Saturday, September 13, 2008

Preview: 49ers @ Seahawks

The phrase du jour in the media is, "you can't put lipstick on a pig." I think it applies to the Seahawks as well. There is no point in trying to make last weeks game and the injuries this week prettier than they really are.

I am certainly not in panic mode, but the fact of the matter is that we're in trouble. There were so many problems areas exposed that it would be naive to expect them to be an aberration. The expectations are so low in the passing game at this point that anyone who appears competent catching the ball this weekend will see their jersey sales skyrocket. We need a hero.

Despite the mess at the receiver position, the offensive line jumped out as the biggest worry spot. We'll have addition by subtraction this week with Sims out of the lineup. But we still have a major issue with Spencer. If I see another stunt with a defender running free up the middle at Hasselbeck, I want to see Vallos in there. We appeared far more effective running the ball with Vallos in the lineup than Spencer as well.

I think the defense played the way I hoped they would last week outside of pass rush. We stopped the run and shut down their offense until the game was taken out of their hands by a horrible offense and special teams. That is where we must win this game. If the 49ers offense starts to find a rhythm, this becomes a scary game.

Areas I'll be watching:

- Keeping the 49ers under 300 yards of offense
We need 60 minutes of pain from our defenders, and a few turnovers wouldn't hurt.

- Hasselbeck finding a favorite target or two
I don't care who it is, but we need to pull defenders off the line to enable the running game. Screen passes to Weaver, swing passes to Jones, curls to Carlson...they're all fine. Let's even get some stick'em on Taylor's gloves. The crowd will be unable to hold back its frustration if we see more drops, and that will have a direct impact on the game because we need the crowd to keep the defense pumped.

- Two to three plays that look like keepers
We had started to see the playbook develop in preseason, but the plays we ran there looked horrible last Sunday. We need some go-to plays that the offense can count on.

- Special teams
Punting, kicking and coverage are all question marks. I don't need spectacular, just competence.

It should be a beautiful day. I'll be at the game, as always, but will create a game thread for folks that want to chat at home. I will read the comments in case anyone has a question.

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