What to watch for in the 49ers’ season opener against the Cowboys

SANTA CLARA — Here is what to watch for in the 49ers’ season opener against the Cowboys, a game I expect the 49ers will win by 10 points at least.

1. The 49ers’ pass attack. Even if Anthony Davis doesn’t play, the 49ers’ passing game should look better than ever on Sunday. The Cowboys’ defense is unspeakable. They have no run defense, no pass rush and no one in the secondary who can cover Vernon Davis or Anquan Boldin or anyone. Colin Kaepernick should produce one of his best passing performances of his NFL career in this game.

2. The 49ers’ run defense. The Cowboys have a good offensive line and two good running backs — DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar. They should run the ball effectively this season. Watch to see if the 49ers’ front seven can shut down Dallas’ run game without NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Glenn Dorsey and possibly Ray McDonald.

3. The Cowboys’ no-huddle offense. It’s supposed to be 91 degrees in Arlington on Sunday. I would open up AT&T Stadium’s retractable roof and make the California team play in the Texas heat if I were the Cowboys’ head coach. Then I would start the game with a no-huddle offense to tire out the 49ers’ injury-depleted defense. I’d want them baking. I’d want them sweating like pigs. And I’d want Patrick Willis calling the 49ers’ defensive signals on the field while the play clock is running.

This article has 214 Comments

  1. All i want out of you grant is if the 9ers do’nt win on sunday instead of ripping them for not meeting your expectations, you admit that you were wrong and that you lack the knowledge of the game to make accurate predictions. The 9ers are 5 pt favorites and i would’nt touch this game with a 10 foot pole.

    1. Take away the grades, take away the predictions and most of all, if you take away that play, he only averages a inch per carry.

      1. Loved her in her younger years but recently she became fairly annoying.
        Time to rest, Ms. Rivers.
        You were a pretty funny chick.

    1. Like Joan until she made a couple of horrific classless jokes about the 3 women who were kidnap for 10 years in Ohio. Talking about jokes that went bad, very very bad.

    2. James Brown was always referred to as the hardest working man in show business but anyone who has seen the biopic on Joan Rivers knows that Brown couldn’t hold a candle to her work ethic. She was dedicated to being funny and considered nothing to be out of bounds. If you didn’t appreciate her jokes she’d tell you to go F yourself and go get a sense of humor. I had and will continue to have nothing but the utmost respect for Joan and hope to God that she’s in a more deserving place now.

    1. Hey Razor, do you find it interesting that Roman said they would go with the hot hand at RB? Makes you wonder if Hyde’s getting more of a true timeshare with Gore vs. a couple of carries a game like Hunter did.

    2. That was a good one!!!

      Whatcha make of Roman saying that with RB’s they are going to go with the HOT hand?

  2. I’ll get a picture from up top flipping off the star. Will add that one to my collection…..

  3. I agree the first two points are definitely going to be interesting to see. I’m also interested to see how the pass rush fares without Aldon, how often they bring extra guys, and what sort of rotation they use on the DL and OLB (if any).

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the offense a bit sluggish to start this game. They haven’t gotten a lot of time together in preseason, and there was still some rust when they were on the field. But the Cowboys D can play them into form, and hopefully by the 2nd quarter they should be looking good.

  4. 3 great takes Grant. The heat is interesting but I wonder if they have played the roof game in the past or is it comfort for everyone.???

    I would add an obvious wildcard factor… Pass rush. Can they apply pressure with the front 4 and replacements along the line which include young players like Lemon and tank.

  5. I thought the Cowboys trained in Oxnard. I think they have only had a week to re-aaclemate to muggy Texas, so is that a big advantage?

  6. Hey Kit you look a lot like Brotha Tuna.

    If the Niner defense doesn’t get going against this defense then they have some big time problems ahead. This is the worst defense in football and there is no excuse for not moving the ball against them.

    As for the heat, I agree with Kit and BT. The Cowboys would be adversely affected by it too. They’ll likely have the roof closed.

    1. Rocket
      My whole day has been going like that Kit thing! Apparently since before I woke up since I slept through my alarm and missed a flight. Doh!

        1. Mañana. I’m paying for an empty room tonight too. A karmic bap on the back of the head. Probably won’t sleep much tonight. : >)
          Say, Seatards about to kick off, shouldn’t Mary be hosting a Live Chat on here?

  7. The cold didn’t get our team, so why should the heat? I think the third one should be replaced with our secondary. It’s all but a completely different unit than it was a year ago and it will be interesting to see how much the unit gives up in the air.

  8. favored by a whopping five points…

    how far down the road do the Niners go
    before they score “something” in each of the
    four quarters…? taking the field in the 2nd half
    behind zero vs whatever…and guess what?
    You might not cover the spread, Mr. Harbaw.

  9. Oh hell’s bells. I needed that TD to be Lacy, nobody is starting Kuhn, what a wasted TD.

  10. Hope the Niners take the bubble wrap off Kaep and let him run the read option some just to keep the D honest.

  11. The 91 degrees might benefit the run defense, read quite recently a blurb that stated that the top 25 backs in 2013 had 25% less production when the temp was over 80 degrees.

    1. I am more dissappointed in my misplaced confidence in the Packers. I guess we killed them last year on openning day.

      Grant saves all his misplaced confidence for players on other teams. Notice his projecting that there’s no way this awful 49ers team that hinges on Aldon Smith should lose to this Dallas bottom feeder team.

      1. The 49ers should have no problem beating the Cowboys Because the Cowboys lack of talent on both side of the game. The Seahawks looks very good last night, and prior to the game the NFL news picked the Seahawks to repeat winning the SB. The way they played last night seattle looked very tough again. Last season the 49ers and Seahawks were the two best team in the NFL. But seeing their performance last night, they’re above the 49ers. I hate to say it, we can’t ignore the facts that they are much better football team in the NFL again. They didn’t lose a beat in their blow out game last night.

  12. two Packers named Rogers .. both from Cal Bezerklee ..
    how cool is that ?

    Aaron did a reprise of Peyton’s first play in last years Super Bowl ..
    … with the same result …

    Much as it pains me to say this … but ..
    I bet Mary has an ear to ear grin on her face
    right about now

    1. MWNiner:

      Well I always hate to be overly optimistic, but as the NFL says: Seahawks are the real deal and as advertised. Hopefully they’ll stay uninjured. Something else Coach Billick and Pete Carroll mentioned struck me: Teams can’t afford to not throw on Richard Sherman’s side as they shut down 1/2 of the field.

  13. Well boys, the Seattle looks good. We better let Kaep go and run a no huddle ish type offense. Keeping pass rushers on the field will hurt them. The same thing Seattle has done with Percy Harvin, we need to do with LMJ. Get him the ball in open space.

    1. MWNiner.— I would run those plays but not with LMJ but Ellington. LMJ has slowed down. He is not the same quick player who came out of college. Why do people still think he is capable of breaking big plays in space when he has never done so in the pro’s except for one return as a rookie. I suspect some people are still harboring the same hope they had about how he would be the impactful change of pace guy for the offense.

      1. @Wiltalk

        What are you talking about slowed down? Who writes your material (with regrets to Milton Berle)

  14. Green Bay is entertaining but not championship caliber. There are only four teams that match up with Seattle from an intensity perspective. SF, Rams, Cards and Carolina.
    Really though Green Bay was going to show more. They got no more to show.

  15. Green Bay’s sloppy play and self inflicted wounds has handed this game to Seattle. I don’t think you can let the Packer’s defense off that easy but this game could/should be closer then it is. I guess what I’m saying is this game has been more about GB beating themselves(phrasing) then Seattle actually dominating them.

    1. The Seahawks have prepared like champs the whole preseason. They look pretty sharp. They’re going to be tough to beat, but it comes down to where they play NO. If they play in New Orleans, that you gotta give Brees the edge.
      There’s going to be a surprise team. I’d love to see how Seattle matches up against Philly.

      1. Hold your on … you’re already jumping to the NFC Championship game and anointing Seattle and New Orleans as the NFC representatives? Talk about having faith in your team .. in week1.

  16. Isn’t it interesting how neither Manning or Rodgers could score as many points against Seattle on the road or a neutral field as Kaepernick did in the 2013 NFC CG? Kaepernick has some growing to do as a pocket passer, but he is one of the rare QBs that scares that Seattle defense.

    Watching Manning and Rodgers both choke against that defense reminds me of just how hard it is to beat that team in Seattle (in SF is a different story of course) and just how close Kaepernick came. 2014 is about getting HFA, and improvement in the offense, while keeping the standard up on defense and special teams.

    1. Adusoron— This is true! Interesting how other QB’s with reps ( Rodgers, Manning, Bree’s ) don’t get the same level of criticism that they give to Kaep when they have trouble with the Seattle defense. The TV announcers seem to go with pre-determined talking points based on each QB’s is stereotyped. Wilson almost had sure interceptions dropped with very little comment. I have seen games where a defender dives at a thrown pass and just hits it with a hand and the announcers will say Kaep almost had that one picked off. There just seems to be a different standard applied by broad cast announcers and it’s not only Kaep who gets the short end of the stick. They should just call each play objectively and not adjust it depending on a players rep. Kaep has gotten a negative rep in respect to his passing and the announcers tend to want to reinforce that perception every chance the get.

      1. Listen I like Rodgers a lot. He is a great QB but their is one example I would like to point out that sort of proves my point is the third down play when he threw the ball rather than running for the first. Now that was a decision that they questioned, but what was not focused on was that he had a receiver wide open and he missed him by about 8 yards. Now if that were Kaep they would have brought up his accuracy issues. Every QB will miss open receivers. They are not robots, but if it happens to certain ones they are right away hit with criticism for being inaccurate. TV broadcasters seem to have an inordinate amount of influence the perception of most fans and that helps to feed stereotypes.

        1. Willtalk, I was in complete disbelief that Rodgers passed up the easy scramble for the first down. Rodgers is pretty quick for being a pocket QB. He brainfarted on the play, pure and simple. If that were Kap, he’s going 10+ yards and gets a first down.

          I agree with you that Kap gets a ton of unfair criticism. A lot of it is driven by media types that regurgitate false or partially true talking points and it filters down to the casual fan. I can’t read a lot of sports commentary on many websites because it’s just fluff and regurgitation of cliches and groupthink. That said, I am all for Kap taking the next step (or couple of steps) in his development. He needs to be more consistent in the pocket and not being afraid to hit his checkdown guy if the first two reads are covered. His scramble out of the pocket should be his “4th read” (unless the pocket immediately breaks down before he can even hit his back foot).

          1. Adusoron: Very well articulated. I noticed the same thing. I wish people were more objective about Kaep because I have a tendency to want to even things out so I find myself posting mostly pro Kaep stuff. Some days I can articulate reasonably well but on other days I totally suck. Wish I could write as well as you.

      2. That’s exactly right….Kaep outperforms every ELITE Qb when playing Seattle. Beats them in his own backyard, has them on their heels in their house. Yet we so easily dole out the elite label for Brees, Rogers, Manning. Maybe Seattle is just really that good, and so is Kaep

    2. Aduruson, we can add Breese in that so called elite QBs that looks ordinary against Seattle defense. These QBs have great footwork, can make any kind of throws, makes everybody around them better, etc…
      But that’s all we heard from some of the fans around here when talking about CK. Forget all the other stuff he brings on the field, neah let’s talk about all his weaknesses. I’m not saying he should’nt improve his game, but let’s give this kid more credit that he deserve for leading this team to back to back NFCCGs.

      1. ricardo– These fans are not evaluating him objectively. They are only rationalizing their preconceived perceptions which is why they focus on the negatives and chose not to see the mitigating positives he brings to the table as you pointed out. Every player has strength’s and weaknesses our bia’s usually dictate what we chose to see. Every time he misses a pass it is magnified in their eyes which only reinforces their original belief. Even a less than perfect pass becomes a bad pass in their eyes. Realistically he only threw one bad pass in the Seattle play off game. Six inches does not turn a great pass into a bad pass. If it were thrown lower and Sherman intercepted it would have been a bad pass, but he did all he could to deflect it.

            1. JackHammer—Do you even read an entire post? Putting it into context the pass I was referring to as bad was the under thrown side line pass- they first interception. The one that was six inches from being a great pass was the game ending interception. I don’t believe Sherman was involved in the intercepted sideline pass so why would you conclude that I was referring to the first interception?

              Six inche’s might be the difference between a completed or incomplete pass but not a good or bad one. No QB is that good that they have the control to be exact to that sort of degree. Sherman had to recover and make a great defensive play to tip the ball. If he had been in a position to intercept the ball it would have been a bad pass. Seattle got luck that they had a LB in the exact right spot to catch the tip. Every defensive deflection has the potential to be intercepted. Passes off the hands of the receivers have the potential to be intercepted. Whether they are or not depends mostly on luck. They do not always result from bad or even less that perfectly thrown passes. Of course reason doesn’t stop fans from spinning these plays to reflect and support their own personal bias and agenda’s.

              Some fans might also find if the stay off the brew while watching the games it would add to their objectivity.

              1. It was luck? Come on bro. He was right with Crabtree on that play. The only way that throw beats him is if it’s perfect, so yeah, 6 inches was kind of a big deal with that play.

                Agree with you on the brew comment though. Good thing I don’t drink.

                Kaepernick was very good for 3 quarters of that game, but not so good in the last one.

              2. At first I also thought it was just luck that a linebacker was there when sherman tipped the pass but after watching the NFL network I found out Sherman tips passes to teammates quite frequently. It wasn’t luck that the linebacker was there. sherman tipped that pass to that linebacker purposely hoping he would catch it. The linebacker new that sherman tip’s passes and that’s why he was there.I hate sherman with a passion but I have to give him credit when credit is deserved.

    3. I hate to burst your Kaep huddle, but he was atrocious in the regular season, and in the NFCCG, was gifted a TO on the first play of the game. Had a 10-0 lead and then slowly imploded in the 2nd half with 3 TOs. He is uniquely talented and a lot of players on the Seahawks D has said they respect his game. At the same time, Kaep has 5 TOs in Seattle, and needed a big Frank Gore run at Candlestick to beat SEA.
      Right now SEA has the momentum, until the Niners do something to take it away. Thankfully they play each other at the end of the season, where the Niners have a lot more time to get into a groove.

      1. His play last season was not “atrocious.” We all agree he struggled at times, for various reasons, but categorizing him as atrocious is a massive oversell borne out of confirmation bias.

        Take a look at the film analysis article Claude Balls posted from ninersnation recently. That gentleman put together a very fair and balanced look at CK7’s pros and cons last season.

      2. Fansince77-That fumble was not a ball control fumble but a blind side strip from behind by a player who came from the other side of the field and should never have been there. That strip while he was in the act of passing was on the offensive line. Davis who was playing with only one hand got beat like a drum. Heck Kaep was rolling to the right and got stripped from behind by a guy coming from the left side. If that isn’t a pass protection breakdown I don’t know what is. Fan- You are an example of someone who see’s what they want to see to reinforce their agenda driven perspective.

        1. Manning also lost the ball on a blind side strip in the Superbowl. Same thing except his was from the left where as Kaep’s was from behind. Neither saw the player so the turn over was not something they could have prevented. Both were on the line not the QB’s. Ironically both QB’s also threw a bad pass directly to a defender and had another pass picked off on a deflection. The difference between the two was that Kaep kept his team in the game with his mobility and legs.

          1. wilatlk- That would be Michel Bennett, who stripped both Rodgers and Manning from behind on a bull rush, working in tandem with Chris Avril

        2. I need to correct my post. He was not rolling to the right rather the left and the rusher was not coming from the right but the left. I think perhaps I was writing while looking in the mirror. LOL.

        3. Three turnovers in a half is pretty bad. Doesn’t matter how the TO happened, they happened.
          He needs to make less mistakes this season when playing Seattle. Simple as that. Seems like you’re pushing an pro agenda. I’m just stating facts. Manning played horribly as well.

          1. Manning had a bad game because he did not have the protection that he was used to. The Seattle DBacks were the best in the NFL. Combine the two and your QB will usually have a bad stat game. When we judge if a player played badly it must be in context with the opportunities he had. The Seattle defense gives teams very few opportunities.

            The implication in respect to Kaep was that he was a bad QB because he struggled in the passing game against Seattle. Well even the so called elite QB’s stuggled against Seattle. So struggling against Seattle can not be used as an example for stating some one is a bad QB. Kaep had to play Seattle 3 times with twice being at Seattle.

            There is a difference between forced mistakes and unforced mistakes. The mistakes made by those elite QB’s against Seattle ( if they are mistakes) are usually forced mistakes. Fan77- You are being very unrealistic in your expectations. People in H*ll want ice water. The point is that under pressure sooner or later mistakes might just happen. That’s the point of pressure. The ridiculous part is that you guys put the entire blame on Kaep whether another players lack of play created the pressure or not. Watch the last two series in the superbowl. Gore missed two key blocks which created pressure one on the last play and one on the extra point try. Yet that is ignored and forgotten and the blame put entirely on kaep. Come on somebody tell me I am wrong about those two missed blocks.

            1. Before we get off on the wrong track, I’m not a Kaep hater, I want him to do well and succeed and I want him to earn it. Yes he’s done some things right and he has a lot of potential. The issue here is that he is on a champion caliber team. He was dropped into a great situation and he was supposed to be the difference maker not to just get us to the SB, but to win it.
              I don’t think those are unrealistic expectations. Without a doubt football is a team game but the reason the QB is so valuable is that he has the ball in his hands on practically every play on offense. So when he coughed up 3 TOs in the 2nd half, you have to look at his overall play.
              He’s a work in progress. Hopefully on Sunday we see a new and improved KAEP, because we’re going to need it to keep up with Seatte.

              1. Get er done.
                I grew up in SF, and then have lived all over. I was in NYC when the Yankees were dominate, and never rooted for them. I was in Chicago when Jordan won 6 rings and never rooted for them. I don’t like Jordan, and never will. I quietly rooted for the Jazz, the Blazers, the Sonics, etc. I was in Dallas during the Jimmy Jones era and it sucked to deal with those obnoxious Cowboy fans, They are almost as bad as Bay what’s his name. I have always rooted for SF teams, Warriors, Giants, Niners. Throughout the crappy York era I stuck with the Niners, regardless of who was QB. Just because I have my nit-picks on KAEP does not mean I stop rooting for the Niners. I’m just not into idolizing a player that hasn’t done anything and in my mind his poor play cost us winnable games. I’m in SoCal now, and don’t root for the Lakers, clearly don’t like the Dodgers. Although I might root for the Kings because I never really developed an attachment to the Sharks because they arrived after I moved out of Norcal.

          2. Yeah.kap made mistakes..Aaron made mistakes..brees made mistakes..manning made mistakes..Carson made mistakes..Brady lost up there 2yrs ago..Flacco lost up there too..Lol.We can play this game all day.lol.Stop drinking your haterade fan

            1. Razoreater — That’s right! He sure did! She was in the room in Miami. Don’t get me started…

      1. Yeah jack..and I believe the last two Seattle qb’s to win in San Francisco..are Matt Hassleback and Trent Dilfer..I love the “prop up “player /team game myself …..sometimes..

    4. What’s that saying: that was last year and this is this year:

      “Kaepernick has some growing to do as a pocket passer, but he is one of the rare QBs that scares that Seattle defense.”

      ANSWER: If indeed the Seahawks were ever “frightened,” we have an entirely new “offense” that, I think, will give the 49ers “fits.” RW: Comp% 67.9% /PR% 110.9; AR: Comp% 69.7% PR% 81.9%.

      I think if we do as well on our road games as last year, we’ll do fine. 2013: 6-2, same as you.

  17. Did the Packers bother to upgrade that defense? They looked clueless against the read option and no answer for Harvin. Personally I think they should of fired Dom Capers, he’s behind the times. Glad thats not my team.

    1. Capers does have a defense that isn’t tough enough to stand up to the NFC West bullies in SF and SEA. They can beat the Rams because the Rams’ secondary sucks, but I’m willing to wager ARI would stand a good shot of beating GB too.

      I saw so many defensive mistakes. Not that every defense is perfect, but basic things like missed tackles, blown coverages, and players who were too physically slow to execute their assignments at times. I thought GB would have made it a mission to improve their defense, but it looked like the same pile of crapola that they featured against us in 2012 and 2013’s games.

      Long story short – we don’t play those Seachickens for 13 weeks. No time to worry about them. A lot is going to happen between now and then. We should absolutely just focus on winning each week and wait to smack them around in our new stadium in week 13.

    2. Yeah, its been several years of repeated beatings administered to Dom Capers’ defense. He does not have the answer and to keep him there is to continue with failure. The GM also shares some blame I should add. But they just extended their gm so… I guess he’s not biting the bullet.

  18. It is now a matter of public record:
    Seattle scored 36 points tonight.
    Please be advised: the 49ers only surpassed
    that amount once last season, putting up 42
    in week eight . . . against Jacksonville (wow….).
    [ Seattle faced Green Bay/Aaron Rodgers tonight ].
    398 total yards (207 rushing – 191 passing).
    two TDs through the air and two TDs rushing…
    B – A – L -A -N – C -E – D….hmmm?

    Pay attention, Colin ” Sack-and-Pick”…
    …Russell Wilson had one sack and zero interceptions.
    Six receivers making catches for double figure yardage.
    Wilson’s QB rating was 110.9 …..my, my, my.
    (You can almost hear Pete Carroll’s gum popping….)

    1. GB dropped at least 2 picks in that game. Not saying he played bad but as the announcer said its good to be lucky and good.You Seattle Gawk troll.

    2. Whelp…. What I saw was. The Seattle defense still struggles against the run. Eh emmm (Harbaugh) they took advantage as soon as two o-linemen went down for GB. Game was over right there.
      I am also starting to question Rodgers in the clutch or when he’s needed for a big play. 3 times vs sf I thought for sure he would make the big throw. Never did, and he looked the same vs GB tonight.

      The GB hype was just that. Same holes in the defense cheese.

      The refs were flagging the wrong team tonight. :-)

      Seattles left side of the secondary is vulnerable they went there often and that’s where most of the yards came from in the throwing game.

      Seattle is still a lucky a** team with these deflections, fumbles and getting ran into by a linemen when kicking. Can’t see that lasting much longer.

      Overall Seattle looked good, GB did not. And I can’t se them stopping our running game and either MC or Boldin. Because one of them will have a supreme advantage opposite of Dick Sherman. It will be tough stopping them running, and we have and can contain midget Wilson. I honestly wasn’t to impressed with the win tonight.
      Home opener, vs a horrible defense, and the luck of TWO linemen going down.
      It’s going to be a knockdown drag out like last year with this team.

      1. Notice how when the left side of Seattle’s defense played off the receiver, Rogers threw there immediately…. Good 10 yard gains each time. Lloyd and Johnson better be ready for that. My personal favorite to throw that to though would be Ellington.

      2. ninerMd, Your analogy is so terrible for one thing. And you’re saying that the Seahawks won the SB last season being lucky? And last night they were lucky again blowing out the Packers. And when the 49ers got blown out in Seattle last season, the Seahawks were just lucky again? As much I love our team the 49ers, sorry to say this, but seeing the Seahawks performance last night, they’re a very scary team again and the NFL analyze picked the Seahawks to win the SB again.
        It’s embarrassing to hear from a 49ers fan talking crap about another team. You should enjoy the game it’s a gift to see great teams play. As a fan of NFL be humble.

        1. Put the blunt down.
          Me saying they’re lucky has nothing to do with the win. It has to do with the ball bouncing their way.
          And again tell me how many yards did they get on the right side??
          You’re good at making up things. Must be the dope!

  19. I was sort of impressed with the Seattle OC play calling. Seems like when they need it he called the right play. Had GB fooled quite a bit.

    1. Play calling was very good. Harvin and Lynch kept GB’s defense off balance all day.

      The execution, especially Wilson’s ball handling in the “finesse” plays was impeccable. The timing on fly sweeps, swing passes, play action and screens was flawless. Impressive when you consider its week 1.

      I’m thinking Ward should shadow Harvin and let the rest of the defense concentrate on their jobs.

      1. I agree about Ward on Harvin all day. He may not be able to completely shadow him, but what makes this a good match up is his tackling ability. Another advantage is by the time we play them late in the season, Ward should be feeling a lot more comfortable in his skills and role. Should be fun to watch.

    2. WillTalk: I was relieved when Bevell didn’t take the job offer with the Redskins. Why oh why do I feel he would have been miserable. Seahawks have his understudy in the wings. Anyway some great play calling. And MLynch — he’s playing like he wants to be in the rotation in 2015.

  20. Bayareafan– Right thats what separates Lynch from most RB. He will still push the pile after contact and also has the elusiveness to run in space. Much like Gore used to be able to do.

    1. Willtalk,
      I said last year that Lynch was the difference maker in our matchup against the Hawks. Everyone wants to point to our QB. He’s a lightning rod for criticism.

      When you match us up, it comes down to which running back has a better day. It makes me throw up in my mouth a little when I hear that “Alex Smith” is the last 49ers QB to win up there. Really? Cause if you look at my running back theory, Gore went for 150 that day.

      Victories over the Hawks will come down to the running game. And staying committed to it. And not with Gore.

      1. Gore went for 85 yards and 1 TD up there. He hasn’t had a day like that in Seattle since. We’ll see if he does better being spelled by Hyde this year up there.

        Alex contributed to that win, Bay. We don’t win if he doesn’t throw that 41 yard bomb to Crabtree to set up the winning FG. He wasn’t flashy, but he got the job done. Credit where credit is due.

      2. In that 2011 win Gore had 83 yards and Hunter added 73. They were key, and so was Smith. That late game throw put them in position to take the lead with a FG, but it was the defense forcing a Tavaris Jackson fumble as the Seahawks were getting into FG range to seal the deal.

        It was a good team win.

      3. @Bay

        I can’t quite figure it out…it is either your blind love for Kaepernick, or your blind hatred for Alex Smith that even brings you on here. Go ahead and throw up in your mouth if that’s what turns your crank…the real problem is that you can’t turn back time, and that is history…you can’t change it

    1. I really expected better from there defense. It seems like they have the players but need a different direction as far as coaching.

      I don’t think they ditch McCarthy, but Capers will be gone IMO.

  21. Packers looked weak, literally. Like they don’t do enough work in the weight room. Sloppy, scared and weak. That’s a drag because I like Green Bay. They bring history and class to the league. But jeez, they stunk last night and the coach looked like he was ready to slash his wrists at the after-game presser…

    1. It won’t be much better when they play SF. I told you guys SEA is going to steamroll everyone in the division. It’s not even going to be close.

      1. Ha! Mrs. Roll called to let me know she finally found some fool to buy her defective Crystal Ball at her garage sale….

      2. They said this last year…then week 14 happened.

        Funny thing is SF didn’t even play all that well at home and still beat Seattle.

  22. On the telecast last night Collingsworth talked about how Russell Wilson seeked out Michael Jordan’s help in trying to determine how to make other players around him better.
    I’ve been talking about this all offseason. He makes guys better. Tate, Kearse, Baldwin, Miller. The guy is a winner.
    Kaepernick needs to develop this trait or the 49ers will never win a championship!

      1. And they make him better as well.
        Seattle is the consummate team. Their defense helps their special teams which aids their offense as well. But at the end of the day Wilson is the guy that makes it all run.
        Say what you want about him, he is the guy that wins and gets the ball to basically average guys and they make winning plays. That’s catch by Miller last night was an example of that. They look well coached, motivated and dangerous.

          1. A great defense and a strong running game make any QB look really good. As Dilfer….. Jim McMahon

        1. I agree Prime. As arrogant as Pete Carrol looks, he has lightening in a bottle right now. Forget Wilson and the offense for a minute, that defense is flying around and hungry again. Im not sure if Aaron is done, but they made him look very average last night.
          If the Hawks win more than 10 games, Pete Carroll should win coach of the year.

          1. FDM

            Hard to say Rodgers’ stat line was “very average” but that INT off Jordy Nelson’s fingertips was his fault, certainly. Also, it appeared to me that Seattle employed a bend but not break defense, and it looks like they’ll be incredibly hard to score against in the Redzone through the air.

            For the 49ers, that means that the Redzone offense should consist of a lot of running by Gore, Hyde, Miller, and Ellington, and Rombaugh can’t be afraid to turn Colin loose as well.

            On the bright side, the Seattle safeties looked human last night. Their defense can be penetrated with underneath passing schemes.

            1. It also might help to throw a few passes to the offense’s right/defense’s left. Not throwing one pass towards the WR Sherman was covering simplified things for Seattle’s defense last night.

              1. Maybe. But maybe not. Maybe you concede that he is very good over there and put your least talented WR on that side. Attack someone else.

              2. Lloyd is long and athletic, with deceptive routes too. I think he’ll want to introduce himself as well as Stevie….

              3. That’s what Green Bay did. It didn’t seem to work.

                Once the defense realizes that you are never throwing at Sherman’s man, it becomes easier to cover the other receivers.

              4. Right now if you can’t run on Seattle, then you shouldn’t plan on beating Seattle. Green Bay’s issue wasn’t that it didn’t pass to Sherman’s side, Green Bay’s issue is that it couldn’t run the ball. Or protect Rogers very well for that matter.

              5. On point Claude… not throwing his way at all closes half the field so Kam and Wagner can shade to the left.

                I say run trips right, throw all you got at the right side, see if you can find some cracks, there’s always a soft middle with Seattle’s D. Then the SS and MLB can’t shade their underneath zone coverage. This WILL create more seams for the passing game.

              6. Perhaps Green Bay had more than one issue. I never asserted that the failure to challenge Sherman was the only problem with Green Bay’s offense.

          2. FDM, I agree, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers got beat by a great team last night. I woudn’t count out this Packers team they have a pair of good RB Stark and Lacy. And their Qb A. Rodgers still the best in the NFL. And their defense will get better as the season goes on.

      2. Good stuff Jack, thanks.

        This is exactly what I was thinking last night watching the game. I kept waiting for Wilson to take over the game through the air, but he never really did. The Hawks looked very conservative last night with the short passing attack. If GB would have done a better job tackling it may have been a better outcome.

        At the end of the day they got the win and I’m sure that was the game plan. Keep it simple and don’t force anything. But yes RW should have had at least 2 picks. Last night they looked beatable, but just not with the formula GB was using.

        1. Leo says “I kept waiting for Wilson to take over the game through the air, but he never really did”

          They didn’t have to. Seattle plays to their strength, control the clock and let their defense stifle their opponent. As for you guys saying any great defense makes a QB looks good. Last time I checked the defense does lead the offense, get the ball to the playmakers, and make the playmakers score points.

          1. I’m not saying they weren’t good. Seattle played to their strength, and the defense looked solid, and the running game unstoppable. I was more pointing out the fact that RW really didn’t look as good as some are calling him out to be. How good would he have looked with that same performance against a defense that can actually tackle and not blow coverage’s every other play?

            1. Leo you still have to make the reads on those broken coverages. Their offense looked very, very organized for week one. He made all the right throws and took advantage of a weak defense. He might be labelled a game manger, but all he has done in 3 years is win games and last time I checked, that’s all that matters.

              1. I agree, but for me it still doesn’t take away from the fact that he looked subpar against a week defense. Had he thrown those 2 picks as the article points out it may have painted a different picture.

            2. The Seahawks sworming defense tackled very well in last night game. Seattle only allowed the packers receivers to a minimal gain after a completed pass from Rodgers. There’s is no excuse why the Seahawks defeated the Packers. Seattle was a better all around team than the Packers in all aspect of the game, except for their punt returner. But don’t get me wrong, lets not count out the Packers it’s a long season. They looked much better than last season with their young talented rookies.And the addition of veteran players in their defense.

              1. Jamaican4: That’s right I forgot about Earl Thomas blowing that punt return. I said last week that Walters is better and more expendable. Packers shouldn’t not have had those 7 pts. and we would have held them within our 14.4 pts per game.

          1. hmmm I’m sure you know our road games were same as yours in 2013, of course you do. So why do you think this, preseason?

              1. Jack: “Because he’s my quarterback. ***raises sunglasses and wipes tears from eyes***”

                Mary said: Oh well, I thought I might be able to drag the truth out of you. I know my charm doesn’t have any (e)?affect so I was resorting to trickery. So much for that;

      3. Jack: I read that piece re: Game Manager Wilson. And, I’m not trying to change your opinion, however, I’m attaching an article by Danny Kelly a writer at FieldGulls/sbnation entitled “Game Manager.” I thought it was awfully good. Please read it and you don’t even have to get back to me with your comments; Thanks.

        P.S.: Do you ever sleep?


          1. Welcome to the real world Hammer, glad your eyes have finally seen the comedian for who he is….

            1. No kidding. Apparently it’s ok for Mary to pester commenters with Seahawks nonsense, but if you tell here your not interested and stop it’s not.

  23. What the media will *really* make you watch for:

    1. Does Ray McDonald play in the first defensive series?

    2. Does Ray McDonald play in the first quarter?

    3. Does Ray McDonald play in the any of the other quarters?

    4. Does Jim Harbaugh sufficiently answer why Ray McDonald did/didn’t play questions in the postgame?

    5. Is Jim Harbaugh asked about any other topics in the postgame?

  24. After watching last night’s game, I’m not that impressed with Seattle. GB made too many mistakes and deserved to lose. Seattle took advantage of the opportunities – give them credit there – but they’re not a lock to return to the Super Bowl.

    I’m going to predict they don’t even win the NFC West this year.

  25. Houston9er if you are around this morning, congratulations. You and I were certainly right regarding last nights game. It was like stealing money. I ca’nt believe anyone thought it would be different. Seattle at home versus an injured GB O line. With my 6 game college parlay last week and last nights game i’m up over a grand in a week and one game. I have a feeling that taking Seattle at home and giving the points will make you a rich man this year [except for the 9er game of course] So Houston after you get done conting your money have a good day and GO 9ERS

        1. Mood:

          Sounds like they are trying to class up the joint. I hope he has a bigger affect on BR than BR has on him.

  26. For as much as I hate the Seahawks, I have to give them their due. Things are still going their way. Of course, they make their breaks as well.
    One of the main things about this team is that their defense is flying around nd is extremely physical. Look how many players were hurt on GB’s offense last night. At least 4 players including both running backs were injured.
    Seattle is going to have their share of tough games but they are having their way right now.
    Niners need to score 40 against Dallas this weekend. We need to show the league that our offense is vastly improved, even if our defense may have taken a step or two back. Getting something out of our return game is going to be critical as well. Kaepernick has the ball in his court. We need to score 45 points this weekend.

    1. I don’t think we need to score 45 points. I’d take a 24-3 win in which Kap looks fundamentally sound, runs a little, passes for 250 with 2 TDs and the defense and running game strangles the Cowboys. That would be more impressive as a complete all-around victory.

      1. Adusoron,

        If the Cowboy defense is as bad as it has been reported to be, 24 points from this offense would be a letdown. You have to remember than Denver put up 50 on it last year. This year, it’s supposed to be worse. I know we aren’t Denver, but our offense has all of its weapons and Kap has no excuses.
        Dallas has a bad defense, but it’s offense is not bad at all. They will score points and I don’t think 24 is enough for us. Our defense is clearly giving up more than 3 points to them. Our defense is unstable. Expect them to give up at least 20 points to the Cowboys.

        1. Jordan,
          that is one things that I think our coaching staff needs to take into account. That this is the NFL and no lead is safe.
          Look at last year. Didn’t you get the impression that Harbs felt like our 10-0 lead was safe? And he stopped pressing with Kaep and started handing it off with the intent of playing the field position game?
          I just don’t see this coaching staff putting 40 on anyone unless, our running game is churning on all cylinders and are defense participates with scoring and or turnovers.

          1. Bay,

            I’ve always felt like Harbaugh plays that way. He tries to condense the game. Kill the clock to shorten it. The problem this year is that our defense will not necessarily shut the Cowboys down. Niners need to take a page from Seattle and start running up that score so we get some starters out and minimize injuries to what starters we have left.

    2. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, putting up 45 points on the board against romo and the Cowboys. Being over to confident can result to your downfall:-)

      .Colin Kaepernick barely found a rhythm with his new toys in the preseason Our first string offense had two field goals in seven possessions.

      1. Next time should I throw in there that Roman is more conservative than Ron Paul and Kaepernick should be spending time watching film instead of getting more ink?

        1. Jack Hammer…lol.

          Good write-up. I think SF will score more and win by more. Something like 31-20.

          Also, it looks like the answer to question 1 has been revealed. Ray McDonald will play and there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth from the twitter moralists.

    1. Good job jack. My prediction is that we will beat them but will not score more than 30 doing it, and that will cause an absolute melt down of 90% of the commenters on this site. Which will then follow an infamous Grant article explaining why we should have scored at least 50 on Dallas, and that our season is doomed.

      1. Grant has set it up so that he can criticize Kaepernick, Roman, Harbaugh, etc., even if the 49ers win. Anything short of an NFL record number of points will be deemed a failure.

        1. It looks like the majority of the regulars here are catching on to you, Grant. Maybe, it’s time to change your style :)

    2. Jack, good article. Always enjoy how well thought-out they are.

      Since you brought up Ron Paul, in fairness to him I would like to mention that he is not a conservative. As you have probably read, he calls himself a libertarian. Libertarians are hard to type-cast, because they are what one might call eclectic. They borrow from both liberals (more personal freedom, smaller military, avoidance of someone else’s conflict) and conservatives (smaller government, balanced budget, lower taxes). I wish that Roman were more “libertarian,” or eclectic, in his approach to offense. But maybe that starts this Sunday.

      1. Thanks George. I’m not really into politics so I googled “ultra-conservative politicians” and he was at the top of the list. I figured that since it was on the internet it must be true.

    3. Good stuff Jack.

      The front 7 is definitely worth keeping an eye on (or front 6 given they’ll likely play a lot of nickel). I’m more interested to see how the pass rush looks than the run D, as I expect the run D to hold up fine. Though they had troubles stopping the run in nickel last year, so I am keen to see if the addition of Ward and Bethea helps with that any.

      I’m also very interested to see how (if) they rotate players in the front 7 this year to keep guys fresh. We can guess that Skuta and Lemonier will rotate primarily based on running or passing downs, but will Lynch rotate in at all? Will he even be active? And will they start rotating the young DL in more often?

          1. Lemonier is pretty good, but Lynch has more power and perhaps better instints. The thing is, I want Vic to rotate him like they did Aldon, and by the time Wilson arrives, he’ll be ready to swat him….

            1. Yeah, its the instincts I am referring too. I like Lemonier, but he’s more an effort guy than instinct guy.

              Just from what I’ve seen so far of Lynch, he looks like a guy that has a very natural feel and instincts for getting after the QB, and beating an OL. He’s not polished, and I’m not saying I think he is the 2nd best pass rusher on the team at this point in his career, but definitely a guy with good natural tools to work with.

              1. I agree, but will Vic allow him to proceed down the path of greatness? Incremental pass rushing situations. Don’t keep him inactive, because he needs live game action to keep ascending. You want him to graduate from being a rookie by week 10…..

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