ReFo: Seahawks @ 49ers, Week 13
Another NFL Thanksgiving feast concluded with what promised to be a feisty encounter from two fierce rivals but turned into a game that was rarely competitive and the scoreline didn’t even reflect that. Though the closest game of the day on the scoreboard the Seahawks had this game in hand for much of the way tacking on a second divisional victory in five days to put the pressure on the Cardinals ahead of them.
For the 49ers this was a limp offensive performance with Colin Kaepernick and company unable to find anything to loosen the shackles of a Seattle defense that is beginning to round towards their form of a year ago. Though this by no means fells the 49ers’ playoff hopes they will need to produce more in the final month if they aren’t to fall short for the first time in Jim Harbaugh’s tenure.
Seattle Seahawks – Performances of Note
Richard Sherman, CB, +3.2
Breakdown: Sherman had plenty to say immediately after these two teams met in last year’s playoffs. He came up with another big game last night, highlighted by a pair of interceptions on ill-advised Colin Kaepernick passes. His five targets were split between Stevie Johnson & Brandon Lloyd with his two interceptions ensuring that Kaepernick had a passer rating of 0.0 when throwing into his coverage. That’s the third time in his career (twice in 2012) that Sherman has achieved that mark.
Signature Stat: For the season Sherman is surrendering one reception for every 17.4 snaps in coverage; only three corners (each with less than 200 snaps in coverage) are stingier to opposing receivers.
Justin Britt, RT, +0.8
Breakdown: The Seahawks’ rookie right tackle turned in another strong game as a run blocker and had one of his better games of the season in pass protection, though he still graded below average in that regard. The Seahawks love cutting back with their runners and Britt added power on both single and double team blocks to help clear a path for Marshawn Lynch to get out to the right side.
Signature Play: Turned Aaron Brooks inside on Lynch’s longest gain of the day (a 33 yarder off right tackle at 10:58 in the third); for the season Lynch is averaging 4.9 yards per carry off right tackle & right end.
Demarcus Dobbs, DE, +1.0
Breakdown: Only 11 snaps for the former 49er on his return to San Francisco but he made his presence felt in the first quarter with a pair of stops on consecutive plays midway through the quarter. Starting the 49ers’ third drive by shedding Jonathan Martin for a tackle on the very next play he registered a tackle for loss to setup Richard Sherman’s 3rd-and-8 interception.
Signature Stat: Those two stops he recorded last night were as many as he recorded in the entire 2013 season with the 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers – Performances of Note
Colin Kaepernick, QB, -5.7
Breakdown: In a rare night where he offered little threat on the ground Kaepernick was only a threat to himself and his teammates when he put the ball in the air forcing throws and coming up with one of the least effective displays of his career. All of his completions came on targets within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage going 0 for 10 with 2 interceptions beyond that mark and a -5.4 passing grade on deep and intermediate targets.
Signature Stat: Since Week 9 Kaepernick has an overall grade of -8.1; only five quarterbacks including Michael Vick (-11.6), Blake Bortles (-12.1) and Jay Cutler (-11.9) can boast a worse grade in the same time span.
Chris Borland, ILB, -1.4
Breakdown: Borland has taken to life as a starter superbly well but this was a performance out of character with his prior displays. Still around the ball as a force of habit (nine more stops to his total) the Seahawks were able to get blocks on him after the first quarter and his three missed tackles matched his effort at home to Washington on Sunday.
Signature Stat: Now up to 43 stops after six starts he lies fifth in the league among inside linebackers and only 17 players at the position topped that mark in the entire 2013 season.
Aaron Lynch, OLB, +1.1
Breakdown: If there’s one thing the 49ers know how to do its find linebackers, to the point of having a surplus of them. With Borland impressing outside, Lynch continues to press a claim for more playing time outside. Another four pressures last night included a sack for a third straight game on a season low 11 pass rushes.
Signature Stat: Among the 49ers’ outside linebackers only Aldon Smith (12.6) tops Lynch (11.9) in terms of Pass Rushing Productivity with Lynch’s 36 pressures (5 Sk, 5 Ht, 26 Hu) coming on 238 pass rushes.
PFF Game Ball
The last time these two teams played the 49ers only targeted Richard Sherman once and came up empty. Four more targets last night drew even less reward as Sherman served a reminder as to why quarterbacks should treat him with greater caution than what Colin Kaepernick showed last night.
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