OK guys, the wackiness of the Monday night game last week got me thinking. How many writers had already had their columns, articles, recaps etc.... written at halftime and were just waiting for the final score before they filed it? How many pieces of paper, (like anyone uses a typewriter, right?) were scrunched up and tossed away after the greatest comeback in Monday Night Football history? Wouldn't you want to read what those writers had to say about John Fox, Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, Norv Turner.... BEFORE they rewrote their pieces? I'm sure there were people saying Phillip Rivers loves the Monday Night spotlight. Norv Turner is turning a corner. John Fox needs to be fired. Peyton's arm is done. How ridiculous do all those notions seem now?
So what I'm going to do is write a preview, an in-game analysis, and a recap. Each quarter will have a prediction of what I think is going to happen the rest of the game. It will prove how brilliant I actually am. I guess there is a chance it shows what a moron I am, but I'm banking on genius.
Here's my promise to you, none of the content will change. You will read where I thought the game was going, where I thought the game is going and then where it went, as it happened.
So lets get started!!
Tonight we have the Seattle Seahawks visiting the San Francisco 49ers. Thursday night games have a habit of going to the home team. Looking back on what happened last week I'm going to go WITH the grain. The 49ers should take this. They got embarrassed by the Giants and want to show they belong with the elite, like they haven't already. Seattle on the other hand is coming off a huge win against the Patriots. They will be coming off a huge high, while the 49ers are coming off a huge low. Give me anger over jubilation anytime. The 49ers being at home is just gravy as they play well at home, while, Seattle is ordinary on the road. No 12th man here for Seattle.
Alex Smith won't be able to do much against a good secondary. As long as he can cut the turnovers down he'll be fine handing it off to Gore and Hunter. This will be a ball control offence tonight, like it should be most weeks.
Russell Wilson is going to have a tough game with this offence. Since no one runs against the 49ers Lynch will be in tough (Yes, I'm aware of the 100 yard game he had) and the game will come down to Wilson. He's been pretty good so far this season but he hasn't faced a D like this yet. I predict a terrible game from this offence. It's going to be tough to score points when you have to put the game on the arm of Wilson against this defence.
Pre-game Prediction: Low scoring affair Seattle 10 – San Fran 17
Through one possession for both teams. The 49ers moved the ball a little bit and pinned the Seahawks down on their own 4 yard line. Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch look pretty good. Seahawks grab a field goal on their first possession. Not as many as they should have got as Robert Turbin dropped what would have been a sure touchdown. The 49ers defence doesn't look quite as impenetrable as I first thought. Seattle is using the run and short passing game very well so far, only one catch by a WR.
At the end of the 1st, both defences are bending but not breaking. The 49ers are running well and not passing well, just as I suspected of course. The Seahawks are using a short passing game and making it work a little better than I expected. The story so far is still both defences are hitting hard and keeping the score low. That sounds familiar doesn't it? No one should be fired, yet!
Score after the first quarter: Seattle 3 – San Francisco 3
New final score prediction: I'm stubborn, Seattle 10 – San Francisco 17
Another big drop by Seattle tight end Moore to start the quarter. Followed up by a big gain by Obomanu. Russell Wilson is making the 49ers defence not look so good. Entirely not what I was expecting. First drive of this quarter is looking good for the Seahawks so far. The 49ers defence holds and Seattle has to settle for a FG again. Still surprised how well Seattle is moving the ball. Looks like it's going to come down to a FG game.
Seattle moves the ball again, miss a 51 yard FG. Still very impressed by Wilson so far. He might have to start getting thrown up there with the two super rookie QBs, Luck and RGIII. This is not an easy defence to move the ball against, with a couple of plays made by his receivers this game would be much different right now. As it stands it's still a low scoring affair.
A lot of confusion with the officials. I wonder if the replacement officials would have got this leeway with the announcers. Doubtful. Then they miss a blatant face-mask on Alex Smith. That would have been a 5 minute drubbing of the replacements.
At the end of the 1st half it's a defensive battle as predicted. It appears I gave a little too much credit to both offences with them scoring TDs at some points. It doesn't look like either team is going to get close to the endzone. Alex Smith looks horrible. The 49ers may really have to look for a QB that can win some games instead of just trying not to lose them. The Seattle defence does not respect the pass at all and has completely shutdown the 49ers run game because of this. After Wilson looked good the 49ers defence had to start to recognize the pass offence of the Seahawks which has helped the Seahawks run game. Still very close, probably shouldn't be this close. The 49ers offence is anaemic, brutal, JV high school type stuff.
Score at the Half: Seattle 6 – San Francisco 3
New Final Score Prediction: I'm stubborn but not stupid, Seattle 19 – San Francisco 13
BIG illegal formation penalty on the punt against San Francisco. It hands a first down to Seattle. San Fran does not need to be giving away first downs.... another dropped pass, this one by Tate, kills the drive and keeps points off the board. Seattle is leaving a lot of points on the field. Wilson's numbers should look much better than they do.
San Francisco is starting to use the short passing check down game mixed with the running game. It's working. It's working VERY well. Alex Smith should not be allowed to throw it more than 6 yards or out side the hash marks. TOUCHDOWN 49ers. The Seattle defence just got shredded. Looks like San Fran made some halftime adjustments. The momentum has shifted.
Wilson gets intercepted on a horrible decision. Goldson makes the pick for San Francisco.
Alex Smith looks like a new man. With him making completions it makes the run game better. Seattle looks lost for an answer. San Francisco dominated this quarter. Seattle has to be worried those miscues earlier in the game are going to be haunting them in the end. At the end of the quarter, San Francisco is driving again.
Score at the end of the third quarter: Seattle 6 – San Francisco 10
New Final Score Prediction: I should always stick with my gut, Seattle 13 – San Francisco 17
Just as I write my new prediction Gore breaks one. San Francisco inside the 10. I've said it before I'll say it again, San Fran is shredding the Seattle defence. The 49ers bring in the Kaepernick and he loses yards. Not sure why they do this. It takes Smith... uh oh, I was going to say it takes Smith out of his rhythm. When you're right, you're right. Alex Smith interception in the end zone. I still don't know why Harbaugh insists on doing this. I could see it when Smith is playing poorly but he was just in the middle of going up and down the field twice. It makes ZERO sense. If they lose, he should have some questions asked about this for sure.
Marshawn Lynch fumbles on the one yard line! Ruled down. Ruled forward progress was stopped. No challenge possible. Marshawn Lynch drops a pass, probably gets first down if he makes it. Seattle punting out of endzone. The 49ers have all the momentum even after the interception in the endzone.
Frank Gore is a machine. Seattle's defence looks tired! The 49ers don't let Alex Smith try to throw for a 1st down. They settle for a FG. This keeps it a one possession game. Harbaugh seemed nervous to let Smith throw, deep in the redzone again after the pick in the endzone.
Wilson and the Seahawks can't get anything going. Punting with just over 2 minutes to go. This offence has looked brutal this second half. Dropped passes, poorly thrown balls, poor running. Nothing is working against the 49ers defence. San Francisco is trying to run out the clock. And not doing a good job of it. They have to punt it back. Seattle has a chance. They need a TD to send this into overtime. It's not going to happen. This offence is not the same one that was moving the ball earlier in the game.
Why is Harbaugh not just taking the safety and going home. He is a very strange coach with questionable decisions. Well, I guess with the ball they can guarantee Seattle has no chance at getting the ball back. Does he not trust his punt returner? Hmmm, wonder why? Maybe not such a bad decision after all.
Final Score: Seattle 6 – San Francisco 13
Seattle looked great at points in the first half and early second. Then they fell apart. It's a shame they left some plays on the field with dropped passes and Wilson did play better overall then his numbers suggest. But he got worse and worse as the second half wore on. The defence was not good in the second half. If not for a poor throw in the endzone by Alex Smith they would have given up another TD. All in all though, keeping any team to 13 points has to be a win for the defence of any team.
San Francisco came out of the gate with a decent run game then got completely shut down in the second quarter. The offence made some halftime adjustments and came out on fire. They probably should have put up some more points but Seattle does have a tough defence. The San Francisco defence turned up the heat on the rookie QB in the second half and dominated the rest of the game.
It's funny to go back and read what is written. The flow of the game changes so much. At some points I was singing Wilson's praises......turns out he has some growing to do. He also needs some help from his receivers. Alex Smith was Brutal in the first half. Righted himself in the second. Harbaugh made a poor, poor decision giving Kaepernick the redzone look taking Smith off his game. That needs to be questioned.
Looks like I should have just stuck with my original predictions. Seattle scored twice, San Francisco scored 3 times. I was right about that. Just missed the TD:FG ratio. For the gamblers out there I nailed the margin of victory. The game pretty much went as expected in the end. A lot of ups and downs but, totally what was expected from initial pre-game analysis. I'm not tooting my own horn. This game seemed pretty easy to call. Note to self: always stick with what you know to be true. The game went more or less how it was expected to go.....just took a little while to get there.