on improving the passing game. I know they are limited by the CBA but I would expect to see Russell, his offensive line, backs and receivers spending time together ON THEIR OWN getting down their blocking, timing and routes damnit! We've seen glimpses of greatness from this offense, but they need to learn some consistency.
It's 6 games in and I think it's a good time for Russell to look at his tendencies and make some minor adjustments here and there. For instance, Russell has a tendency to lock on to Braylon Edwards sometimes and I think San Francisco realized it and baited him in to throwing that way. Did you notice how quickly they would converge on Edwards once the ball was thrown? I think if Mr. Wilson pump faked it to Edwards, it would draw a lot of attention and he would have one of the other receivers open or with single coverage. And spend some time throwing it to Zach, Emo and Baldwin! These guys are going to save your ass more often than not, build a rapport with them damnit!
Next, practice running in a crowd so that you break your tendency to run right in to the defender. Know which side of your blocker to run on. And one other thing, NFL players are fast, you need to be decisive and get up-field fast, because they will catch you if you screw around! I know I know, he's still a rookie, but he's not like any other rookie QB, and I expect him to play a lot better than he has been. He has the ability, he just needs to avoid tendencies and make better decisions, in and out of the pocket. For that matter, I would rather that they roll him out on just about every play until the line learns how to pass block better. And ESPECIALLY learn how to roll out to the left and throw. Russell, your tendency is to roll out to the right, and defenders know that. Even if you get forced to the left, you will spin around, run backwards and try to get back to the right side of the field. That is too predictable damnit! Tendencies, tendencies, tendencies!
However, in despite all my ranting about Wilson needing to improve, he did look pretty good at the beginning of the game, he just needs to figure out how to keep that up. I re-watched it and we were kicking so much ass in to the 2nd quarter that I was sure this was going to be a win, but then it was like the fatigue set in and they went down hill. I think that's one of the reasons this loss hurt so much, because they started out that game so good but couldn't keep it going. And after them beating the Patriots, I guess I expected big things from my team in this game but it wasn't to be.
Another reason it hurt so much is because there were so many chances, so many "what ifs?" What if Turbin caught that ball, or if Emo had caught his, or if Tate had caught his, or if Braylon had caught the one in the end zone, or if Obo hadn't been tripped up by the turf monster? And that was just in the first half!
Why were we kicking it to Ted Ginn? Why did we run Leon Washington on 3rd and 10? I swear SF KNEW where that ball was going, there must have been a "tell" on that play. Pete better find it and correct it because SF plugged up some pretty good lanes like they knew where they were going to be!
One thing that bugged me in the game was the run defense giving up big chunks of yards, but I attribute that to the 49ers O Line, game plan, and fatigue. On at least one play they let our DEs and DTs run themselves past the play and Gore gained big yardage up the middle. I think they were fooled in to believing that it was a pass play. Still, even though they struggled a bit in the first half, they only gave up a field goal.
Did anyone else think that it looked like San Francisco and Harbaugh were playing scared. The things that stood out to me were they kept calling for flags, then Harbaugh threw a panic challenge flag on a possible fumble that was recovered by Seattle anyway, and it seemd that Harbs was out of sorts this game, constantly freaking out with the "what?!" expression on his face where as in the past it's usually a look of angry confidence. It just seemed like the 49er sideline was in a daze and I think it was because they had lost to the Giants at home and were now playing a team that had just beat the Patriots. They did manage to score 13 points though, but that wouldn't have been enough if our offense hadn't been so out of sync.
Despite the decided advantage that San Fran had in playing this game at home, against a team that has had little rest over the past 3+ weeks, Seattle played a hell of a game and had they gotten a few breaks, would have come away with a win. I know one thing, I'll sure be happy when this team starts winning those games, hell I'll be excited when they win any road game because I expect this team to be 8 - 0 at home this year.
It was a tough loss, but not the end of the world. The telling point will be in how they handle it, what they do with their time before the Lions game, and how they play in Detroit. All things being equal, we should win this game. 1. We have a dominant defense and they have no running game. 2. Our offense will have had a little more time to gel with each other. 3. A lot of the struggles in the last game were due to poor pass protection and Cable's going to work those boys over this week. 4. They are going to play hard for Pete after letting him down Thursday. And 4. Matt Hasselbeck beat Pittsburgh for the 1st time since the X debacle so that means we are going to win in the building where it happened. Hell, makes perfect sense to me.