Full Week 2 Stat Predictions for San Francisco 49ers Offensive Players
On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers will be in hostile territory.
It is arguably Colin Kaepernick's worst start to this day.
The Seahawks desperately want to get the early advantage in the NFC West. Meanwhile, Kaepernick and the 49ers are out for revenge, and they'll likely need much more than 13 points to get a win.
Here are my predictions for San Francisco's offensive players against Seattle.
Note: Offensive linemen were not included. Place-kicker slide included to show total points prediction.
Week 1 stats: 27-of-39, 412 passing yards, three touchdowns; seven carries, 22 yards
Colin Kaepernick's first career start at CenturyLink Field was one to forget.
Clearly struggling with communication due to deafening crowd noise from Seattle fans, Kaepernick completed just 52.8 percent of his passes, the lowest mark of his career, and didn't guide the 49ers into the end zone for the first 58 minutes of the game.
With a playoff run and stellar Week 1 performance since that loss, Kaepernick will look to show Seattle that he's a better player now than he was in Week 16 of last season.
Though I don't think there's any doubt he is, Seattle has the best home-field advantage in football. And the Seahawks defense allowed the fewest points in the league last year, giving up just 15.3 per game.
Kaepernick should be able to lead the Niners into the end zone twice, but don't expect a repeat performance of Week 1.
Prediction: 19-of-30, 230 passing yards, one touchdown; five carries, 28 yards, one touchdown; sacked twice
Week 1 stats: 21 carries, 44 yards, one touchdown; two catches, 21 yards
Seattle's biggest weakness last year was its run defense. The Seahawks allowed 4.5 yards per carry, tied for 23rd in the NFL.
In the 49ers' last meeting with the Seahawks, Gore had just six carries. The 49ers must establish a run game early to make Seattle's pass-rushers honest.
It would make sense for Seattle to focus more on containing the 49ers pass game, which may open up the running lanes for Gore, who had 131 rushing yards in San Francisco's 13-6 win over Seattle in October.
If Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams can total 86 yards on 17 carries against Seattle, so can Gore.
Prediction: 19 carries, 93 yards; two catches, 13 yards
Week 1 stats: Six carries, 24 yards
Kendall Hunter looked healthy against Green Bay, highlighted by the 23-yard run pictured above. At some point this season, I expect the Niners to give Hunter more rushing attempts.
It just won't be this week.
Similar to last week, Hunter will pick up a few carries in relief of Gore.
Prediction: Four carries, 13 yards
Week 1 stats: 13 receptions, 208 yards, one touchdown
Anquan Boldin was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Packers, per Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk.
Whether Green Bay was in man or zone coverage, Boldin had the answer.
Seattle's secondary will be a much more difficult challenge. You can expect the Seahawks to frequently play press-man coverage, with Richard Sherman on Boldin.
Sherman is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL. In Week 16 last year, Sherman and the Seattle secondary held Michael Crabtree to just four catches for 65 yards.
The Seahawks will have a game plan ready to make sure Boldin doesn't beat them. It'll be up to other 49ers wide receivers to come through.
Prediction: Four catches, 46 yards
Week 1 stats: Three receptions, 36 yards
If the Seahawks contain Boldin, it will be up to Kyle Williams to produce for San Francisco's wide receivers.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Williams played 58 snaps, 40 more than any other 49ers wide receiver not named Boldin, in Week 1.
Brandon Browner, whose status is up in the air for Sunday, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, would likely be matched against Williams. If he can't go, Williams would have a much better shot of getting open against Walter Thurmond and the rest of Seattle's cornerbacks.
Expect another steady performance from Williams.
Prediction: Three catches, 31 yards
Week 1 stats: Six catches, 98 yards, two touchdowns
With the 49ers featuring a more run-heavy offense, Vernon Davis' blocking will be just as, if not more, important than his receiving. Still, the 49ers need him to make plays in the middle of the Seattle defense, particularly off the play-action pass.
Seattle has one of the best secondaries in the league, and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas will be looking to shut down San Francisco's dynamic tight end like they did last year when they held him to one catch.
That being said, Davis and Kaepernick are on a roll, as they've connected 17 times for 308 yards and three touchdowns in San Francisco's last three games.
Unless the Seahawks put Sherman or Brandon Browner (if he plays) on Davis, expect the speedy tight end to have another productive game.
Prediction: Six catches, 84 yards, one touchdown
Rest of 49ers' Offensive Players
Seattle might overlook Vance McDonald, while focusing on Vernon Davis. McDonald should pick up a couple of first downs.
Two catches, 34 yards
On play action, the fullback is often open in the flat. Bruce Miller had two catches in Week 1. Expect him to match that total.
Two catches, 12 yards
Marlon Moore, Quinton Patton, Jon Baldwin, Chris Harper, Anthony Dixon
Marlon Moore and Quinton Patton combined for 22 snaps and no catches against Green Bay, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Jon Baldwin and Chris Harper didn't suit up.
Don't expect this quartet to make a big impact.
Anthony Dixon may get a short-yardage carry, but as noted earlier, Gore should see the majority of the carries.
Prediction: Moore—one catch, 10 yards; Patton, Baldwin and Harper—zero catches; Dixon—zero rushes
Week 1 stats: 2-of-3 on field goals, 4-of-4 on extra points
On Sunday, Phil Dawson missed a 48-yard field goal that gave the Packers good field position. Green Bay took advantage of it, scoring a game-tying touchdown late in the second quarter.
It goes to show that kicking can play a big role in changing the momentum of a game.
Dawson converted 29 of 31 field-goal attempts in 2012. He's due for a perfect game.
Prediction: 3-of-3 on field goals, 2-of-2 on extra points