Seahawks-49ers result might surprise you

This is my Wednesday column.

Oddsmakers aren’t taking the 49ers seriously. says they’re six-point underdogs at home Thursday night against the 2-4 Seahawks, who blew a 20-7 third-quarter lead against the Panthers last week, and a 24-7 fourth-quarter lead against the Bengals the week before.

Are the Seahawks really that much better than the Niners? Or will San Francisco pull off the upset Thursday night?

Let’s think this through.

Starting with the matchup between the 49ers offense and the Seahawks defense. Which side has the advantage?

Niners starting running back Carlos Hyde has an injured foot, and the coaches won’t let him practice. They let him go through drills, but not seven-on-seven or 11-on-11 scrimmages.

How healthy can Hyde’s foot get between Monday and Thursday? He won’t have to do much to aggravate it, considering how he runs. He slashes, makes jump cuts, then seeks out defenders and punishes them. If he gimps up Thursday night, who will take his place as the Niners’ primary running threat? Colin Kaepernick?

Good luck.

To beat Seattle, the Niners need Hyde on the field. But San Francisco’s offense will struggle even if he plays the whole game.

Hyde didn’t have holes to run through last week, and he won’t have holes to run through Thursday. The Niners’ offensive line stinks, and the center, Marcus Martin, is the team’s biggest weakness. He was only 20 when the Niners drafted him in 2014 — he needed to get stronger. He hasn’t. Defensive linemen throw him around.

Thursday night, he will have to block Seattle’s strongest D-lineman — Brandon Mebane. Good luck. Mebane will bull Martin into the backfield every play.

Advantage: Seattle.

Now, let’s address the matchup between the 49ers defense and the Seahawks offense.

Seattle’s offensive line is the worst in the NFL, even worse than the Niners’ O-line. Through six games, Russell Wilson has been sacked 19 times and hit 11 times, according to Pro Football Focus. And Marshawn Lynch has averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.

The Seahawks can’t run block or pass protect.

The Niners won’t have to blitz to put pressure on Wilson — outside linebacker Aaron Lynch will eat right tackle Garry Gilliam’s lunch. Defensive coordinator Eric Mangini can rush just four players and drop seven into pass coverage.

On passing plays, the only receiver who can hurt the Niners is tight end Jimmy Graham. Marshawn Lynch has a pulled hamstring that’s slowing him down, so he won’t be much of a receiving threat. And none of the Seahawks wide receivers can consistently beat the Niners’ corners one on one.

So, the defense will focus on stopping Graham. The Niners can double cover him in the middle of the field like they double covered Packers’ slot receiver Randall Cobb Week 4 when Green Bay scored just 17 points.

Seattle will score fewer than 17 points Thursday night

Advantage: San Francisco

That’s one advantage for the Niners, and one for the Seahawks. What’s the tiebreaker?


The Niners have none. They’re exceeding expectations. They’re the happiest 2-4 team in the league.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks are crumbling under the pressure of their preseason expectations. They were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders, and yet they have the same record as the 49ers. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

There’s a stench hanging over the Seahawks. We first smelled it at the end of the Super Bowl when Seattle blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to the Patriots, then didn’t give the ball to Marshawn Lynch at the goal line on the last play of the game.

Including the Super Bowl, the Seahawks have blown fourth-quarter during each of their past five losses. Blowing fourth-quarter leads has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How confident will Seattle be if the game is close Thursday night? Will they fold once again?

Yes, they will, and the Niners will win 19-16.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

This article has 239 Comments

  1. Yes, they will, and the Niners will win 19-16.
    Que the harangue that will say you’ve just doomed them to lose.

      1. Not withstanding Seb’s Swiss Army Knife prediction from Hayne running back a kickoff 108 yds; going over 100 yds receiving from the backfield and running for over a 100 yds, Seattle will prevail.

        Seb’s Predictions vs. Matt Barrow, Sac Bee


        September 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm

        B2W, Hayne will be the Niners new Swiss Army knife. They should utilize all his skills. He is perfect to help set up mismatches.

        Via Matt Barrows:
        The 49ers seem hesitant to give Australian Jarryd Hayne any meaningful snaps. He was in on nine offensive plays Sunday but never touched the ball.

        Read more here:

    1. I’m sure you are using the cheat sheet you’ve been using this season for the pick em pool. First place???? Someone paid for some Intel. Lol

          1. I haven’t tried either. Haven’t done the one week stuff yet. I’ve been thinking about it, probably try before the season is over.

            What about you?

    2. Seattle had a 4th Qtr. lead vs. Carolina and blew it. They played Cin and GB closely. All of the above were undefeated. Meanwhile, the 49ers were blown out a few times and for lack of time, should have lost to the worst team in the NFL, Balt.

      SF is 31th on offense and 23 on defense Seattle is 13th. and 12th

      Seattlle wins this game.

      1. What makes it even better is that he seems to realize that something was off with the 31th and he simply left the 23 blank to try and balance it out.

  2. Without a well operating Hyde Thursday I think the 49ers are in big trouble. They are a running team that relies heavily on play-action.

    I really thought Mike Davis would be ready by now. He hasn’t had alot of runs this season. Maybe its too small of a statistical sampling to write him off this season.

  3. Russell Wilson will kill the 49ers with his legs, and with those he will kill them with his arm. He never had really good games vs us, because we had speed in the lb positions. We don’t anymore.
    The Seahawks own SF and especially ck. He alone will give them the biggest advantage of the game. Turnovers. This is exactly what Seattle needs to find their “swag” this game won’t be close. Ck will regress in his ongoing up and down season. The coaches aren’t smart enough to make Vernon Davis and two other TE’s take away their LB’s (their best part of the defense) they will cover one on one man handle the WR’s but holding and tugging. Ck will hold the ball to long and it will be a long night for our punter.
    Jimmy graham will have his breakout game.

    I’ve seen this for years with Gb and Favre. They would struggle come in to SF and go on a roll with a blowout.
    Like we use to do vs the LA Rams.
    And lastly since grant is calling it close it will be a total opposite blowout.
    The stars are aligned and this will be over by halftime. Sorry but it’s gonna happen.

  4. Why can’t Chryst design plays to accentuate what Hayne does best and get him in space with sweeps, options and screens? Sure Miller can catch, but have we forgotten he can run the ball too? I wouldn’t count on Bush to be anything other than an expensive part of the landscaping along the sidelines….

    1. “I wouldn’t count on Bush”

      I don’t know Razor, maybe a dose of healthy Bush is just what this offense needs.

  5. with Hyde injured we will be in trouble. Its amazing how little depth we have in running backs
    Seattle wins 24-17

    1. Russell Wilson will torch the 49er DB’s by running around in the backfield for 15 years before spotting Jimmy Graham being covered by Wilhoite. The 49er linebacking crew will run amok like Keystone Cops trying to tackle Marshawn Lynch, likely replacing the entire LB Corps with backups like Gerald Hodges.

  6. Seattle are not a good team right now (and largely due to the terrible play of one unit – the OL), but at 2-4 they know this is a must win game, and being against the 49ers they will be right up for it. I’m expecting this to be the Seahawks best game of the year, unfortunately. I don’t think the 49ers get close in this one.

    1. The difference will be that last week we were facing the now 25th ranked defense and this week we’ll be facing the 4th. There’s a good chance their defense will score more TD’s then their offense does.

        1. 12-6 halftime score. The chickens will pick off Kaepernick and score with it to finish the game 19-9.

        2. I can see special teams deciding the game. The old saying “win two of the three phases of football.”

        3. Well that’s a great point Grant. The 49ers defense isn’t that bad in the redzone. So maaaaybe seattles offense will score only fg’s, but their defense will probably score a couple of td’s

        4. The Seahawks have scored on us several times outside of the redzone in the past so….bang goes that theory.

        5. Seattle’s defense and a few lucky plays, along with Kaep’s mistakes at the wrong time have been the difference. If some of these variables change, the Niners could pull off the win. So…

          Will Seattle’s defense dominate the Niners?
          Will Russell Wilson run around and make a play?
          Will Kaep make a mistake?

          My personal take is Kaep is going to play under control, and not force anything. But the offense will not be able to move the ball or do anything.

          Lower scoring game. A few plays make the difference.

        6. I’ll bet you it’s not going to be a field goal event in the Seahaws vs 49ers game. The Seahawks defense will intercept and will return a couple TD against the 49ers. kaepernick is going to choke against the Seahawks like he always do.

  7. 49ers have the 31st ranked defense. All because we lost Fangio, oh and 3 pro bowlers including 2 possible HoF’ers but mostly because we lost Fangio.(who’s Bears are ranked last in point given up per game)

    Let me ask you guys something what ranking would you rather your defense be highest in; yards allowed per game or points allowed per game? For me I don’t care if the defense gives up 500 yards every game if it manages to hold that team to 13 points. Doesn’t do any good if a team only has to rack up 300 or so yards to score 40 points.

    1. Case in point, I’m pretty sure the Steelers don’t care they gave up more than 400 yards passing to Palmer and the Cards, as it only amounted to 13 points and they were able to win the game despite having their 3rd string QB playing most of the game.

  8. Grant? 19-16 Niners? Niners have to keep their heads together to beat the Seahawks. The last two years, Niners were out coached, did not make adjustments, and psyched out by the Seahawks. Biggest question is can Christ keep Kaepernick’s head in the game and looking downfield? Will the team come apart from intimidation or set back. Seattle has done a superior job against the Niners in managing emotions, overcoming set backs, and keeping the psyche on straight.

    1. I hate to say it VaNiner, but I think the 49ers get out-coached again. Mangini does not have a handle on this defense. If they can’t pressure Wilson, it’s going to be a long day for our LB’s, once again!

  9. Good read Grant. The only thing I’d would do,is have #7 be your main source of a running game. Let him run wild. He might be the best option at it!

  10. This is a good article Grant because I agree with it. Good writing. If I didn’t agree with it,
    it would be bad writing and suck.

      1. You mean this?

        Additionally, the quarterback must exhibit patience and take the checkdown when the second-level defenders drop underneath intermediate routes inside the numbers.

        1. Gotta feeling they’re going to come out again and throw short to get him confident. And Seattle will be all over it from the beginning.

          1. I have the same exact feeling. WR screen intercepted run back for touchdown. I see the Hawks jumping at it.

            1. I see them forcing Kaepernick to throw to the outside where the Seattle secondary will feast on his passes…as usual.

      2. He needs to meditate and vision quest the game, play by play and see himself calm inside the storm, picking them apart…..

    1. I’ve been saying attack the seams with the tight end for years. It was a staple with the 49ers and executed beautifully between Joe, Steve and Brent….

  11. You honestly haven’t been paying attention to what Baldwin and Kearse have done in the past if you’re just going to ignore their existence. And then there’s Lockett who has the ability to gash the 49ers on STs and potentially on offense as well. Finally, there’s Graham and Lynch who the 49ers will have no answer for at all.
    Advantage: Seattle

      1. If J. Harbaugh was still the HC against the Seahawks. Then I can agree with you that our team has a slight chance to win. The chances that kaepernick will put big numbers against the Seahawks defense is highly unlikely, you’ve got remember the Seahawks loss in 4th quarter in the last two games were against elite Qb’s Dalton of Bengal and Newton of the Panthers who are both undefeated. Keep dreaming bro.

    1. Mid,

      Have you actually watched Lockett? He hasn’t done much since the second week. True he had one KO and one punt return for a TD in the first two week, but neither required much in the way of moves, and certainly no broken tackles, just straight line speed, meh. On top of that, he goes down with the slightest amount of contact.

      Once teams have realized he’s weak, doesn’t have a lot of moves, but is fast, it seems they’re focusing on being under control, and carefully maintaining coverage lanes, as a result, he hasn’t done much since week two.

      Marshawn Lynch isn’t Marshawn Lynch right now.

      Jimmy Graham has a history of struggling against double coverage. If the 9ers decide to double cover him, I think they’ll be ok.

      The only reason Baldwin and Kearse ever hurt anyone is Wilson’s ability to scramble.

      The Seahawks should win, but this won’t be a no chance blow out.

      1. Have you actually watched Lockett? He hasn’t done much since the second week. True he had one KO and one punt return for a TD in the first two week, but neither required much in the way of moves, and certainly no broken tackles, just straight line speed, meh. On top of that, he goes down with the slightest amount of contact.

        The Seahawks have been slowly trying to integrate him into the offense little by little each week and it wouldn’t surprise me if they used him more since our secondary will have to account for Baldwin, Kearse, and Graham. It’s a perfect storm.

        Marshawn Lynch isn’t Marshawn Lynch right now.

        Neither is our run defense.

        Jimmy Graham has a history of struggling against double coverage. If the 9ers decide to double cover him, I think they’ll be ok.

        Yeah…no. The reality is that the middle of the field has been a glaring weakness for our defense this season, and I don’t see a legitimate reason for that not to be the case on Thursday.

        The only reason Baldwin and Kearse ever hurt anyone is Wilson’s ability to scramble.

        And the fact that they can catch defenses napping.

  12. “Seattle Seahawks running back Fred Jackson wrecked his sports car while drag racing teammate Marshawn Lynch” (For what’s its worth, its a TMZ piece)

    BS or not, I hope all are OK.

      1. He didn’t kill anybody. He hit a stop sign after losing control of his car. It seems like you get off on stuff like this. Lmao, nice public service announcement.

        1. Big P,

          Do you think it’s ok to street race?

          Just because FJ hit a pole, rather than a kid on a bike, doesn’t make it any less dangerous.

          It’s true that it’s a good thing no one was hurt, but what they were doing is every bit as dangerous as driving drunk.

      2. I think you guys missed what Coffee was saying. He was more less saying that Jackson could have killed someone (including himself) all because he thought drag racing was a smart thing to do.

          1. Did he end up with his car slammed into a pole because he was driving safely and courteously? I never accused anyone of drag racing or anything else beyond using poor judgement.

              1. On the other hand, it was FJ who said he wasn’t drag racing Lynch. What else is he going to say?

    1. “Too bad the Niners didn’t draft Kawann Short instead of Carradine. Short had two sacks last week against the Seahawks.”

      And not to mention that he’s been one of the highest rated DTs in pass rush efficiency each season he’s been in the league per PFF. I’m not big on the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” game, but man I really liked Short coming out in 2013. Really wish Baalke had drafted him.

      Urgh, my guy from last year, Jerry Attaochu, has also been very impressive this year. He had a decent rookie year too, though without the headline stats. I believe he was the second highest rated 3-4 rookie OLB (behind Lynch).

      1. Hey now, I was wanting Attaochu as well Scooter. And you’re right about him having a good season so far. Sigh, what could have been.

        1. I believe razor was also keen on him. I do recall getting quite a bit of grief from many though when I suggested he should be a first rounder and taken ahead of Dee Ford.

          Of course I also liked Marcus Smith, and he’s been all kinds of disappointing!

        1. Me too. Greg Cosell was a big proponent of Bryant. I thought the 49ers would get him in the 4th, but Baalke chose Ellington. (the highest rated player remaining on the board)

          Ellington has skills. I just want to see him on the field. He has no value constantly riding the pine due to injury.

          1. Good chance if he was on the 49ers and Ellington was on the Steelers we’d be saying we should have drafted Ellington! :-P

            1. I doubt we’d be saying anything like that if we would’ve taken Jordan Matthews!

              1. :-)

                I preferred Allen Robinson, and still do. That guy is turning into quite the good #1 WR. If Bortles threw him more catchable balls he’d be having a dominant year.

          2. Bryant is big and fast, with good hands, was productive in college and had a good combine. I also liked Donte Moncreif.

    2. Agree with everything. You are now my official player stock broker.

      – Carradine is a big disappointment. I was expecting better interior pressure.

      Grant, Fangio’s under front was one of your favorite topics. Think Dail, Dorsey and Williams would get better pressure vs base down passing?

      – I think its early to evaluate Hayne, but half the fun of predictions is making them too early. (its easy to predict win/loss in the 4th qtr of game 16)

      – Tartt has the tools. Love his closing speed. Will his head be ready?

      When Tartt and Harold were drafted, I thought it was an attempt by Baalke to counter Wilson’s speed and agility in space. It would be nice to see Tartt and Ward blitz… and see Harold involved in some TE stunts with Dial. (they ran a nice one in preseason)

    3. I agree with most of everything you said Grant. The team ahould have traded Carradine and Davis in the off-season, but would they get on this site and read what I posted? Nnnnooooo.
      The area where I disagree is in regards to Tartt because I think it is too early to say that his stock is up until we see if Mangini does use him to cover Graham and if he can excel at the challenge handed to him.

  13. Grant writes “Yes, they will, and the Niners will win 19-16”

    Huh? Oh. The moon is blue, hell is freezing over and pigs are flying.
    But I hope he’s right.

    1. And poor Shareece Wright isn’t even playing for the Hawks this week. How could we possibly win? Its so confusing.

  14. As bad a team as we are I can and will never predict a Seahawks victory. Blind faith? Dumb loyalty? Whatever! There is not a team I despise more than them!
    Niners 19
    Seaweeds 14

      1. Grant: I disagree with your conclussions in your article! Both these teams are playing unpredictable. Anything could happen and probably will on national TV. 49ers had their drama last year and now Seahawks are having their meltdown and I still think it goes back to Kam Chancellor missing training camp and the first two games.

        Seahawks have the talent; 49ers lost their coaching staff and many players this year but anything is possible; just depends on who wants it bad enough.

        1. Your team sucks because they lost the best coach on that staff. So yeah your team is in the same boat. Losing a good coach, especially from their best unit and the only elite unit on that crapbag team. Traded their best o-lineman for a target that’s use to having about 5-6 td’s by now. I knew he would fade in Seattle. Your qb is overrated and is NO Drew Breese. Bet you jimmy wished he was back in the NO. Where he’d be getting TD’s from a qb that will throw him open.

          1. And? My team sucks. I know that. Your team sucks. You don’t! That was useless.
            And speaking of mowing lawns…
            Mary Mary quite contrary.. Trim that………

              1. Scooter and Jp,

                Seb, The Fact that Seb misapplies the Art of War, off the Battlefield, where the more appropriate usage is well known should tell you something…This misapplication of theories is Seb’s go to debate tactic whenever he is caught by a Marvin Hagler over hand right cross.

      1. I remember both Ex. For example, I nailed Star Lotulelei but completely whiffed on Phillip Thomas.

  15. Just read the article about Pete Carrol and how intrigued he was on the unique skillsets of Hayne. He then stated that he and his coaches were brainstorming ideas on how many ways they could use him. Sounds like the Niners are wasting his talents, and cannot devise ways to utilize his skills. Of course PC has only been to the last 2 SBs, so what does he know.
    Maybe the Niners should use Hayne as an outlet or swing pass so he can catch the ball in space and let him pick the hole to run through. Maybe with a pitch to the right, Hayne will draw the defenders to him, then laterals back to Kaep who goes the other way.

      1. ” ……Hayne will draw the defenders to him, then laterals back to Kaep who goes the other way….”

        seb .. I’m reminded of Rocky’s words …when
        Bullwinkle said …

        ” ….Watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat .. ! ..”

        1. When I called for Kaep to roll out and throw quick passes to get the ball into the hands of his play makers,and called for third down bombs, were you making juvenile squawks about those too?

          1. You know Seb starting year 2 of Kap’s play people were calling for Kap to throw more on the move, or to move the pocket, bootlegs etc. Its not an original idea to you. You are correct but teams have figured that part out and have a guy in his face on those plays.

            1. last year, JH, being an arrogant person, fell into the trap when pundits were intoning that Kaep would never be elite until he becomes a proficient pocket passer. JH said, Oh yeah, well I will make Kaep a pocket passer even if it kills him. After 52 sacks, it almost happened.
              Derrick Deese was on KNBR today, and he discounted the whole idea that Kaep has to only be a pocket passer. He said it was a big waste of talent, made Kaep uncomfortable, and was counter productive.He said the best thing to do is to let Kaep move and use his mobility to stress the defense.
              Other teams way put a spy on Kaep, but the Niner coaches should anticipate that happening, and devise plays that takes advantage of a defense with a defender who can be rendered useless. It is like inviting the blitz, then targeting the area the blitzer just left. The whole notion that the Niner coaches have thought through that scenario has not shown up on the field of play. On offense they started well with Kaep rolling out, but then went brain dead and went way too conservative. When Rodgers rolled out, he had a TE as a convenient target, so the defender could not rush him and cover too. The Niners should make that play routine, because it is basically indefensible, especially with a fast elusive QB.
              Disparaging my premise that I was a lone voice in the wilderness calling for Kaep to roll out may be evident to you, but I rarely saw them, and I invite you to scroll through and find them. Most posters were attacking Kaep and saying he sucks, and the Niners should trade him for a third round pick. I can find reams of those posts.
              I want to see the Gunslinger, the Sundance Kaep. They should allow him to move.

          2. Last night, just before I went to sleep, I called for the sun to come up. It did, and my record is still perfect. :-}

            I’m willing to do it again tonight if no one objects.

      2. If you had watched any film on Hayne playing rugby, he was great at laterals. Obviously, PC saw the same things, and was intrigued by the possibilities. Last I heard, laterals were legal in the NFL.
        I just wonder if the Niner coaches are smart enough to make a play with a lateral in it. Seems like they cannot devise a play with a man in motion, either.

        1. seb ..

          actually, I wasn’t dissing your lateral idea ..
          I was just questioning the prospective effectiveness
          of trick plays …

          Sure they work some of the time ..just look at
          the Bruce Miller .. “Big Sleeper” play …
          (it worked vs the Ravens) … but ..
          the key is …. knowing when to use it ..

          and, I don’t really have much confidence in
          this offensive coaching staff and their ability
          to determine when to use it

          Was Geep’s red zone ineffectiveness inherited
          from G-Ro ?

          1. Over the past four years plus six games this year my memory tells me that trick plays have worked a few times. On example would be the unexpected on side kick against the Patriots. What my memory also tells me that most of the time trick plays have killed drives and in on case cost us a win against the Rams. That one involved a lateral to James near our goal line.

            I don’t see other teams winning with trick plays very often either.

            1. Just dont try the trick punt play like Indy, but in the Art of War, deception is one of the best ways to get the opposition out of position. Instead of running into the teeth of the defense, It is much preferable to decoy or fake towards a player and have the ball carrier run through an uncontested lane or gap.
              I would like to see Kaep roll right, hit the TE in front of him, or fake the pass to draw the safeties, then throw a long bomb down the left side to a wide open RB who snuck out of the backfield unmarked.

              1. Man, you sure do over-quote the Art of War. There are only a few pretty simple concepts Sun Tzu preaches:

                – Know yourself and know your enemy
                – Be deceptive; don’t be predictable
                – Avoid conflict if possible. But if you can’t avoid conflict, choose the conditions of battle and attack an opponents weaknesses

                Pretty simple stuff. No need to keep quoting it.

              2. Hmm, then why do the Niners get coached like they never heard of those concepts at all? There is a lot more to the Art of War than you think, and many military strategists have written books interpreting those many concepts and ideas. The whole idea of wasting skills and expertise, just to prove a point is antithetical to the many premises presented by the Art of War. Going conservative when boldness is preferable is antithetical to the teachings. Being mobile and unpredictable should not result in running 3 times into the teeth of the defense.

              3. Many military strategists have written books about how the concepts I summarised can be applied. But the overarching theme of the Art of War can be summarised into those three concepts.

                As to why the 49ers don’t coach as if they ever heard of these concepts? The simple answer is they do coach to these concepts, to some degree. As does every team. Some people are just better at it than others.

                Of course there also those that out-fox themselves trying to be deceptive, because they forget other things such as “know yourself”. Mangini is a good example of this. Deception is great, and attacking an opponents weaknesses is awesome, but you have to do it within the confines of the team’s strengths and limitations.

              4. And yes, I am over-simplifying the Art of War. I am sure Sun Tzu is rolling in his grave. But my point is you quote it like its some miracle cure that only you have deciphered the meaning of.

                Most coaches are firm believers in knowing their team and opponents – that is why they do so much evaluation of their players and the opposition. Most coaches are aware that deception is a good thing, and being predictable is bad. And most coaches know that attacking the opponents weaknesses makes sense.

                Not all coaches come up with good ways of doing these things.

              5. The very first thing written by Sun Tzu is that war is of supreme importance, and should be studied thoroughly.
                Ignoring the Art of War is not wise.

              6. Maybe if the Niner coaches take the game of football seriously enough, they will see the parallels, without the bloodshed. In any contested event, the tactics, strategies, schemes and objectives can be related to concepts enumerated by the Art of War.
                The relevance of that short work is magnified by the enduring quality of the wise man who wrote it 2500 years ago, and how coaches, even Bill Walsh, will quote from it.

              7. Sure, the concepts behind it have relevance, but you are missing my point. The concepts at their heart are pretty simple. And most coaches are already aware of them.

                Studying the Art of War day and night is not the secret to being a good coach. Understanding how to apply the concepts to a football field is what makes a good coach, and this has been the case for a very long time. And understanding how to apply the concepts to a football game is not something a coach learns by reading the Art of War.

              8. They may be aware of them, but it does not translate onto the field. Running 3 times into the teeth of the defense gave Flacco a chance to beat them in the end.
                Instead of throwing the ball on first down in the Giants game, a better strategy would have been to run it so the clock would have kept running.
                Also, Hyde should not have scored so quickly. They should have plowed ahead, and stopped just short of scoring, just to make them burn their time outs.
                The Art of War emphasizes the need to make the proper decisions, and to be able to think quickly to make the proper adjustments. Game management could have benefited from employing Art of War strategies.

              9. The game management and game plan could have been improved by employing better football strategies and concepts.

                But I think you are also forgetting/ ignoring some important concepts yourself. Being unpredictable does not mean you can’t run 3 times in a row. If you always throw in a pass in that situation you are actually being predictable. And taking time off the clock by running the ball is not what the opposition wants when they are down with limited time left. In fact, you go on to contradict yourself by acknowledging this in a later sentence, saying they should actually have kept on running against the Giants.

                Basically what you are saying is they should only do what works. If it doesn’t work, clearly they got it wrong and should have done something else. Wish we all could operate using such 20-20 hindsight.

              10. Scooter, consider this with respect to your current dialogue:

                “Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.”

                As for you, Seb, it is difficult to take seriously your assessment of Sun Tzu’s writings, or application thereof, when your statements evince a confusion between tactics and strategy.

              11. Instead of just running the ball, maybe a better strategy would have been to roll Kaep out. If he sees a player open, he hits him for a game winning first down, or he could run the ball to get the first down and sealing the victory by not letting Flacco have the ball. The coaches should also have sternly told Kaep to slide feet first if there is no open player and no running room, and he should not run out of bounds.
                By being bold and going for the first down, it avoids the possibility of losing in the end like they did in NY.
                In the Art of War, it is important to be flexible. Doing something different may be the wrong choice, so all parameters must be considered. Getting to the right decision may be the difference between winning and losing.

              12. Strategies are overall concepts and tactics are used to accomplish the strategies. Both can be factors in any decision. Game management need strategies for the game plan, and tactics to draw up the correct plays used to succeed. Neither are totally separate, and should not evince confusion when debating plays and games, or used during games.

              13. Seb, I said there is no need for you to continually quote from the Art of War. Good concepts, but you over use them and mis-use them.

              14. I quote the Art of War because many posters scoff at my ideas. If I attribute my reasoning to timeless concepts enumerated in the Art of War, then if they downplay my ideas, they diss the Bible of War.
                I heartily invite others to use the Art of War whenever they want to, and I do not claim ownership of the ideas expressed. Maybe you resent the fact that I like the Art of War, and that the book is not relevant. I cannot change your mind.

              15. Quoting the Art of War is not doing anything to prevent people from scoffing at your ideas.

                The Art of War is a great read, and the basic concepts are employed in the NFL, but that is where its relevance ends. We are talking football strategy and concepts. Perhaps if you were quoting or adopting ideas from coaching greats people may take your suggestions more seriously. Or perhaps not. Depends very much on what your ideas are, not what Sun Tzu said.

              16. “If I attribute my reasoning to timeless concepts enumerated in the Art of War, then if they downplay my ideas, they diss the Bible of War.” … seb

                It’s a logical fallacy (appeal to authority) to use the “Art of War” and it’s author when your ideas are challenged.

              17. “If I attribute my reasoning to timeless concepts enumerated in the Art of War, then if they downplay my ideas, they diss the Bible of War.”

                An alternative, and less emotionally driven, way of conceptualizing the issue is that others disagree with your interpretation and application of the principles from the Art of War, not with those principles themselves.

                “I heartily invite others to use the Art of War whenever they want to, and I do not claim ownership of the ideas expressed.”

                If it were not for the self-aggrandizement found in comments such as the above, you would be a pitiable figure.

              18. In the Art of War, there is a concept about ‘Shaping “the enemy. To analogize that idea with football in mind, opposing teams will stack the box and dare the Niners to pass. How to counter that? The Niners should not be shaped, but should strive to shape the opposition. The Niners should come out with 4 receiver sets so the defense has to unstack, or a player will be uncovered. This tactic will result in spreading out the defense, so the Niners will have shaped the opposition instead of the other way around. With the spread out defense, the Niners should attack the weak spots.

              19. In the Art of War, a disciple of Sun Tzu was asked how to win at horse racing with the warlord’s 3 strings of horses. He was advised to pit the third string against their first string. his first string against their second string, and his second string against their third string.The third string lost, but the first string and second string won, so the warlord won 2 out of three.
                The Niners should pit their third best against Sherman,and be content to lose that matchup, because the other 2 matchups favor the Niners.

              20. JPN, I must have really upset you to have you attacking me so vociferously. Sometimes, you should take a step back and realize that a man’s worth and strength is determined by his enemies. I must present such a daunting challenge, you can only make your self seem wiser by throwing snark. Too bad that defines you.

              21. HT, since you keep making my prediction come true, the logical fallacy is your insistence that haunting my posts will make you a better person. Enjoy.

              22. Scooter , my last 2 posts on the Art of War were just for you, to show that 3 simple concepts that makes a synopsis of the book may not be all that could be derived from thoroughly studying it.
                I know you are sick of the many references to the book, but I really wonder if you have grokked it.

              23. I will admit that it is a weakness that I find it amusing when posts that you intend to be in rebuttal do naught but make your perceived enemies’ points for them.

              24. Scooter, you may try to get in the last word, but since it is discussion about the Art of War, I feel perfectly comfortable having the last say. We have been arguing for a long time, so I hope you realize that I relish using my debate tactics, and will respond to your every post.

              25. “This discussion looks like time well spent.”

                I almost snorted out my drink when I read this, CFC. Well played.

              26. Without wanting to continue this debate further I do feel compelled to point out that both the example of shaping the enemy and the example of the horses are examples of the three summary points I outlined. You are debating for my own point.

              27. After watching the game, can you say with a straight face that the Niner coaches could not benefit from re reading the Art of War.

              28. Summarizing a whole book in 3 sentences is like saying that King Lear is a tragedy and that is all there is about it, so no need to read it.

              29. Seb, I can say with a straight face that these coaches will not improve afer reading the Art of War. As I’ve said numerous times, it is not a miracle cure for what ails the 49ers, or for the coaches deficiencies.

                I’ve never suggested the Art of War is not worth a read, but if you are unable to distil a text into its core themes or messages then you have learned absolutely nothing from it. In that instance yes, you may as well not have read it.

              30. Well, after watching last game, their reading comprehension skills may be so lacking they may not get anything from reading it. Maybe they could read Building a Champion by Bill Walsh and pick up a few pointers. I just want them to get smarter.

    1. Mary Mary, quite contrary, how does your team fare? Seasquawks were one play and one foot from a 1-5 record. Looks like a Super Bowl run is finished because of greedy players. They should have handed the ball to Lynch, because the next SB appearance will not come as long as the team keeps self destructing.
      Losing Quinn and keeping Bevell sure is working out for them.

      1. I would not take Seattle lightly. They’ve been in every game they’ve play so far.
        Niners have only looked dominant in one game, the first game against a medicore Minnesota.
        They stunk against 3 quality opponents, lost to a weak Giants team, and barely beat a sorry Ravens team.

        Seattle is a rival so maybe the team and rise up, maybe Colin can play with an ever bigger chip on his shoulder, although he’s played with ones before against Seattle and he still sucked!

        1. No one but Seb is taking them lightly. Without a healthy Hyde we might only muster 6 points or so. I think it really depends on the first quarter and if Kap can throw with any success. If he can’t his confidence will be shaken and his decision making will be erratic. I don’t think they’ll muster much offense either but will have at least 1 TD.

          1. I am taking them lightly? I think it will be a slugfest, a real ball grabber. I have the Niners winning by 2 points. That does not sound like I am predicting a Niner blowout. Seahawks were leading in every game. They just could not finish.

        2. In this current NFC Minnesota could be a playoff team. If we could have both units show up each game we’d have a better chance. Pittsburgh the defense got annihilated and the offense was slow to develop. Cardinals #7 was awful. At GB the D played well but the offense was shut out again. Offense was above average at the Giants but the D was soft in the middle. Ravens, the offense was opportunistic and the defense played well enough against the 7th ranked offense.

          What’s your prediction Fan?

    2. Mary remember back in preseason when I said fans are the last ones to see their team is in decline about your Hawks? We knew we we going to be a losing team, how’s it feel since you didn’t expect it?

            1. She’s already done that. She threatened to put a plastic bag on my head choke me to death once. Thanks for the warning though.

              1. Glad to say everyone at this moment in my family is cancer free.
                Someone skipped the chant section in curses 101. What a tool!

          1. it takes more contact to bring down my 12 year old daughter than it does to get Lockett to the ground.

            His one skill is that he’s fast. If coverage is disciplined, he gets nothing. No moves, no tackle breaking ability, and goes down so easily (forget arm tackles, I’ve seen him go down from one hand in his quad, weak, weak, weak).

  16. Oh crap.
    There goes our chance to pull an upset on Thursday.

    Why Grant? Why did you have to predict a 49ers win? Whyyyyyy????

  17. Prognostications are easy to make but generally harder to back up after the fact. Seattle needs this game more than the Niners who are in NFL dumpster land (if you don’t believe me listen to some of the comments from the team after close losses or wins – these are not comments from a high achieving franchise). It’s happened so fast. It’s shocking and I don’t think most of us have fully realized what we are facing for the few years…

  18. This is going to be a rock fight. The nation is going to see two desperate teams fighting to keep their season alive.

      1. Maybe . . . I’m more concerned the OL was miscalculated. The NFL’s a mess #MNF was a joke. Just look at the standings I’ve never seen such a year. A couple of 6-0, 5-0 and the rest of us.

        I attribute it to poor OL players coming out of college. 24 teams are in the same trouble as the Seahawks. Coaches are all talking about it.

        1. The “college farm system” is failing the big boys. Maybe they will build their own farm system and control the style of coaching to better suite the financial goals of the NFL. Oh, wait. The TV people might not like that because it would cut into their profits. Nothing to do but change NFL football as fast as college football changes.

  19. I have to agree with Cohn on one point. Marcus Martin is awful. There have been several shocking plays where it doesn’t look like he belongs on an NFL roster. The guy either gets pushed around like a rag doll or he completely whifs on his blocks. There are times I can’t believe the guy ever actually played in college. He has been putrid. What is even more shocking is that Baalke has been so poor at filling out the roster that the coaching staff has to play this guy because the backups are even worse.

    1. Kilgore was expected to be ready to go and I’m sure they felt like MM would have progressed since last year. This was wrong, but it did make some kind of sense.

      1. I guess that was the logic but fighting over Kilgore and Martin is like fighting over who gets to take the fattest girl to prom. There is no 2 ways around it. The talent at this school needs a serious upgrade and Baalke is not the man to do it.

        1. Martin was evaluated by lots to be the best center in the draft. So it was’t just Baalke who missed on him. Many here thought he’d develop too. He’s what 21, maybe he should have stayed in college a couple more years? Is it talent on his part or coaching or both? Kilgore is solid, but his injury is hard to come back from like Ian Williams. I didn’t get why they traded Easton to the Vikings when Kilgore’s return is so questionable. I see that we needed ILB help but it seems we need OL help more?

          1. That is the defense of every terrible GM who has ever run a team. “Yeah, you can’t blame me – Ryan Leaf was the best rated QB coming out of college.” or maybe – “You can’t blame me – that Jamarcus Russell had a great bowl game.” or maybe – “You can’t blame me – that AJ Jenkins was really fast.”

            Every GM misses on picks. It’s a fact of life. But there is no mistaking the fact that the 9ers have zero depth and their overall roster is relatively weak. That is directly attributable to the terrible job done by Trent Baalke. He’s had way too many AJ Jenkins, and LaMichael James, and Vance McDonalds, and Marcus Martins. Baalke is not good at the NFL Draft and the current roster proves that point.

            1. Don’t take me for a Baalke supporter or defender. Martin may have been overrated coming out of college or too young for the NFL. The hype machine often causes people to over look reality. He may have been a bust where ever he landed because of it. But GM’s and talent evaluators need to be able to get past the hype. Baalke has certainly made some missteps along the way and is looking like he’s great at gathering picks and managing salary cap figures but struggles to build a roster and manage trades and veterans at times. See Dockett and Wright this year.

        2. Houston,

          I believe you’re mistaken about Kikgore. He was playing at a very high level before he was injured last year. I can’t remember the numbers, but, if memory serves, PFF had him ranked as one of the best centers in the league.

      1. I didn’t. His highlights and profile talked about a few tendencies he had that would result in him getting beat (even against opponents weaker than him). Unfortunately, it seems like those habits haven’t been corrected while being in the NFL.

  20. Come on people you have to understand Grant and his mentor Lowell by now, when either one of them predict a 49er victory its just a set up for their post game columns. They go something like this, the 9ers were obviously better than their opponents [I told you so on tues] but Kaep\Tomsula\Mangini\Bowman were horrible and choked the game away. They are just setting up their next rip the 9ers column. Instead of a balanced report on a more talented Seahawk team beating an undermanned 49er team it will be how the 49ers blew another one. My prediction Seattle 24 49ers 10

    1. It does seem like Grant is just messing with us like his other flip flop predictions. I guess when we make a blog into actual news we are setting ourselves up for our own post game story.

      I think it could be more like the GB game. 13-6 Hawks.

      1. The 49ers no longer have Fangio and Donatell. Seattle will expose this fraudulent niner defensive mirage against Baltimore and give the niners O-Line every stunt known to man.
        In the end, 49ers vs. Seattle line stunts and exotic blitzes will confuse, and batter Kap, like a boxer who’s taken to many hits to the cranium, the punch drunk Kap will serve up tossed duck to Kam Chancellor and the “Legion of Boom.”

        1. And the tossed duck will be served by Jed York, who will allow another Seattle festival on the 49er 50 yard line.

        2. So Wilson and his receiving corps are better than Rodgers and his WR’s? Don’t count on it. If they score a lot us it will be like the other guy said, on broken plays. I don’t think Wilson’s offense is better than Steelers, Cardinals, Giants, or Packers.

          1. When we had a great Defense with players who knew what they were doing, we could barely contain Wilson and company….and to expect better tomorrow night is a dream or nightmare ( take your pick )

            1. I am not expecting better because of our defense. Their offense is bad, Lynch 3.3 yds per carry. Again if we can contain Rodgers and his group we can do the same here. I am not saying we’ll win but even the Hawks own beat writers aren’t predicting a blow out. 13-6 or 19-10 is about right. Wilson may run all over the field but he’ll have 1-2 TD’s at the most.

    2. You got it right about Grant, Old Coach.
      You don’t seem to comment on this blog as frequently as you did before. Hope you are doing well.

  21. I sincerely hope I am wrong and come home pleasantly surprised after work ( Grrrr! ) tomorrow night……but this game is going to be a massacre by the Seahawks
    Coaching- Win Seattle x5
    Defense- Win Seattle x5
    Kicking- Dawson-win bec the turf likes him!
    – Pinion- tossup/maybe
    Offense- Seahawks win running game ( no healthy Hyde )
    – 9ers win passing game talent wise
    Redzone- Seahawks win
    See Coaching/Defense Above and
    Final Score 42-10 Seahawks

    1. When Harbaught Objected to Jed, Paraage, and Baalke holding the Seattle Thanksgiving dinner on the 50 yard line and threatened to kick them off the field, Harbaugh’s days were numbered. Mary and her friends will enjoy themselves, courtesy of 49ers uppermangagement’s overmanaging, and holding the 2nd Annual, Seattle 50 yard line festival.

      Thank you 49ers, for your hospitality to the other team.
      Possibly next Thanksgiving you can feed our team.

            1. Whose woods these are, I think I know, Seattle’s party is on the 50, though,
              They will not see 49ers there, to watch this yardline fill up will Seahawks,
              Jed York and Trent must think it weird, to stop without a Niner Near,
              They give their Turkey leg a shake–passing one to Sherman wasn’t a mistake,
              The only sounds, the sweep of Seahawks fork against plate as they down Jed’s cranberry
              The Stadiums lovely, dark and deep, but Seb and the Seahawks have promises to keep, on the fifty yard line before they sleep as Niner fans Query: What does Jed’s 2nd Festival make?

          1. “….And I thought you — died you’ve been MIA….”

            Who .. ? …. moi …?

            Yeah… just got back from the NorCoast .. and
            got to spend a couple daze up in SeaTac ..

            Almost barfed seein’ all the #12’s all over
            the place …

            Thought I saw you
            comin’ outta Taco Bell, Mary !

  22. Even if the offense can score more than 20 points (something they haven’t done against the Seahawks since 2010), I just can’t see how this defense will stop Wilson and Jimmy Graham. It seems to me that the Seahawks are a better team right now than the Niners, despite their worse O line, and they continue to match up very well against the Niners. Niners could win — Tartt could give Graham a concussion and Kap could take over the game with both his legs and arms — but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  23. One thing I will be looking for is how Vernon Davis plays Thursday. People talk about how #7 has failed against the Seaweeds, but how about him? Targets or not, when was the last time this guy showed up? Biggest disappointment of the year so far!

  24. The so-called rivalry was more with Carroll vs Harbaugh. I won’t sugarcoat the seahags have owned us.
    But I see us turning the corner and could very well start tomorrow night.
    Someone on our team will step up and make a big play to shift the momentum in our favor.

  25. Grant, what do you think about the lack of interest in what Kaepernick, and the two coordinators have to say each week?

  26. I believe Tomsula has his team believing in itself and he will orchestrate a 4th quarter win with the team’s last possession. Kaepernick will have to be mindful for a full 60 minutes and leave the sideline yucking in the locker room. Kaepernick plays his best in these high energy under the light affairs. More than likely it reminds of a high school atmosphere playing the cross town rival.

    1. “What’s that? Ah — Orchestrate? Don’t talk about — Orchestrate? You kidding me? Orchestrate? I just hope we can win a game!” … Jim

  27. Personally I think we win.the seacraps are way overrated.mater of fact i think there garbage,there qb is starting to be exposed.we just need to play to are strengths and we will be fine. Same game plan keep it simple at first get kaps confidence up then let it all hang out and pressure Wilson relentlessly whatever it takes

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