Originally posted by seahawk12thman:
The deceptive thing about Sherman that most people don't realize isn't his cover speed but his closing speed. I was wondering myself how he is able to stay with receivers who are 4.2 or 4.3 and when I watched him their were two things that stood out to me, his length and his ability to make up ground quickly which is attributed to angles and acumen which really isn't coachable. When he played against Roddy White he knocked several passes away that he was beat on and even on the touchdown play to him (Carroll put the blame on Chancellor but whatever) Sherman was making up a ton of ground before he tripped over the carpet or his own feet. Roddy White had zero catches in the second half and I am curious as to how many times that has happened. Also keep in mind he doesn't need to blanket Davis because of his height and length. That being said VD is 6'3 and has tremedous size and it will be much harder for Sherman to Jam him off the line of scrimmage. The intangibles favor Davis but Sherman is highly intelligent and is good at positioning.. That is why he is an all pro (All you have to do is ask him ).
As for the other receivers, which Harbaugh has to choose from don't scare me one bit. They will go up against Walter Thurmond who is playing at an elite level and many people are wondering if he will start over Browner (He has been that good). The Seahawks are ridiculously loaded at corner (And no I am not being a homer). They also have Winfield to target Gore and help in the running back and he has been rated by many as the best run stopping corner in the NFL (However he is 35). That was the only reason Carroll wanted him. To me the strategy for the niners is a power two tight end set with two backs. The person you need to step up is Lockett to keep the Defense honest. Cause if I am to visualize the Niners being successful it will entail the speed of Davis and Lockett keeping the safeties honest and not allowing the Seahawks to sit eight in a box which is what they did at the clink . Davis is a problem but becomes less of a factor if it is just him and Boldin with our secondary because they can just put Browner on Boldin and double Davis. If you can neutralize our safeties then it becomes a battle of the big uglies up front and I can't argue the Niners may have the best OL in the NFL but losing Crabtree hurt real bad and unless you can find that third complementary receiver you are going to struggle. It is silly to predict a winner because this is Ravens vs Steelers all over again. I don't expect to see a 42-13 win. I expect a mauling by both teams and as usual the turnover battle will probably decide it.. Defensively you had better hold Lynch down this time.. Russell Wilson is going to get yards but you can't have both.. Of course one way to do that is control the line of scrimmage and keep the ball out of Wilson's hands.
Both Wilson and Kaepernick are intriguing this year because the cat is out of the bag on both of them. It is like baseball the second time through for rookies. By Game eight we will see who was hyped and who was legit. I fully expect both to do well and I think the second game isn't nearly as important as the one at the stick later in the year. That being said the game is much more important to the Seahawks because I believe they will have to sweep to win the division like I said earlier..
The 49er offense is still not at a level I think to dominate through the air. Looking at other teams that showed up to Century Link, it's tough:
Packers last year had to readjust their offense in the 2nd half to move the ball
Patriots had better success but still two interceptions
Those are two more fluid passing offenses, so I'm not sure the best route is to try and overwhelm them that way. I think the strategy employed in the Candlestick game last year is the way to go. You can always take (and should take) shots.
Whatever it is to establish the dominant ground game, we should do. I think the biggest difference between 2011 and 2012 was diverting from our strength of the running game to experiment with more passing....sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.
Vernon on Sherman is interesting, if only for the decoy aspect. We've gone plenty of games where VD has been a non factor and done ok (this is a worst case scenario of course). As a pure receiver, VD is lacking in route running.....where I think he makes up for it here is the fact he is still a TE, and if he's always covered by Sherman, there will be mismatches in the run game. Switch over to an LB or S and you have a coverage mismatch.
McDonald will be key.
Seahawks12thman, a question for you:
How do you explain the Redskins' 1st half domination in the playoffs? If Bobby doesn't go down, many feel the Skins win the game.
[ Edited by JTsBiggestFan on Aug 8, 2013 at 4:46 PM ]