It was the match-up that had been circled on many calendars since the middle of last season. The battle of two titans, the colliding of two forces, the impenetrable force meeting the immovable object. But ultimately, in the end, it was the Seattle Seahawks dominating their division rival, the San Francisco 49ers.
Football pundits have been going back and forth during the offseason as to which team they believe will represent the NFC in this year’s Super Bowl. The majority have either selected the Niners or the Hawks, so that made this game one worth watching. Throw in that it was a nationally televised game, and you had an event the likes of which haven’t been seen around here for quite some time.
What can we glean from the Seahawks’ victory this past weekend? There are a couple of truths that can be taken away from the game.
First truth – the Seahawks defense is good. Scary good. Especially at home. They limited one of the more prolific offenses in all the league to only three points. Anquan Boldin, who made a statement the week prior with 12 receptions and over 200 yards receiving, caught only one football, and that was in garbage time. Frank Gore, who has ran all over Seahawk defenses in the past, was held to only 16 yards. And then there’s their acclaimed quarterback Colin Kaepernick. I heard, more than once this week, that he can be the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL. Then the Seahawks went out and shut him down. His numbers are abysmal. He was 13/28 (46 percent) with a career low 127 yards passing. That now marks two weeks in a row the Seahawks defense has caused the opposing quarterback to throw for career low amounts. Kap also threw three interceptions and lost a fumble.
Second truth – the Seahawks need to focus on reducing penalties. The officials in this game did seem a little towel happy – especially towards the end. But in reality, every replay they went back and showed, the officials got the call right. The Seahawks have to have more discipline in their blocking schemes (to reduce holding penalties) and in their pre snap adjustments (to reduce false starts and illegal formations). Their offense played ok, but really they were often shooting themselves in the foot, taking two steps forward and one step back. Penalties should be an area of focus in practice this week for the coaching staff.
Third truth – The Seahawks are monsters at home, but still worry me a bit with their road schedule. They have one of the toughest road schedules in the league this year. They play the AFC South, but have, what most would consider to be, the easier teams at home (Jacksonville and Tennessee) while they have to face Houston and Indianapolis (both playoff teams last year) on the road. They also have to travel to Atlanta and New York (to face the Giants). And that’s not including the divisional games they have yet to play. Although the team took great strides forward last year with their road play, the schedule still does concern me a bit. I see them dropping at least three of those road games (I’m calling Atlanta, New York, and probably Houston). That would still give them a 13-3 record and a pretty solid shot at the #1 seed in the NFC.
All in all, it was a very encouraging game, and if you have a friend who is a Niner’s fan, like I do, then it’s especially rewarding to be able to rub in this defeat and hold our heads hide with pride. But remember, pride often goes before a fall.
September 17, 2013
Shane Rivers, Mariners and Seahawks correspondent for KMAS. Talking all thing sports related (and sometimes non-sports)
Follow Shane on Twitter @Rainshivers