Huard: Seahawks Loss Reviewed
By Brock Huard
Jim Mora said it best in his show tonight, “We did a good enough job in the run game except for the two Gore runs totaling 179 yards. The problem in the NFL, is those ‘except for’s’ are what beat you.” And today they did. What was remarkable, especially with the 80 yard back breaker to start the second half, was the Seahawks had nine guys within four yards of the ball at the snap. Unfortunately three of them, two unblocked (Kerney and Babineaux) and Hawthorne who was blocked out of his gap responsibility, could not contain the explosive blur that was Frank Gore.
Beyond those runs, which we will break down tomorrow, let’s also take a look at my four keys to the game I discussed on Friday….
1. Turnovers: The last six games played in this series was decided by the team who won the turnover battle. Trend continued today, although the two teams had just one turnover, and that was the critical interception off Burleson’s hands. The Hawks forced two fumbles but were not able to recover either, and on a day of big plays by SF the Hawks defense needed to counteract that momentum with turnovers, and they couldn’t.
2. Win 3rd Down: The Niners are not very good in the pass game and the 4 sacks by the Hawks helped corral the Niners on 3rd down and hold them to 5/15 (33%). The Hawks can win at that percentage, the problem was offensively, a lot like last year, 3rd down was a mine-field. The Hawks converted just 4/14 (29%) and it’s tough to win on the road, even with the defense’s production, converting just 4 times.
3. Tackle in Space: Yeah, not good. Babs, Grant, Curry, and others had a difficult time in one-on-one situations today. Credit Frank Gore, he is a load and plays with great pad leverage, but with all the injuries the margin of error slimmed and the tackling needed to be secure, and it wasn’t.
4. Get to the Niners secondary: Also, not so good. 23 Rush/66 yards, and many of those were because of the heroic efforts of Justin Forsett. The run is what sets up the pass, slows the defense, and allows this system to flourish. The Hawks couldn’t run it successfully and the Wr’s were out played by the more aggressive and physical Niners DB’s.
It was a hot, physical game in the Bay Area. The Niners are no longer the finesse West Coast team they were for decades. They are tenacious, nasty and will rival Baltimore and Pittsburgh as the most physical team in the NFL. I do believe their lack of a pass game will catch up to them, and they have been fortunate through a grueling camp to stay healthy. They beat up the Hawks and Cardinals and I really look forward to seeing how both teams move on from this big early season game next week. The Bears are here, the Niners head to Minnesota. If they shut down that run game…..We’ll have plenty to discuss and break down and let’s hope #8 is a quick healer and Spencer, Jones and Mebane get back in the fold this week.