(By Daisy Barringer)
Well my little chickens, I hope you've managed to put last Sunday's debacle behind you because it's already time for another football game. Speaking of: what's up with Thursday night football? If I’m not ready to watch a football game tonight, how on earth are the 49ers going to be ready to play a football game tonight? Can't we just go back to the good ol' days when NFL football was on two days a week, or must we exploit every single money making opportunity, regardless of how it affects the game and its viewers?
Oh right. It's the NFL. Silly me.
So let's get straight to it
Remember how last week Harbaugh said, “Nothing's wrong, but nothing’s wrong"? This week I feel like the exact opposite. After every single facet of the 49ers let me down on Sunday, I'm finding it difficult to look on the bright side. I will say this: I know that we have the ability to play a fast, hard, dominating game on all sides of the ball. I just hope those players are the one who show up tonight. The Niners need to come out fighting.
Hopefully, the 49ers will cut the Kaepernick crap out tonight and let Alex Smith find his rhythm. We're going to have to throw the ball whether we want to or not, so if he completes a pass, hopefully the coaches let him stay in the game on the next play.
It's been said several times that perhaps the 49ers get too high after big wins and that's why they lose games. Well, Seattle is coming off a huge win against the Patriots. Let's pray they're feeling a little cocky.
Harbaugh is 2-0 against Pete Carroll. The Niners are also 4-0 under Harbaugh following a loss.
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. Can I digress for a second about the name Marshawn? I kind of love it. Like his father wanted to name him Marshall and his mom wanted to name him Shawn and they simply couldn't agree, and so: Marshawn was born. Anyway. Marshawn's a really good running back. In fact, he’s ranked third in the NFL in rushing (549). Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said about him, “He's the best back we played last year by far. He broke more tackles than any back we played against last year.” Normally I wouldn’t be so worried about a running back
since our defense seemed capable of stopping the run, but after last Sunday, I'm not complacent about anything. Stopping Lynch will be key to a Niners’ win. End of story.
The 49ers MUST return to their running game. Why they abandoned it last week, no one will ever know, but getting Gore the ball early and often is imperative. That being said, Seattle is ranked second in the NFL in rushing yards allowed with just 70 per game. My fear is that Gore won’t be able to get yardage and Smith will be forced to throw the ball.
Harbaugh is notorious for not giving anything away when it comes to players' injuries, so it's difficult to assess wither Mario Manningham (shoulder) or Joe Staley (concussion) will play. They're both listed as questionable. Brandon Jacobs is also still listed as questionable. My guess, and this is seriously coming from nowhere, is that the only one who will see any playing time is Manningham. Staley said he was symptom-free as of Tuesday, but messing around with a concussion just seems dangerous. If Staley is out, that means Alex Boone will shift over from right guard and Leonard Davis will take his place. Not ideal.
The Rest of It
This is our first game against another team in the NFC West. I can't even remember the last time we didn't play a division opponent until Week 7, but there you have it. Right now, we're locked in a three-way tie for 1st place. This game matters.
Long story short: we've got to get back to Niners football. Establish the run. Stay away from really long passes. Get tough on defense. Stop screwing up on kick-off returns. All things you already know and I wouldn't normally say except that we failed in all areas just four days ago.
I should be fired up about home-field advantage, but there are a few things that concern me:
1.) We're playing the Seahawks. Everyone knows all of those Seattle nerds moved down to San Francisco for tech jobs and better weather. I expect to see a lot of blue and (hideous) lime green in the stands.
2.) I think Sunday's loss took a lot out of the Niners' fans. I actually considered not even going to tonight's game because I basically had pneumonia (small exaggeration) after all of the yelling and drinking I did for the Giants' game. Also, it's a Thursday night. People have to work tomorrow. I can just see people being a little mellower for this game.
Question: We all know I'm working on being a classier fan. Does that mean I can't refer to them as the Sea-Cocks? (Say no. Say no. Say no.)
It's going to be 80 degrees today, but we all know it's going to be Arctic at Candlestick. I get that this isn't about me (not really), but how the hell am I supposed to dress for that? Do you KNOW how hard my life is? Well you do now.
Kickoff is at 5:20. The Giants play at 5:00 p.m. Can you handle it?
Watch the 49ers vs Seattle at 5:20 p.m. on the NFL Network.