Seahawks And 49ers Will Battle For Early NFC West Supremacy
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By Matthew Asher
With two of the NFL’s premiere young quarterbacks in the NFC West, the Week 2 game between Colin Kaepernick’s 49ers and Russell Wilson’s Seahawks may decide the division winner.
Against the Packers, San Francisco moved the ball at will. Piling up 494 yards of total offense was second only to the Denver Broncos 510 yards in Week 1. Kaepernick was just one of three quarterbacks to throw for 400+ yards. San Francisco’s 404 passing yards were the third most in Week 1 behind both Manning brothers Peyton and Eli, respectively.
Kaepernick finished the game completing 27 of his 39 passes for 412 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis were Kaepernick’s two favorite targets, accounting for 19 catches totaling 306, almost 75 percent of the passing yards. The 49ers also finished tied at 10th place with 90 rushing yards. Frank Gore led the way with 44 yards, but on 21 attempts had a meager 2.1 yards per carry average. Kaepernick added 22 rushing yards on seven attempts, but was also sacked twice, losing eight yards.
Of course, winning a game 34-28 means your defense definitely needs improvement. The 49ers gave up 385 yards of total offense, the 10th most of the week. Aaron Rodgers was nearly as efficient as Kaepernick, completing 21 of 37 passes for 333 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb both pulled down seven receptions––each had one touchdown catch for a total of 238 receiving yards with both getting 100+ yards. Nelson and Cobb accounted for 71 percent of Green Bay’s passing yards. The 322 passing yards San Francisco allowed were the seventh most of the week.
There are three main reasons San Francisco was able to give up so many yards and still win. First, Green Bay may have thrown for 300+ yards, but managed just 63 yards on the ground, the 22nd least of the week. Eddie Lacy led the Packers with 41 yards, but needed 14 attempts for an abysmal 2.9 yards per attempt. No Packer had a run for more than seven yards.
With Green Bay being a one-dimensional team, San Francisco was able to focus on Rodgers’ arm instead of his legs. Second was the time of possession difference. San Francisco held the ball more than 38 minutes, seven minutes more than the Packers. This brings us to the third reason: the turnovers. San Francisco didn’t turn the ball over and Green Bay committed two turnovers.
Seattle returns to CenturyLink Field for their first home game while San Francisco leaves Candlestick Park for their first away game. Kickoff for this Sunday Night Football game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
Note: all statistics and NFL rankings for this article were taken before MNF.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.