It was a tale of four different quarters for the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. But in whatever unorthodox way the 49ers did it, it do not matter, as they defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1.
Like I said, it was tale of four different quarters for this team. The first quarter started with a rough first defensive drive and ended with a 49er fumble and recovery in Seattle territory.
The second quarter was centered around the third down play, which the 49ers could by no means execute. That lack of execution led to four trips to the red zone and three field goals. The last red zone visit was a sneak in by QB Alex Smith for the touchdown. The defense continued to be the story into halftime, and the 49ers led 16-0.
The second half was rude.
In typical past 49ers fashion, they made things interesting. This time, it was a lack of physicality on the defensive line that did them in. Marshawn Lynch was able to find holes on his way into 49ers' territory, and it resulted in a touchdown for Seattle.
That touchdown was soon followed by a couple three-and-outs for Alex Smith and the 49ers, and the Seahawks turned their momentum into three more points after a field goal.
It continued with six minutes to play in the game when QB Tavaris Jackson dumped the ball off to Baldwin on his way to a 55-yard TD reception.
However, it was San Francisco who was able to finish.
Ted Ginn turned it up for back-to-back kick returns for touchdowns within a minute of each other, and the 49ers were able to pull away, 33-17.
For San Francisco, it was a great way to start the season, as they made a huge impression on both the fans and their own players.
Coach Jim Harbaugh played extremely conservative in his first game as an NFL head coach, but we got a sense that he was learning and growing at the same time.
Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio made quite an impression in his first game with the 49ers. The defense set the tone for the team and set the table for the offense, as they were able to lead several drives into Seattle territory from good field position.
The Seahawks did not get past the 50-yard line until early in the third quarter.
Need For Improvement
As much as Smith's 15 of 20 for 124 yards was moderately impressive, the lack of confidence Harbaugh showed in his quarterback in the red zone, and when it counted, was a little disturbing.
After they caught a huge break with the roughing the kicker penalty inside the Seattle five yard line, Harbaugh drew up three straight inside handoffs for Gore. Not a single pass was thrown, and not a single pass was even thought of from the sideline.
Too risky for Smith, evidently, and i do not see too many disagreeing with Harbaugh's decision.
Third down efficiency: 1 of 12.
That must change.
Like it has been said, Harbaugh played an extremely conservative game on offense in Week 1. The 49ers won with it, but could have just as easily lost with it.
The 1-12 on third downs looks bad on Smith, but it was the lack of play call from Harbaugh and others that make that stat look real ugly and disconcerning.
In the end, the 49ers win, although there is much work to be done on both sides of the ball if they want to contend with the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2.