I can’t promise much in the way of competent bloggery tonight because we’re hosting a house party, but most of you aren’t going to want to read much about this game anyway. Also, nobody at this party has any Adderall so I’m having a hard time focusing…
This one was more than ugly, it was painful. Kam Chancellor connected with Vernon Davis at just the right time and just the right angle to send Davis to the locker room with a concussion. It was a clean hit, perhaps less helmet-to-helmetish than Dashon Goldson’s “defenseless receiver” hit on Aaron Hernandez last week.
But losing Mario Manningham is nothing short of crippling. The 49ers’ No. 2 receiver left with a knee injury that looked a lot like a season-ender, and I’m not going to link to the GIF. You saw how Manningham cared 0% about the football’s location after Leroy Hill dove into the back of his knees, twisting and turning…
The 49ers were able to beat the Patriots in New England without Manningham, but they also had Justin Smith for most of that game. Smith’s absence was noticeable from the start, as Marshawn Lynch broke off a 24-yard touchdown run to start things off. The game wouldn’t change much from there. In fact, things would get more pathetic for San Francisco.
Besides maybe Garrett Celek, there isn’t one 49ers player or unit that performed at or above expectations.
Jim Harbaugh, meet your blooper reel.
Fumbles, interceptions, blocked field goals, delay of games, this game was a true feces storm if there ever was one.
Colin Kaepernick wasn’t very good, and he can’t handle the crowd noise. A week after looking like a genius for making the switch, Harbaugh gets hoisted on his own petard by Pete Carroll and Richard Sherman, the two men who may love sticking it to Harbaugh more than anyone.
But the defense, apart from a pretty incredible interception by Patrick Willis and a few times stopping Lynch for no gain, was nothing short of awful. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were 11-for-12 on third down conversions (they finished 11-for-13). Russell Wilson made the 49ers’ pass rushers look silly with his evasive moves, but most of the time they didn’t even come close. Without Justin, the Smith named Aldon is not an All-Pro. He is not Von Miller or J.J. Watt. He’s a fantastic athlete surrounded by incredible talent up front. He’s very good, but he’s far from the team’s best defender.
If you can allow me to look ahead a little bit, it seems fairly obvious that the 49ers either need to spend their first round pick (or their biggest dollars in free agency) on Justin Smith’s eventual replacement. Without him, the 49ers are just another team. And an NFC West division that overflows with brutality these days, being another team doesn’t cut it anymore.
Is the season over for San Francisco? No, and they won’t have to travel to Seattle for another year. That helps. But now there almost certainly won’t be a first round bye, and the injury luck that followed the 49ers through the first half of the season has officially vanished. Harbaugh will talk about how they’ll work to improve and make sure games like these don’t happen again, but a good deal of the 49ers’ mystique was lost tonight.
They’ve been the more physical team in the vast majority of their games since Harbaugh took over, but Seattle took the fight to them on Sunday night and the results were embarrassment and casualties. The 49ers did the same thing at home, but it was more like a majority decision. The 2012 rematch in Seattle was a knockout.