Seattle executed as planned. The Seahawks dominated but were not dominant. They were disciplined, opportunistic, and smartly game-planned. Through that, through what should not be their best showing of the season, Seattle protected home turf against the favorite to win the division.
Seattle lit up San Francisco like a gas soaked piñata.
Discipline created opportunity. Seattle stopped long plays. It stopped intermediate plays. From snap one, Seattle locked San Francisco into a station to station offense, and without a functional run game, that put a burden on Alex Smith he couldn't bear. He crumbled. He threw the game away.
Opportunity created and prevented scoring. Seattle drew tight in the red zone. The goal line stop set the tone, but Seattle also forced two short field goal attempts on promising looking drives of nine and eight plays. Then it scored 31 unanswered points. It started slow and built momentum and through interceptions, flipped field position and scored, and turned a bad looking start to the game into an out and out blowout.
Game planning made a still gelling offense trustworthy, able to cash in, and it did cash in. Matt Hasselbeck did not look radically different than he has for many years, but instead of run, run, run against a dominating run defense, broken only by desperate play-action bombs, Jeremy Bates identified the Niners weakness, passing, and specifically, double-moves, and attacked.
And attacked, until it was safe to run.
What a revelation, Bates game plan. What a difference a smart secondary coach can make to an already talented secondary. What a difference from Marcus Trufant, but where we knew Trufant could return, every other member of Seattle's coverage, from its linebackers swarming, to its corners keeping tight, to its safeties flirting with huge plays, was a revelation from seasons past. Just amazing, and exciting, and ...
Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Alex Smith is wild, and as the points stacked up for Seattle, Smith reverted to the terrible, panicky, mistake-prone mess he has been for most of his career. With very, very few interruptions, Smith has been among the greatest, most persistent, and most cumulatively damaging busts in NFL history.
Still, though it may not have been against great competition, and though it wasn't dominating, no matter how Seattle ratcheted up the score through turnovers, it was a big victory, an assured victory, not lucky, not close; The Seahawks hosted the pre-season darling 49ers and beat them by 25.
Game Ball: Marcus Trufant
Trufant can cover the league's elite wide receivers and turn and burn on mistake throws. He is, simply, what every team wants. He is a number one corner. Welcome back, Tru.