Straight Out of the Rabbit’s Hole: Win against the Seahawks validates the 49ers.

Diego Del Barco
Dec 9, 2013 at 3:22 PM



The San Francisco 49ers went into yesterday's match-up against the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park with an 8-4 record, which was good enough to place them among the six teams qualifying to the playoffs in the NFC, but when taking a closer look at their record and the teams that they had played it was difficult to pinpoint a STATEMENT win. Sure, the season/home opener thrilling victory over the Green Bay Packers was all the rage at the time, but San Francisco's offense had significantly regressed since, and while there was not question that the 49ers were one of the NFC's best teams, there were definitely concerns as to whether they could beat the elite teams in the conference come January.

Yesterday's 19-17 victory against the Seahawks eased those concerns.

The 49ers are getting a clean bill of health, and this has especially been a welcomed addition to Colin Kaepernick's game, with the return of Michael Crabtree opening up the offense to take them closer to the team that went to the Super Bowl last season, and further away from the unit that struggled not just in their losses but during some of their wins this season as well. Matt Millen was on the phone this morning on 95.7 The Game and he mentioned something that is worth repeating: you can easily take the criticisms of this offense from earlier this season and just toss them out of the window, because this is a different offense than what was on display from most of September through November. It was clear yesterday that San Francisco was once again using more two and three wide receiver sets while lowering the number of plays that used "22" personnel. It is no coincidence that the offense is starting to look better each week, although it's still not close to their best. An improved offensive unit to pair with what continues to be one of the top defenses in the NFL adds up to a team that the rest of the NFC does not want to meet in the playoffs.

While winning the NFC West remains an improbable achievement - Seattle, which holds a two-game lead over San Francisco, is likely to win their remaining three games against the Giants, Cardinals, and Rams - San Francisco has a chance to enter the playoffs as the hottest team in the conference by also winning their remaining three games against the Buccaneers, Falcons, and Cardinals. Tampa Bay is now the team that has won four out of their last five games after starting out 0-8, and while their defense will present a challenge (especially at Raymond James Stadium), their offense should have plenty of problems against a Vic Fangio unit that has recently held both the Seahawks (27.5 points/game) and New Orleans Saints (26.4) to 20 points or less. The Buccaneers are averaging 24 points/game over their last five games, and 28.5 in their four victories over that stretch, but were held to just six points in their week 13 loss against a team with a defense similar to San Francisco's - the Panthers'. As far as the Falcons' game goes - putting aside the fact that Atlanta has been a disappointment all year long - the 49ers are as much of a lock to win their last regular season game at The Stick as the Saints were to win their first game at the Superdome after Katrina. The emotion that will come with the moment will have San Francisco ready to rock the stadium in a way that it has never felt before (coincidentally, the Falcons were the opponent back when the Saints returned home in 2006.) Finally, a week 17 match-up in Arizona against the Cardinals may present the biggest challenge San Francisco has left in the regular season, but the 49ers are a bad match-up for a turnover-prone QB and an offensive line that fails to protect him, and history tells us that Michael Crabtree owns Patrick Peterson, which should help San Francisco's offense put up enough points against a very good Arizona defense. If San Francisco can take care of business these next three weeks, they will be riding a six-game winning streak into the playoffs.

A healthy, complete 49ers roster has helped Jim Harbaugh's team start their second winning streak of the season, a streak that has the chance to run until the end of the season, and possibly through the playoffs on the way to a Vince Lombardi Trophy. After all, the last three Super Bowl winners have been teams that worked their way to the top from the wildcard round (Green Bay Packers in 2010, New York Giants in 2011, and Baltimore Ravens in 2012). Before yesterday, it would had been difficult to make the case for San Francisco to make such run since they had folded against winning teams four out of five times this season, but after a statement win against the team the possessed the best record in the NFL, and with an emerging offense to go along with an intimidating defense, there is no question that the 49ers are a team that nobody wants to run into in the playoffs.

_________________________________________________________________

You can follow me on twitter at @DiegoDelBarco
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


1 Comment

  • Gonzola
    Diego my man... well said. I am still waiting for a statement. Win or lose they need a FUNdamental shift with offensive play calling. Things are starting to open up, but I still think Roman is wack. 3rd and inches and you run it right up the gut into a wall of 8 very large Seahawks. How stupid? 3rd and inches with good field position calls for a nice little passy pass - which would of led to a 40 yard gain instead of a 1 yard 1st and 10. If you failed on 3rd and inches you could always punt it away on 4th down. What a miserable 3rd quarter. The game should have been 49ers 33 Seahawks 17 at the very least. Roman is still a liability and unless he is saving something VERY special for the playoffs then they need to get rid of this guy. Win or lose I am sticking to my guns and Sunday's performance has not made me less afraid. I am still scared we are in fact losers. I know the players will do their best to prove me wrong! Now lets see the coaching staff do the same. Go NINERS!
    Dec 9, 2013 at 6:05 PM
    0
    Response: Thanks Gonzo. I continue to believe Harbaugh should not get a free pass when it comes to the criticism of the offensive play calling - that is: Roman should not be the only one to blame.

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Graziano: Don't rule out the 49ers drafting Trey Lance at No. 3

By David Bonilla
Apr 2, 2021

It's a foregone conclusion that Zach Wilson is going No. 2 overall to the New York Jets. With Trevor Lawrence a lock to head to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 1, that leaves the San Francisco 49ers with their choice of Justin Fields, Mac Jones, and Trey Lance. Many are predicting that the trade up to No. 3 was made for Jones. Others feel that is a massive reach that didn't necessarily require a move into the top 3. ESPN's Dan Graziano warns fans not to overlook Lance as the quarterback of the future in San Francisco. "All you hear is Mac Jones, Mac Jones to (the) 49ers," Graziano said on ESPN's Get Up! "I mean, that's all over the league, and it could happen. He could be their guy. But conversations that I've had in the last couple of days have led me



PFF, The Athletic mock drafts have 49ers selecting different QBs

By David Bonilla
Mar 29, 2021

Pro Football Focus and The Athletic released new mock drafts on Monday morning. Both have the San Francisco 49ers selecting quarterbacks at their new draft slot—No. 3 overall. They just disagreed on which quarterback it would be. With Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson likely to go one and two, respectively, that leaves San Francisco with a choice between Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones. Head coach Kyle Shanahan likely feels good about at least a couple of those options, if not all three. Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus has the 49ers selecting Fields at No. 3, ignoring the rumors suggesting that Lance is the favorite at that spot or even Jones being the dark-horse pick. "The concerns with Fields' processing and his tendency to hold the



Simms 'will be shocked' if 49ers don't select Mac Jones at No. 3

By David Bonilla
Mar 29, 2021

Who will it be? Justin Fields of Ohio State or Trey Lance of North Dakota State? Or could the San Francisco 49ers go in another direction? Immediately following the trade from No. 12 to No. 3, NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms, voiced his opinion. He feels Mac Jones of Alabama is the best fit based on what he knows about his close friend, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. https://twitter.com/CSimmsQB/status/1375504136905580545 Simms reiterated those thoughts on Monday while speaking to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Florio asked his PFT Live co-host who he thinks Shanahan is leaning toward with a draft still a full



Breer: 49ers started looking into drafting a quarterback after the season ended

By David Bonilla
Mar 29, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers knew a change was needed immediately after the 2020 season ended. At one point, the team had Super Bowl aspirations. The team ended up finishing with just six wins. Much of that had to do with the unprecedented number of injuries the roster endured. Much of that had to do with the unavailability of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the decision to draft a rookie quarterback came soon after the season's conclusion. That's when coaches and front office personnel started doing extensive homework on the incoming rookie quarterbacks. "(Head coach Kyle) Shanahan, (GM John) Lynch, assistant GM Adam


Featured

More by Diego Del Barco

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone