We wondered if Seattle would attempt a bend but don't break defense, and, for a half of football, Seattle has accomplished a bend but don't break defense.
Alex Smith has completed 75% of his passes for 125. Seattle is allowing completions, but keeping plays ahead of them, stopping run after catch and not allowing long receptions. This is textbook Kiffin 4-3 Under. Bend, bend, bend bend bend, but when break seems imminent, Seattle countered with a goal line stand, an interception return and only one reception or run allowed over 20 yards.
Will it last? Probably not.
The offense needs to step up big time. A couple big plays not withstanding, they are losing field position and putting Seattle's defense at its breaking point before it can even bend. It isn't integral, because Seattle is playing with a lead and Smith looks wild and liable to throw a couple more picks. It is integral in that if Seattle wants to turn a potential win into momentum towards winning the division, it needs a much better offense than it has shown.
Winning the division, it's only week one, but this is the Niners, this is at home, if Seattle wants to win the division, it starts today.