Two weeks in a row that I can't bring myself to immediately rewatch the game. Writing this one early because its a bit soothing and I'd prefer to move on to Thursdays game as soon as possible.
1) Kap: CAREER regular season statline as a starter - 10 starts, 173 comp, 286 att, 61.77 comp%, 2289 yards, 8.00 YPA, 13 TDs, 7 INTs, 90.79 QB Rating. Two weeks in a row now...same story. Pretty clear now that NFL defenses have found a way to bottle up the 49ers offense. stack against the run, keep Kaep in the pocket as much as possible and play man on all of the 49ers receivers. NOBODY can get separation right now. Kap drops back and there is simply nothing there. Is some of this his fault? Maybe...but its not like we are watching him miss wide open receivers out there.
2) WRs: I really like Anquan Boldin, but it's pretty clear that right now he simply can't get open without help. I had high hopes before the season started that this would not be the case, but there really can't be any denying it right now...the 49ers have serious issues at WR. Most of the time they are running around out there with enemy DB jackets on their back. I thought Seattle had done something most other teams would be unable to do, but that is clearly not the case. The funny thing is that in some ways that makes me feel better and in others makes me feel worse. I feel worse because its a clear problem. Its not a one week thing. Its something the Niners may have trouble with all year. It makes me feel better tho because on some level it tells me that perhaps the divide between the 49ers and Seahawks is not as wide as I thought it was. I know that may sound loony right now...but hear me out. If the 49ers can get Davis, Manningham, and Crabtree back then perhaps this team will be equipped to resolve this issue in the playoffs. Perhaps the issue isn't so much the Seattle secondary (tho clearly the best in the NFL), its more the 49ers WRs being completely unable to get separation against ANYONE. The obvious problem with that tho is that one opf those guys played in Seattle and the other two are a long way off from coming back. The 49ers need to find a way to give Kap open targets in the passing game NOW. If they don't, it will be far too late for the 49ers to do anything in the playoffs because they won't be in them.
3) Defense: Man...these guys can't catch a break. When their offense isn't screwing them by going 3 and out or turning the ball over in their territory, they are committing stupid penalties at the worst times to hurt them further. To add injury to insult, Patrick Willis is hurt. If Patrick is in the game, my guess is that Andrew Luck doesn't score on the Bootleg. Wilhoite was completely lost on the play...but I think the game was all but lost at that point anyway.
4) Gore/Hunter: I think it's time to start looking at a harsh reality. I love Frank and I'm not saying he's done...but I think it's time to start giving Kendall Hunter a larger workload. Hunter just has so much more youth and energy in those legs. Frank is IMO the best RB in 49ers history and Kendall isn't as good as Frank was in his prime, but he just might be at this point in Franks career. I also think this may just be Franks last season in SF. Next year its going to be a battle between Kendall, LaMichael, and Marcus Lattimore. I'd expect a running back by committee approach...and I think that's going to start THIS year. I hate even thinking this...but I think Franks days as the Bell Cow are done.
EDIT: Clearly I didn't state what I mean very well. Frank had a far better game today than he did in the previous two weeks. My point is more about the burst I see in Hunter that I don't see in Frank. I want Frank on this team and he should have gotten the ball more in the second half, but I like Kendalls burst and I'd like to see him play more.
5) Season Lost?: Of course not. 1-2 is a tough thing to fight back from particularly with so much drama and injuries. This is going to be a tough season. That much is clear. Nothing is going to come easy this year. Seattle has a 2 game lead on the division but lets be real...nobody had any expectations that tey wouldn't beat Carolina or Jacksonville. Its disappointing and there is a long tough road ahead, but that may not be so bad a thing. IF they can rebound from this and go on some sort of winning streak, these early season losses will serve to strengthen their resolve. If they DON'T bounce back...well then they were never who we thought/hoped they were anyway. I think they'll bounce back, but it's gonna be rough. Its going to be a battle every week. I'm ready for the ride. I hope everyone else is as well.
6) Harbaugh/Roman: Man...those guys have got to be frustrated. I know there are people calling for Romans job...RELAX. He's a good, smart, young coach. Defenses have adjusted to his style. That is clear. There was also a HUGE amount of familiarity with his system with the last two opponents. I'm not excusing the performance...just saying I'm confident he'll bounce back. Again....with WRs who can't get open that's a challenge...but I have a feeling Roman will come up with something.
7) O-Line: This one I just can't figure out. Some of the issue is WRs just not getting open and Kap having to hold the ball...but this is now three weeks in a row that they haven't played well. All the talent in the world. They got the run game going early on, but not so much later. Again, some of this is problems at WR, but it's pretty clear the line isn't playing well either.
8) TE: Rough game for those guys as well. McDonald had a pretty impressive block on one of Franks runs, but was largely invisible for most of the game. They needed him to get open with Vernon out and he didn't. If Vernon is out again on Thurs then it makes me wonder if they should activate Harper to see if he can get open in LBs.
9) Willis: That hurts. Big time. It looks like all those injuries we weren't getting the last two years are catching up with us.
10) Aldon: I have been going back and forth on this one since Friday. I wasn't sure if I wanted him to play or not. The more I learn about it though the more it makes sense to me. As I understand it, Aldon told the team he wanted to get through this weekend and then deal with the situation. While the media was busy passing judgment on the 49ers, its clear they already knew Aldon was going into treatment. He was already clearing out his locker when the game was over. He didn't just decide this after the game. This was planned.
It doesn't really make sense to pay a player to sit when you know the guy is already taking steps to straighten out his life and will already be away from the team for an indefinite amount of time. They could not suspend him without pay. Only the league could do that. Why further punish a man who already knows he screwed up and is willing to take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. How often do you see a guy volunteer to go into rehab DURING a season? The team could have sat him tis week and got him back on Thurs and the media machine woudm have been satiated. Instead they did what they thought was in the best interest of the player.
The 49ers will still likely get grief for this, but I for one applaud them handling the situation the way they have.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Sep 22, 2013 at 8:19 PM ]