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Qualifying Success (Always a Crowd Pleaser)

A different play involving some of the same players.
A different play involving some of the same players.

(Fox switches over from Steelers-Falcons)

1-10-SEA 18 (13:39) 21-F.Gore up the middle to SEA 15 for 3 yards (79-R.Bryant).

The hole closes around Frank Gore. Red Bryant and Colin Cole narrow it and Lofa Tatupu nails Moran Norris backwards.

2-7-SEA 15 (12:56) (Shotgun) PENALTY on SEA-79-R.Bryant, Neutral Zone Infraction, 5 yards, enforced at SEA 15 - No Play.

Both Bryant and Chris Clemons time their jump off center David Baas moving his head upright. Both are wrong. Bryant is penalized.

2-2-SEA 10 (12:29) 11-A.Smith pass short left to 44-M.Norris to SEA 8 for 2 yards (36-L.Milloy).

Aaron Curry jams the left tight end and feigns blitz before releasing into cover. Seattle achieves some weak side pressure, with Brandon Mebane the closest to coming free, but Alex Smith is hardly harried. He just reflexively checks down. Smith targets Norris in the left flat and Lawyer Milloy breaks on it in a flash and hits Norris, and with Curry, wraps and drops Norris where he receives.

(and then Seattle benefits from a series of mistakes)

1-8-SEA 8 (11:47) 11-A.Smith pass short right to 84-J.Morgan for 8 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Seattle challenged the pass completion ruling, and the play was REVERSED. 11-A.Smith pass incomplete short right to 84-J.Morgan.

San Francisco sets trips right. That's important to know. It's trips, but the Niners are still in a two wide receiver, two tight end set. Seattle sets in a 4-3 with Curry playing shallow over the trips and Marcus Trufant playing deep over the trips.

Clemons begins a good looking edge rush, but the pass is bang-bang; drop-step, target, throw. Trufant gets caught looking and does not achieve a very good break on Josh Morgan. When the pass arrives, he desperately attempts to force Morgan out of bounds. Which he does, with a little help.

The pass is too high. That's unnecessary and sends Morgan leaping. Morgan doesn't drag his feet and when Trufant impacts and pushes him right, his hip hits turf before he can establish possession in bounds. A better pass produces a touchdown. A better receiver probably has the presence to drag his feet. A good corner makes up for bad coverage with hustle and a couple good breaks.

That'll work.

2-8-SEA 8 (11:42) 21-F.Gore left guard to SEA 6 for 2 yards (90-C.Cole).

A lot of moving parts here, but one essential detail: Gore stumbles before hitting the hole. That means he strikes the pile instead of following his blockers, and that means he has little momentum to break through and achieve yardage.

Seattle successfully fills the hole, and maybe that plays a part in Gore stumbling. Tatupu mans up against Mike Iupati, hitting him low and holding ground. Curry and Norris tangle, with neither winning. Gore stumbles right, and though Cole is awarded the tackle, Bryant does the heavy lifting. He bounces off an attempted double team by the 49ers tight ends and loops back into the action to drop Gore.

As for Kelly Jennings shining moment ...

3-6-SEA 6 (11:02) (Shotgun) 11-A.Smith pass short left to 21-F.Gore to SEA 5 for 1 yard (21-K.Jennings).

This was a good play by Jennings made easier by another inaccurate pass by Smith. It's not a terrible pass. He underthrows Gore and Gore has to torque right, stop and receive before getting struck in space by Jennings. Smith is not under pressure. I assume he believed the Gore-Jennings matchup in space was favorable and attacked, and it was, but Jennings was on top of the play. He was within three yards of Gore before he could even secure the catch.