...But I like what I see!
While watching the 49ers at Seahawks yesterday, I caught myself doing something very strange. Every time Isaac Bruce made a play, I would catch myself chanting "Bruuuuuuuce". Much like what you would hear from Rams fans back in the "Greatest Show On Turf" days. That used to bug me quite a bit...only because Bruce had made so many plays AGAINST the 49ers in the past. I must admit, I wasn't a believer at first. I thought we could never execute Mike Martz's offense with the talent that we had...even with Bruce (age) and Bryant Johnson (Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald's bench warmer).
This game started out ugly enough, at least for the 49ers. The 49ers had blocked punt on the Seahawks 2nd possession. As fate would have it, Seahawks safety Jonathon Babineaux recoverd the ball and scrambled for a 1st down. This set up the 1st TD by Julius Jones. On the 49ers next possession, Frank Gore fumbled which began a mad 22 yard scramble in the opposite direction only to have Seattle recover for a TD. The game announcers liked it to the "Holy Roller", for me, it was the "Holy !#%^ Roller". This was the same kind of start the 49ers had against the Cardinals in week 1. So now I'm thinking to myself that the 49ers are out of this game. It didn't help that on the 49ers' next 2 scoring drives, they were limited to FGs. I mean, the NIners were moving the ball up and down the field, but you have to be able to "seal the deal".
Then it happened. A deep pass from J.T. O'Sullivan to Bruce good for 63 yards. it was reminiscent of the Martz's days with the Rams. Not only that. But the 49ers finished the drive with a 3 yard TD that DIDN'T involve Frank Gore. The 49ers looked like a passing team again! What choice did we have? The Seahawks did a good job of limiting Gore to 61 yards on 19 carries, forcing JTO to beat them. JTO did just that. I can't say that the Seahawks pass defense is soft. This is normally a strength for them. They have Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Brian Russell and Deon Grant back there. Those are some pretty big names. The 'Hawks also have All-pro Patrick Kerney and 1st round pick Lawrence Jackson who led a group that sacked JTO 8 TIMES! i have to credit JTO's resiliency on this. There were a few times where he may have been able to throw the ball away. But through all this, he protected the ball (as well as himself) and converted on key 3rd downs. I had to rub my eyes on more than several occasions because I wasn't used to seeing the 49ers do this for the past 3-4 years.
I also must extend credit to the Seahawks offense. Down to 2 healthy recievers, the Seahawks were able to move the ball effectively. They utilized play actions and draws to keep the 49er defense off balance. Rookie TE John Carlson and Julius Jones made plays...even though the 49ers KNEW that they were the offense's go-to guys. Then something else happened. The 49ers GENERATED TURNOVERS! The 49ers first TO of the season and delivered in a big way. 49ers Patrick Willis takes a deflected pass 85 yards for a score. Now if this didn't shift momentum, the interception by Walt Harris on the Seahawks next drive must have. This gave the ball back to the 49ers on the Seahawks 41. 4 plays later, the 49ers were in the end zone.
At this time, I knew the 49ers offense couldn't be stopped...and it showed BIG in OT. When the 49ers missed the FG at the end of regulation, I knew that all we needed to do was win the coin toss and the game was ours...and that's exactly how it finished. 49ers 33, Seahawks 30.
The 49ers did a lot of things well. They could use improvement on the offensive line and could use a little more pass rush. But the 49ers were able cut down on turnovers, generate turnovers, convert 3rd downs, and score TD inside the red zone. My biggest rants the last 2 weeks was the lack of turnovers on defense and red zone offense. The 49ers proved they are capable of both.
The "Greatest Show On Turf"? Maybe not, but if the 49ers keeps putting on shows like they did yesterday, then I'll be plenty happy.