We had a chance to talk about the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Seahawks and 49ers with Golden Gate Sports, the Bay Area site in our sports network.
Eric He is the editor over at GGS and he took the time to answer some of my questions about the 49ers. Some of his answers may surprise you.
1. Are the 49ers an even better team than they were last season? Why?
One game is a very small sample size, but the way they played in Week 1 showed that they can be even better than last season. The biggest reason is that Colin Kaepernick has now had a full offseason, training camp, and preseason to prepare and bond with his offense. Last season, he was thrown into the fire midseason and still led the 49ers to the Super Bowl. If Anquan Boldin can replace the loss of Michael Crabtree, and the rest of the team plays as well as they did last season, they certainly will be a better team.
2. What do you think is the most important thing the 49ers have to do against Seattle’s defense to ensure they put up enough points to win, especially with the 12th Man being as loud as they’re sure to be?
Communication and blocking out the crowd noise will obviously be key, especially at CenturyLink Field. Kaepernick and the offense had a few “delay of game” penalties called against them last week due to miscommunication, and that was at home. Things will be even tougher on the road in Seattle, so the 49ers need to be on the same page before every play.
As for a gameplan, the 49ers offense will need to bring its A-game. The Seahawks’ defense matches up well with the 49ers, and can stop the run and pass. Of course, everyone remembers the 42-13 beating the Seahawks put on the 49ers late last season, so the 49ers hope to make this game a competitive one.
3. Will Colin Kaepernick have as good of a game statistically as he did against the Packers? Which QB puts up the better numbers?
Kaepernick will most likely not have the same kind of game he had last week against the Packers, whose defense was susceptible to the pass. Kaepernick torched them for over 400 yards passing and three touchdowns. The Seahawks, meanwhile boast one of the top defenses in the league. With guys like Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner running around, Kaepernick will have to think twice before throwing the ball downfield.
I believe Russell Wilson will put up better numbers. The 49ers defense has not looked that solid since last postseason, and they did make some poor defensive plays against the Packers last week.
4. Lynch or Gore? Which star running back gets the better of the opposing defense?
The 49ers’ running game, which has been a staple for them the last couple seasons, was virtually non-existent last week. They ran the ball just 34 times, accumulating 90 yards for 2.6 yards per carry. Frank Gore had 21 carries for just 44 yards, and at age 30, is not as explosive as he once was. Marshawn Lynch should have the edge in this matchup.
5. Which 49er might surprise everyone and have a big game this week?
Rookie safety Eric Reid had a strong start to his NFL career last week, picking off Aaron Rodgers once, and only allowing three passes to be completed near him. Reid was drafted in the first round as a replacement for All-Pro Dashon Goldson, and although he has large shoes to fill, he certainly seems up to the task.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper ranked him as the top rookie in the league after Week 1, raving about closing speed and versatility to play on special teams. This week will be another big test for him, facing off against Russell Wilson and the dynamic offense of the Seahawks, but he could conjure up another stellar performance and raise some eyebrows.
This game could go either way, but since it’s being played in Seattle in a tough environment for the 49ers, I’m giving this one to the Seahawks, 23-20. No matter who wins, it’s sure to be quite a treat for fans of both teams, as two elite teams are set to do battle.
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