Top 5 takeaways from 49ers' Week 7 loss to Seahawks
Top 5 takeways from 49ers' Week 7 back breaker
Any momentum the 49ers might have believed they achieved with their victory over the Baltimore Ravens quickly vanished on Thursday night when the Seattle Seahawks came to Levi’s Stadium and vanquished the 49ers. With their decisive 20-3 loss, the 49ers fell into last place all alone in the NFC West with a 2-5 record. The 49ers have 10 days before they travel to face the St. Louis Rams, whose two victories this season are against division foes Seattle and Arizona. What follows are five takeaways from the 49ers’ discouraging loss to the Seahawks.
5. Defense is offensive
In Vic Fangio’s four seasons as defensive coordinator, the 49ers ranked fourth, third, fifth and fifth in fewest total yards allowed. In Eric Mangini’s first year, the 49ers are 30th. Fangio mostly had a veteran group, yet he did not try to get too fancy. The 49ers were well-coached and rarely messed up assignments. This defense with a lot of new players has tried to do so many different things. As a result, the players are clearly confused. There is no way this defense should be one of the worst in the NFL. Mangini’s scheme has not been a good fit for this group. When asked Friday if the 49ers need to scale back their defense, coach Jim Tomsula said, “That is what we’ve been trying to do here for the last few weeks.” With veteran safety Antoine Bethea out for the season and rookie Jaquiski Tartt ready step in, simplicity is more important than ever.
4. Don’t pass the buck
You can blame the offensive line. You can blame the wide receivers. You can blame the running backs. You can blame the quarterback. You can blame the coaches. Heck, they all deserve blame for the 49ers’ woes in the passing game. The 49ers head into Sunday’s games ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards. They could be worst in the league at the end of the day. Colin Kaepernick and his supporting cast were successful against woeful pass defenses of the N.Y. Giants and Baltimore. But the Seahawks are an entirely different matter. Kaepernick did not have any time to throw and he could not escape the pass rush, as he was sacked six times.
3. Bullseye on Hyde
Nothing has really changed about the 49ers’ offense in a decade. For the longest time, opposing defenses focused on Frank Gore because they knew the 49ers did not have a passing attack that could win a game. Gore is gone, but now the same holds true for Carlos Hyde. After he ran for 168 yards in the opener against the Minnesota Vikings, defenses have focused their attention on stopping Hyde. It has largely been successful. The 49ers need Hyde to supply production on the ground for the 49ers to have any chance. Hyde is playing with a stress fracture in his left foot, and it might be a while before he is capable of giving the 49ers what they need.
2. Coaches slow to adjust
The 49ers’ coaching staff had the entire offseason and training camp to get to know their players. Yet, with a long week before the game against the Rams, Tomsula said the focus is on the coaches really honing in on studying what can make their players successful. “We’re right now looking at it player by player.” He said they’re looking at the skillset of each individual “to accentuate the strengths and stay away from the weaknesses.” Seven games into the season, this should not be an issue. The coaching staff should have figured out long ago how to best utilize the talents of the players on their roster.
1. Dual-threat quarterback?
The 49ers’ offense under Geep Chryst is not following through on what CEO Jed York seemed to want from quarterback Colin Kaepernick. “How many quarterbacks in this league can run 90 yards for touchdown,” York said in February. “But you have to put Kap in a position where he can make those plays.” According to Tomsula, there were some quarterback-driven runs in the game plan against Seattle. However, not one of them was called. Kaepernick was running for his life on a good number of his passing attempts, and he could not get away. It was the first game in his NFL career he had no rushing attempts. So much for the coaches highlighting his ability to be a dual threat.