Dropped passes and missed opportunities
When the Seattle Seahawks 2012 schedule was released I knew that going down to San Francisco on such a short week was going to be a tall order. To make maters worse, it was the 49ers third straight home game.
Both teams only had 4 days to prepare for the big divisional matchup. The Seattle Seahawks were coming off a big home win against the Patriots, one of the best teams in the AFC.
In contrast, the San Francisco 49ers were coming off an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants in San Francisco.
The funny thing about winning and losing, it is a lot easier to focus on the next weeks game after a loss than it is after an emotional win.
The difference was evident on the field Thursday.
When you look at the stats from the game, it looks like the Seahawks defense had another great game. Unfortunately, stats do not tell the entire picture.
During the first half of the game defense played fine.
Then, at halftime, the 49ers made an adjustment.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman realized that the Seahawks were vulnerable in the middle of the defense and once the 49ers started attacking it, there was nothing the Seahawks defense could do to stop the onslaught.
(Insert any trap play you like)
In the second half, San Francisco had 4 drives (excluding the final 2 plays from victory formation).
Those four drives went as follows:
- 85-yards and a touchdown.
- 68-yards, but Brandon Browner intercepted in the end zone on an ill advised pass from Alex Smith that was intended for Randy Moss. Moss had been wide open while he was in the middle of the field. His drag route, in the back of the end zone, was outside of the hash marks by the time Smith released the ball and Browner was able to step in front of the ball.
- 3 runs up the middle that totaled 40-yards. After a 49er tripping penalty they settled for a field goal, extending their lead to 7-points.
- Trying to run out the clock didn’t work out so well, it was the only time the Seahawks defense held them in the second half.
Despite the Seahawks 6-3 lead at the break, the entire game was marred by offensive mistakes. Dropped passes were the theme of the day.
Some will look at Russell Wilson‘s line, 9/23 for 122 yards, an interception and a 0.0 2nd half passer rating, and direct the blame in his direction. I have to disagree with those people.
Could Wilson have done more?
Was the interception his fault?
But if the Seahawks receivers hadn’t dropped 5 passes I feel fully confident that Wilson would have thrown for over 200-yards and had at least touchdown. I also believe the Seahawks would have won the game.
Heading into the game, I was worried about the effect that Byron Maxwell‘s hamstring injury would have in the game. Maxwell is one of the Seahawks gunners and probably the better of the two.
As feared, Byron was unable to play and Ted Ginn Jr. had over 2o-yards per punt return.
Meanwhile, Seahawks punt returner, Leon Washington, only averaged 2.5 yards an attempt.
Everyone shares the blame
Between the dropped passes on offense, the lazily attempted missed tackles on defense, and the inability of the coaching staff to counter the 49ers adjustments, the Seahawks had no hope.
A bright lining
As terrible as it feels to lose that game, I find hope in Thursday night’s loss. The 49ers are a very good football team, arguably the best in the NFC. They have the #1 defense in the NFL, yet the Seahawks didn’t have a 3 and out until the 4th quarter, despite all the dropped balls.
Marshawn Lynch was able to run for over 100-yards.
Thursday’s game was a very humbling experience for the Seahawks and the 12th man. It proved that the Seahawks are a very good team, but they are not playing at championship level yet.
There is nothing wrong with that, the Seahawks have an extremely young team with a rookie quarterback. There are many brighter days ahead for this franchise, they just need a little time, and a little patience from the 12th man.
Fun Seahawks vs. 49ers Tweets
Man I’m not looking forward to writing my MMQB now. I’m going to go for a drive first. Peace out.
— Brett Bivens (@NWProSports) October 19, 2012
Would have bet A LOT of money that Seahawks D wouldn’t have gotten manhandled on the ground like this. A LOT.
— mitch levy (@kjrmitch) October 19, 2012
Amazes me how the offense doesn’t get criticized by some because we expect them to suck anyway
— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) October 19, 2012
Soooooooo John Schneider. What do you think about phoning that GM guy down there in KC and enquiring about that guy named Dwayne Bowe?…
— Q Smith (@NWSBQ) October 19, 2012
Anyone that blames this loss, once again, on Russell Wilson is clueless. This is a very good team that lost to a very good team on the road.
— Britton K. Ransford (@bkransford) October 19, 2012
Can’t remember a more disappointing performance from a WR core in recent #seahawks memory. Flat out embarrassing.
— Jason Puckett (@JasonPuckettKJR) October 19, 2012
Harbaugh made the right call, all you conspiracy theorists. Wiser to kneel twice w/7-pt lead than to risk losing onside kick.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) October 19, 2012
Just got home.Tough loss but not unexpected.The Hawks are a good team learning how to win.Future is bright.
— Mike Salk (@BrockandSalk) October 19, 2012