Tony Avelar AP
There wasn't a lot for the 49ers to be thankful for on Thanksgiving night. As Colin Kaepernick said is his post game comments, "We just didn't play well."
Oddly, there were a few statistics where the two teams were matched, and others that were completely uneven. Both teams had 16 first downs. Both quarterbacks were sacked four times. Both teams had 10 drives. Glaring differences: Seattle moved the ball 379 yards, San Francisco 164. Seattle committed no turnovers where San francisco gave the the ball up three times. The Seahawks were penalized 14 times for 105 yards and the 49ers were only penalized three times for 20 yards, but that wasn't enough.
There were a few positives. The Niner defense played well, holding the Seahawks to field goals four different times. For how Seattle dominated the game, the score wasn't nearly the blowout that the it could have been. LB Chris Borland continued his stand out play with 15 tackles, all of which were solo. He has the second most tackles by a 49er rookie in franchise history, second only to Patrick Willis who recorded 136 solo tackles in his rookie year. Borland did miss a few tackles, but as a rookie, his performance will only get better as he gains experience.
There were quite a few negatives. The 49ers didn't move past the 50 yard line until deep into the third quarter. That was their only productive drive which lasted 12 plays and ended in a Phil Dawson field goal. The following drive lasted eight plays and ended with Kaepernick's second pick of the night both of which went to Richard Sherman.
The drama was only beginning. CEO Jed York sent out an apology tweet following the game:
Almost simultaneously, GM Trent Baalke's daughter tweeted her displeasure with OC Greg Roman.
As if that weren't enough, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News played spy and reported the unusual behavior of management on his twitter account following the game.
Doubtful there will be sweeping changes this week after the success of the past three seasons but only time will tell. The Niners travel across town to face the 1-10 Raiders before a tough rematch with the Seahawks in Seattle.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
It was another lack luster showing for the 49er offense and remarkable performance by the 49er defense. This season has proven that It doesn't matter how you get the W, as long as you get it.
The defense kept pressure on RGIII the entire game recording 5 sacks, Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Aaron Lynch, each with one and Aldon Smith with two. There were 8 hits on the QB and the Redskins were held to 77 yards passing. Alfred Morris was the main contributor to the Washington offense rushing for 125 yards and a TD.
Kaepernick didn't have a terrible day but the offense uncharacteristically turned the ball over three times. Frank Gore committed his second fumble in as many games, his only two of the season. Kaepernick and Carlos Hyde each turned it over once. It was Hyde's first fumble of the season.
After the game Harbaugh summed up the team's performance by saying that the team made a lot of "valiant efforts" today. He continued stating "We turned the ball over. Some teams hang their heads after that happens. That's not what this team is about, this team is about each other, about the team, the team, the team. They are into lifting each other up. Guys just kept playing and fighting, that's what good teams do."
One of the biggest plays of the game was a 29 yard, 3rd down catch made by Anquan Boldin in the 4th quarter over the middle to keep the drive alive. He was hit by hard by FS Ryan Clark who was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Clark actually took the brunt of the hit himself and had to sit out a few plays. Boldin who is frequently recognized for his toughness talked about it after the game. "If [that hit] changes how I play, then I shouldn't be playing anymore. I'm an all out guy. It's not a big deal."
It's a short week for the Niners who will be hosting division rival Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving night. The coaching staff stayed after the game to start preparing.
Bill Kostroun - AP
You'd think that Eli Manning throwing five picks in one game would make the score a blow out, right? Wrong. The Niners escaped with a 16-10 victory in what shouldn't have been a competitive game at all. Four trips to the red zone in the first half only resulted in 9 points. Frank Gore, who had a tremendous game with 19 carries for 95 yards committed his first fumble of the season at the end of the first drive and three other drives resulted in Phil Dawson field goals.
Things started to look better for the Niners in their first drive of the second half; three plays concluding with Michael Crabtree's 48 yard touchdown. That was the last time the 49ers would reach the end zone at MetLife. Their second drive of the half lasted for five minutes but ended with a botched snap negating a field goal attempt by Dawson.
All is not doom and gloom though, there were several highlights and Chris Borland being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week is one of them. Borland finished with 13 tackles, 9 of which were solo, and two interceptions. Borland has been on a roll, having a great performance last week against the Saints with 17 tackles, 11 of which were solo. He was beat out for Week 10 NFC DPOW by the Cardinal's Patrick Peterson who recorded 2 INTs vs the Rams. With Patrick Willis going on IR and Navorro Bowman's return in question, it's good to know that the next man up is Chris Borland.
Tuesday was a big news day for the Niners. Bad news first: Patrick Willis will be undergoing season ending surgery on his toe that has kept him sidelined for three games. The severity of his turf toe was worse than he and specialists originally thought. He also revealed that his toe had actually been bothering him for quite some time. Jay Glazer actually reported during Sunday's games that the injury was worse than initially indicated. The 49er family was hoping he was wrong, just this once.
Better news: Ray McDonald spoke to the media for the first time since being arrested for domestic violence charges. He had stated earlier that he would not be speaking to any media until the case was closed.
McDonald told reporters that he is not the type of person to put his hands on a woman. He and his fiancé, who is now 20 weeks pregnant, are working things out because, "We love each other."
Good news: Aldon Smith is back and he told the media that he is ready to go and feeling good. He has been at the practice facility regularly, able to work out but not allowed to participate in on field drills or activities. Today that changed. ESPN's John Clayton predicted anywhere from a 30-60 snap count for Smith in his first game back.
Ed Szczepanski, USA TODAY Sports
No loss is pretty, but when you are held scoreless for over 40 minutes, it's UGLY. The worst part about this loss is that the 49ers actually had a chance to win it at the end. Questionable calls occurred throughout the game but the two that really burned were the two that twice negated a touchdown at the goal line with less than a minute left.
This was the first play that should have been a touchdown. The catch was ruled complete but they marked him down at the one. Clearly the ball crossed the plane of the goal line.
This is a screen shot of the second play at he goal line where Kaepernick actually recovered a not securely snapped ball and then crossed the goal line before he fumbled, not to mention the hand inside his face mask.
Those two calls aside, (and the safety that was not called) I am a firm believer that a team needs to play at a level where the refs are unable to alter the outcome of a game. The 49ers did not do that. The OL allowed a season high eight sacks while the 49ers defense only recorded one. The 49er offense was ineffective, only converting third downs 3 of 12 times and they went 0-2 in the red zone. Phil Dawson uncharacteristically missing a FG attempt added to the offense's woes.
Things aren't going to get any easier for the Niners who have a two game road stint next, heading to the Superdome where the Saints flourish and to the cold in MetLife to meet the NY Giants the following week.