! The Niners offense stalled out for nearly all the 2nd half as NE closed the gap. Justin Smith also suffered a torn triceps early in the 2nd half to slow down the defense even more. So, they travel to Seattle on a short week, battered bruised, and spent. And proceed to get slaughtered like the proverbial lamb to the uh, slaughter.
I think we can throw the results from both these games out. One can easily imagine that the Seahawks overlooked Carolina in their zeal to avenge whatever Pete the cheat is spewing in his locker room to his players. Lots of bulletin board fodder during the offseason for this game as well. Pete’s team getting busted for PED use, St. Jimmy’s reaction to that. Seattle’s reaction to THAT. Talk of strangling, cheating, drinking, fighting and the usual banter. Fortunately, the game is nigh, and the talk seems to be down to barely a whisper as I’m sure both coaches put a gag order on players talking to the media. Well, the only talk recently is the bet between Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick regarding their eyebrows. As in, the loser shaves one of their eyebrows off. Weird? Sure. Kappy did say this regarding the wipeout last year: “We’re going up there to prove that’s not who we are.” So, which is it? Seattle’s run offense is suddenly kaput? The Niners run offense? Neither did much of anything their 1st games. the Niner defense didn’t give very much pressure to Aaron Rodgers, and he isn’t reminding anyone of Michael Vick. Although he does move well (pretty fly for a white guy). Wilson? He threw the ball all over the place but didn’t score near enough. Kappy merely had the best game of his life. 400+, 3 TDs, 0 picks. Things not seen since, *ahem* Joe Montana roamed the loam of the Stick.
Hard to make anything of these teams as they are so close to the preseason, and both looked inept in certain phases. You have to think, though, that both coaches have this game as a marker. Both these teams are seen as bona fide Super Bowl contenders. Both want to make the early statement. Both want to win the NFC West. The good news for the 49ers is that the early game is in Seattle, the December 8th game is in SF. My thought is these guys merely cancel each other out. Seattle wins a squeaker 21-20, and we return the favor by beating the shit out of them at home. I rarely pick agaisnt the Niners, but this time around, I think the fact that the 49ers didn’t play their starters much in the preseason comes back to haunt them with false starts, delay-of-game penalties, and a costly turnover.