49ers vs. Seahawks: Live Grades and Analysis for San Francisco

Phil GCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2013

Sep 15, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) shows the safety sign during the 1st half against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks came away with a statement win, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 29-3. In this heavyweight battle, the Seahawks' defense came out on top.

Check out final grades and analysis below. 


Final Score 

San Francisco 49ers: 3

Seattle Seahawks: 29



Game Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers

Pass Offense: The 49ers opened up the passing game to start the second half. We saw a few more bunch and trip formations, which helped some of their receivers create separation. Also, Colin Kaepernick was very effective with some of his patented scrambles. However, the Seahawks secondary proved too difficult for the young quarterback. No. 7 looked shaky and timid in the pocket. It also didn’t help that his offensive line under-performed. Kaepernick finished the game with 127 passing yards and three interceptions.

Run Offense: Most of the 49ers' rushing attack went through quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Gore finished the game with 16 rushing yards on nine attempts. For the second consecutive game, the 49ers struggled on the ground. Kaepernick is an ascending talent, but this team will struggle if they can’t work some magic on the ground with Frank Gore and company.

Pass Defense: While Wilson improved on his 1-of-9 passing in the first half, the 49ers largely kept the second-year player in check. The 49ers didn’t lose this game because of Russell Wilson. Doug Baldwin and Marshawn Lynch had nice receptions, with the latter play going for a touchdown. The 49ers secondary was solid overall, despite the loss.

Run Defense: The Seahawks' success on the ground continued in the second half. After struggling to contain Lynch in the first half, the 49ers let “Beast Mode” go anywhere and everywhere on their defense. Lynch finished the game with 98 rushing yards and two touchdowns. In all, the Seahawks finished with 172 yards on the ground.

Special Teams: After a blocked punt in the first half, the 49ers didn’t make much of a impact in the second half. Perrish Cox had a fumble late in the fourth quarter, but the game was out of reach at that point. Kicker Phil Dawson made his only field goal of the game. Andy Lee proved to be solid, and the kickoff/punt return coverage was consistent. The 49ers could have used a special teams play or two to help out their struggling offense, but this unit didn’t underperform.

Coaching: The 49ers coaching staff was completely out-coached by Pete Carroll and company. Seattle came out with a certain edge after halftime and a willingness to take more risks. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was burned on a blitz play that was easily picked up by Russell Wilson. That play led to a Seahawks touchdown, which stretched the lead to 19-3. The Seahawks' home field played a factor in this game, but this was still a winnable game in the second half. Penalties also played a factor in this loss. The 49ers simply looked undisciplined.


First-half Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers:

Pass Offense: Unlike their Week 1 matchup with the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers' offense tested this Seahawks defense with Colin Kaepernick’s legs rather than his arm. In just the first quarter, Kaepernick had four rushing attempts. Kaepernick was shaky through the air in the first half. Partial blame could be attributed to the 49ers sub-par pass protection. Kaepernick also threw a interception in the first quarter near the Seahawks' 5-yard line, which killed a prime scoring drive.  

Run Offense: Kaepernick was somewhat of a factor on the ground, rushing for 28 yards on five attempts. Frank Gore and the 49ers' stable of running backs accounted for only eight rushing yards in the first half. The 49ers also struggled running the ball against the Packers in Week 1. If this continues in the second half, the 49ers will have to put more on the shoulders of the young Kaepernick.

Pass Defense: Eric Reid continues to make an impression in the back end after the 49ers selected him in the first round this year. Reid recorded his second career interception in the first quarter of this game. Russell Wilson struggled in the first half, going 2-of-10. None of the Seahawks' receivers made a reception in the first quarter. The 49ers secondary deserves credit for a solid first half of coverage.

Run Defense: Marshawn Lynch was the foundation of this Seahawks offense in the first half. Lynch finished with 66 rushing yards on 13 attempts in the first half. The 49ers are usually stingy against the run, but Lynch seems to have the edge every time he faces San Francisco. The loss of Ian Williams at nose guard will hurt. Williams was a welcome addition to a line that struggled at times last year in stopping runs up the middle. 

Special Teams: Golden Tate returned a punt for 33 yards; however, the 49ers did a solid job overall in kickoff/punt coverage in the first half. Andy Lee was fantastic in the first half. The Pro Bowl punter recorded a 60-yard punt in the middle of the first quarter.

Coaching: After limiting some of the read- or zone-option packages in the 49ers Week 1 victory over the Packers, Jim Harbaugh decided to pull a few out in the first quarter. The Seahawks have done a nice job in adjusting to the change. Harbaugh will have to get the 49ers' rushing attack back on track in the second half. Also, the 49ers must limit the penalties.