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5 Burning Questions For The 49ers in Week 13 Answered

Nov 28, 2014 at 9:33 AM

To say the San Francisco 49ers were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving night by a score of 19-3 is an understatement. They were beat up in every phase of the game as Seattle left no doubt who the better team was.

San Francisco struggled in every phase of the game. The offense could not get out of its own way, and a series right before the half epitomized their struggles not only in this game but all season. With fifty seconds remaining before the half and with only one timeout they started with the ball on their own 20 yard line. The first play was a short throw underneath to Michael Crabtree for eight yards. It then took them twenty five seconds to get to the line of scrimmage for the next play. That's terrible. There's no way it should take that long to get a play off. On the next play Colin Kaepernick scrambled, and instead of trying to get out of bounds he was tackled in the field of play causing them to use their final timeout. Just a clueless series all around.

The defense played well early on, forcing Seattle into back to back three and outs to start the game. The problem is that they followed those up with three straight scoring drives of 40+ yards. A break down in coverage led to the only touchdown of the night, but they were able to stand tall deep in the red zone on the other two possessions to force field goals. It was more of the same in the second half as the defense just could not get off the field, allowing Seattle to control the clock with three drives of 10 or more plays which covered 52+ yards. The only Seattle possession in the second half that did not result in points ended when the Seahawks went for it on fourth down in the closing moments of the game.

The special teams units did their part in the loss as well. Early in the second quarter the 49ers punt team downed an Andy Lee punt at the Seattle 9 yard line, but the play was wiped out by an ineligible man down field. On the re-kick Seattle returned the ball to the 40 yard line, a 31 yard change in field position. Later in the same quarter Perrish Cox would turn the ball over when he fumbled on a punt return.

Total team failure.

Let's get to the answers for the 5 burning questions that I asked on Wednesday.

1) Can Colin Kaepernick get it together against the Seahawks? - No. Kaepernick struggled from the start, and never could get into a groove and his 36.7 rating was the second worse of his career behind only his 20.1 from a season ago against you guessed it, Seattle. Kaepernick was 0-10 with 2 interceptions on throws of 10+ yards. Terrible.

For Kaepernick, Seattle is his kryptonite just as Dallas was for Steve Young and the Bill Parcells led New York Giants was for Joe Montana.

2) Will Frank Gore carry the load? - No. The 49ers run game was shut down. Gore was able to manage only 28 yards on 10 carries. Carlos Hyde gained 19 yards on 5 carries, 12 of those yards coming on one run.

3) Can the 49ers defense contain Marshawn Lynch? - No. Lynch eclipsed the 100 yard mark for the fifth time in his last seven meetings with the 49ers, going for 104 yards on 20 carries. He became the fourth back this that the 49ers defense have allowed to go over 100 yards this season.

4) Will Vernon Davis show up? - No. The 49ers tight end was targeted only twice and caught them both for 13 yards.

5) Make Russell Wilson beat them from the pocket? - No. Wilson made the 49ers defense look like Rocky Balboa during the scene when he was chasing the chicken. No play better demonstrated this than a 3rd and 9 from the Seahawks 36 yard line early in the second quarter. Vic Fangio dialed up a blitz and Dontae Johnson had a clear run at Wilson, who sidestepped the rookie defensive back and weaved his way through the 49ers defensive front before finding Tony Moeaki all alone in the right flat. Moeaki took the ball the rest of the way for a 63 yard completion to the 49ers 1 yard line.

Prediction Time:

49ers 16 Seahawks 14


* The 49ers defense netted a -5.4 overall grade from ProFootballFocus. Their second lowest grade of the season. The offense netted a -8.6.

* The 49ers offense did not cross it's own 40 yard line until the final play of the first half, a garbage time 13 yard completion to Stevie Johnson.

* The 49ers run defense has given up over 135 yards in 3 of their last 4 games: 136 vs New Orleans, 136 vs Washington, and 157 vs Seattle.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • Chris
    Don't understand why harbaugh is the choice of who's gotta go... Roman get it.. But harbaugh? I think the real beef is with harbaugh and balke and if I was Jed balke would go people act like he built this team Lolololol about 80% of our star roster was there before he took over and since then he's only added a couple guys that make an impact and play the rest are GONE or in super back up rolls we don't even have one player from our draft of just two years ago and that's the work of a genius lol ok at least harbaugh hasent pissed away a whole year like that doing his job even with all the crap about him being gone this year and he still has a winning record right now but hey what do I know right lol....
    Nov 29, 2014 at 8:38 AM
    Response: Joe Looney is still with the 49ers from the 2012 draft, and only one of those players is no longer in the NFL. The 49ers had a very deep roster, and not many picks to maneuver with. Only 6 of the 22 starters for this team were brought in prior to Baalke.
  • PJC
    FYI, the person responsible for Roman, Kaepernick and the QB situation is one man: Jim Harbaugh. The Golden State Warriors had the guts to fire a coach in Mark Jackson who led them to 47 and 50 wins, plus playoff berths, in the last two seasons and took a chance on an unproven Steve Kerr, and so far it's worked out pretty good. Granted, the Warriors are only 15 games in, but the offense already looks better, and as long as they stay healthy they're on pace to win at least 55 games. It wouldn't surprise me if Jed York's been speaking with Joe Lacob and Bob Myers (who also clashed with Jackson) and they're telling York if he's not sure about Harbaugh moving forward, then go get someone else. The problem with a lot of these fans, especially younger ones, is they think Harbaugh is some kind of football god and are willing to hang on to him just because he's had some success, even though he might not be the right person to lead the team down the road. Guys like Harbaugh are like Doug Collins or Scott Skiles in basketball; they might have success early because they're great athletic minds, but long term their style wears on their teams.
    Nov 29, 2014 at 7:31 AM
  • kareem
    If I've said it once, I've said it a million times. The problem with Roman is he has never had a QB that has effectively executed his game plan. Every time Kap plants his back foot if Boldin's not open he holds the ball and the play is a bust because he's a one read QB. Simple as that. That's why he went to Crabs every play in the super bowl. Also he hasn't had Moss since then. How many QB's has Moss made look good in his career by making defenses easier to read? He's been fool's gold all along.
    Nov 29, 2014 at 4:46 AM
  • Mike
    I never did understand why Baalke didn't draft Carr in the first round. I think a strong backup QB is always preferable to a weak backup QB. Unfortunately since the Montana/Young years the 49ers have preferred weak backup quarterbacks. Until Kaepernick Alex Smith never had anyone that could seriously challenge him. Baalke drafts good linebackers but I'm not too impressed with his other picks. Unfortunately it appears York is pretty clueless and leans on him pretty heavily. I don't think a coaching change is going to help much if Kaepernick doesn't improve.
    Nov 28, 2014 at 5:45 PM
  • John Henry
    Someone should bring in Montana if he would accept the job to tudor Kap. Harbaugh is clearly not teaching him anything or Kap isn't as talented as advertised. This is year 4. Major changes will be a coming as this offense will not lead the 49'ers to the promised land.
    Nov 28, 2014 at 4:21 PM
  • Eavalerio
    I feel your pain jack as I read through your story I just remembered how stressed I was watching that stupid game last night good thing I was too stuffed on turkey to tare away my tv from the wall. I loved your comparisons of the joe Montana with the Giants, young with Dallas (that one still burns) and kap with Seattle. What you didn't mention was that kap's kryptonite has been every team he has played this year. He is just off this year, the o-line is terrible, I mean freaking terrible, and to make matters worse our coaches are just clueless on what to do with our offense. After our owners comments I think harb and roman are as good as gone after the year. What we need is a change in offense philosophy and try to get kap to do something different, he has the tools, the talent, he needs the mental part of the game because it's not there, his accuracy is just as bad. I just hate to see a talented team waste games like this. Here's to better year next year, it just has to be!????
    Nov 28, 2014 at 2:59 PM
  • Edd
    Uhg! I think we all knew the 49ers weren't very good based on their lucky victories. When going against really good teams like Seattle and Denver, they are simply pretenders. I still feel the Offense has above average talent, but lacks good coaching. Harbaugh is supposed to be a Head Coach, not a charity. If Harbaugh insists on staying with Roman, then fire them both.
    Nov 28, 2014 at 2:54 PM
  • Phil
    Kap's 1st year was great! Since then, Roman has tried to make him a pocket passer which is not what Kap does well at. He is at his best when he can run around back there and make plays. All big plays have come when they let him loose. We need a OC who can use Kap's strength to make the offense more productive.
    Nov 28, 2014 at 1:29 PM
  • Lucky Phil
    Hammer, Your first comments about the series right before the half ended is right on the money. I hate to say it but this team has a complete lack of confidence on offense (starts with the coaching) and is beyond stupid. With 50 seconds on the clock this team was more afraid of giving the ball back to Seattle with 10 seconds on the clock then it was proactive about the idea of trying to get the ball into field goal range. Let me spell this out for JH and GR, that is the only time in the game you are going to work the ball down the field into field goal position. The Seahawks are in prevent defense their giving you everything underneath, the biggest challenge is getting your ass out of bounds. Take advantage of it! The second thing I want to point out, when the defense jumps of side, don't jump up and down and point your finger at them. Stay in position and HIKE THE BALL! Thats a free play, HIKE THE BALL QUICKLY, and get the play off. Shoot, We lost the NFC championship on the exact same play against the same team. Isn't their any coach on this team that will tell these guys stay in your stance and HIKE THE F-ING BALL! IT'S A FREE PLAY YOU IDIOTS. This offense is beyond f-ing stupid
    Nov 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM
  • Lucky Phil
    Anymore questions?
    Nov 28, 2014 at 12:19 PM
  • NORM
    Nov 28, 2014 at 11:44 AM
  • Matt
    This has been a team wide failure. Balke for not getting the missing pieces the past few years. The niners were close and he was wasting draft picks on lattimore, Jenkins, James inabilty to get a speed or explosive receiver or returner. Roman for that vanilla predictable offense and It now seems that Colin doesn't have the ability to play QB I think Jim now knows that. Also didnt need to sign colin but at least the contract allows us an out. Balke needs to leave and take roman with him. Keep Jim
    Nov 28, 2014 at 11:28 AM
  • mooseman
    iam fiiiing pissed? our d with all of the injuries played well enough to win. we have no playmakers on offense and zero return game. we have a barf job for an oc. I have told u Jack that we have never been the same after Randy Moss left. also,I would have resigned T Ginn jr. as a 5th wr. and returnman. we need to activate Q Patton and get Ellington back along with some of our D guys. We need one big signing next year. Not Crabtree, not Iupati,not Frank,Cut Vernon. SIGN D. THOMAS FROM DENVER.
    Nov 28, 2014 at 10:31 AM

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