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Enemy Reaction 2020: San Francisco 49ers

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks rebounded from their first (and hopefully only) loss of the season with by far their sweetest win of the season. There’s nothing like a victory over the San Francisco 49ers, and to do it while leading by double digits for almost the entire 2nd half is so satisfying. Yeah there was an attempted comeback in the 4th quarter but 37-27 was ultimately not an accurate reflection as far as the flow of the game.

It’s Enemy Reaction time. You know the drill by now and I’m sure Niners Nation does, too. They checked out by the 3rd quarter so the comments start to dry up, but there’s still plenty of entertainment to be had.

DJ Reed picks off Jimmy Garoppolo (0-0)

DK Metcalf catches and rumbles for a 46-yard touchdown (6-0 SEA)

JaMycal Hasty gives the 49ers the lead (7-6 SF)

DK Metcalf scores his second touchdown of the game (13-7 SEA)

Deejay Dallas scores his first NFL touchdown (20-7 SEA)

Dante Pettis fumbles the kickoff, Seahawks recover (20-7 SEA)

Russell Wilson escapes sack, finds David Moore for the touchdown (27-7 SEA)

Jimmie Ward flagged for late hit on Russell Wilson (30-20 SEA, 37-27 SEA FINAL)

Meltdown over Metcalf

Post-Game: Coaching staff gets an F (Akshaj Dwivedula, Niner Noise)

There are many things I could point out — the terrible Wildcat read-option play call on 3rd-and-5 on the first series, a failure to attack vertically with receivers or then to attack horizontally with end-arounds and reverses, a lack of preparation that permeated the entire roster.

On the defensive side, coordinator Robert Saleh did all he could, but he fell into the simple Cover 3 single-safety look that ends up giving one-on-ones to cornerbacks, which was exactly what Seattle wanted. Not to mention the illogical decision to keep big-bodied, speedy defensive back, Tarvarius Moore, the fastest and most physically gifted defender coming off his best game as a pro, off the field.

The SF 49ers coaches failed their team, and their team failed them.

Post-Game: It’s time to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo (Brian Renick, 49ers Webzone)

The biggest competitive advantage teams can have in the NFL is a good quarterback on a rookie contract. It allows teams to spend money in other areas of the roster to build a consistent winner around a young, talented gunslinger. With the sheer volume of injuries currently plaguing this team, and with news that Garoppolo and All-Pro TE George Kittle are out “indefinitely,” the 49ers will likely find themselves in the same unique position they found themselves in after the 2018 season: a good team with a bad record. Now, the team could still reel off some wins behind Nick Mullens at QB, but with the remaining schedule it faces, it seems relatively unlikely.

This will put John Lynch and the front office in a position to draft one of the top quarterback talents likely to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, Justin Fields of Ohio State, Zach Wilson of BYU, or Trey Lance of North Dakota State (Carson Wentz’s alma mater). I think Trevor Lawrence to the New York Jets is a done deal. The Jets may go winless this season, and if they pass up the opportunity to draft Lawrence, after the season they’ve had, the fan base would likely revolt. That leaves Fields, Wilson, and Lance. I am not a quarterback evaluator, but all three options seem like they have the talent necessary to succeed at a high level in the NFL, because all three of them are incredibly athletic and can use their legs to extend plays, unlike Garoppolo, even before the ankle injury. With the continued evolution of incredibly athletic defensive linemen, a quarterback who can escape the pocket has become almost a necessity.

Having a talented QB on a rookie deal would allow the 49ers to extend Fred Warner and Trent Williams this offseason, and extend Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel, and Mike McGlinchey (although I’m not sold on The Glinch as of this writing) when they are eligible. It would also extend their Super Bowl window with the renewed financial flexibility a rookie deal provides. Are any of the QB prospects a sure-thing? Absolutely not, but the team cannot continue to pay $27 million to an injury-prone quarterback.

It’s time to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo.

Post-Game Video: Bobby Wagner was all over the field (J InTheBay)

Post-Game Audio: Opponent audio recap with 49ers announcers Greg Papa and Tim Ryan (via Sports Radio KJR)

BONUS Enemy Reaction: Los Angeles Rams

Enemy Preaction: Buffalo Bills

Seattle is off to Buffalo for the first time since 2008. The Bills are 6-2 but with a -1 point differential, so they’re a bit hard to figure out. They’re nevertheless leading the AFC East and they could get their first division title win since the Jim Kelly era. If the Seahawks win and some other results break in their favor they could have a commanding lead on their NFC West rivals. A loss and they could drop to 2nd behind the Arizona Cardinals should they beat the Miami Dolphins.

It sounds scary but there’s still a lot of football left to be played, and reinforcements are coming on the defensive side of the ball.

Thanks for reading and go ‘Hawks!