Coming off a drubbing in their opening week game, the San Francisco 49ers went into Seattle in the hopes of securing the first win of the Kyle Shanahan regime. The Seattle Seahawks were also seeking their first win of the season. While this matchup has lost its luster in the recent years, there is no love lost between these division rivals. In what was a very physical and low scoring game, the Seahawks were narrowly able to defeat the 49ers by a score of 12-9. Overall, there were three main 49ers takeaways from this game.
San Francisco 49ers Week Two Takeaways
The Defense was Outstanding
In the week one loss to the Carolina Panthers, the 49ers run defense was superb, while the pass defense was subpar. This week, the 49ers defense was not so one dimensional. Russell Wilson was held under 200 yards passing, and was sacked three times. The longest reception for Seattle was 22 yards, with a lot of that yardage coming after the catch. The return of Jimmie Ward to the secondary gave a much needed lift. Patrolling center field as the single high safety, Ward fared much better than Jaquiski Tartt did last game.
The run defense continued to look impressive for most of the game. Much like week one, a big chunk of the opposing rushing yards came on the final drive. Rookie Chris Carson finished the game with 93 yards rushing, with 41 of it coming on the final drive. As the season goes on and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has more time with his young defense, expect the 49ers final drive woes to come to an end.
The Offense is Struggling
Kyle Shanahan knew the challenge he was walking into when he accepted the 49ers head coaching job. He was leaving a team in the Atlanta Falcons that had top notch offensive personnel, for an offense devoid of talent. Going from an MVP in Matt Ryan to Brian Hoyer at quarterback is a huge step down. That being said, the Shanahan’s offense looks particularly bad. They have failed to score a touchdown on the season.
Granted, the 49ers have played two incredibly stout defenses on the season. Bad teams should struggle against those defenses. The Seahawks were able to hold Aaron Rodgers to only 17 points. The main reason for Shanahan’s hiring, however, was that he was an offensive genius. If more games come and pass without a touchdown, pundits will begin to question the merit of his genius.
The 49ers are Building in the Right Direction
This 49ers team is years from contention. After several poor drafts under the previous regimes, the 49ers need years and draft picks to restock the talent. This season will be an exercise in learning what it takes to win games in the NFL. The 49ers lost to Seattle, but in the grand scheme of things, this game could be used as a positive building block.
The 49ers were 13.5 point underdogs to the Seahawks, and were playing in a stadium where the 49ers have historically been poor. This 12-9 loss was the closest margin for the 49ers in Century Link Stadium since 2011, the last time the 49ers won. Holding the lead late against a team that has all the looks of a Super Bowl contender is the sort of moral victory the 49ers will hope to be racking up this year.