New Kids on the Block
Goodbye, Colin Kaepernick. Hello, Guiness.
The Seattle Seahawks turned a grind-it-out battle into a blowout in the second half, completely dismantling the San Francisco offense in a 29-3 victory.
Marshawn Lynch deserves all of the credit one can get after his 98-yard, three-touchdown performance. The Beast seems to always see red when playing San Fran. And I love it.
However, the defense is what really stood out to me.
The Legion of Boom had a great day. Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Richard Sherman all had an interception each. Each!
They locked down over-hyped Anquan Boldin and held the recently hot Kaepernick to 127 yards on 13-of-28 passing and three picks. Good for a 14.0 QBR and 20.2 QB rating. (Mind you, he was coming off of a 27-of-39, 412-yard and three-TD game from the week prior).
Cliff Avril takes forces a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo: Elaine Thompson/AP)
But really it all boils down to one thing: the defensive line.
One of the more quiet acquisitions the Seahawks made over the offseason was bringing in Michael Bennett. The 27-year-old defensive end out of Tampa Bay is coming off of a career year, having posted nine sacks, 41 tackles and three forced fumbles in 2012.
The thing that excited me about Bennett was the praise he received for his run defense. And while Seattle addressed its pass rush, the team needed to strengthen its somehow weakening run defense.
Well, Bennett did just that.
He only had four tackles on the day, but he was consistently putting pressure on Kaepernick. His sack was the event that brought the eruption from the 12th man, breaking the Guinness world record.
He also closed gaps and assisted in the complete shutdown of Frank Gore.
Avril was one of the big names acquired by Seattle in the offseason, but because of injury, he hadn’t been able to play in the opener.
Well, he played Sunday night, and had a game-changing play.
With a little over eight minutes to go in the second quarter of a 2-0 game, Kaepernick rolled out on 3-10. Avril pushed his blocker into the pocket, forcing Kaepernick to roll out. Avril quickly caught up and stripped the QB to give the ball to the offense in San Fran territory.
Cool fact about Avril: since coming into the league in 2008, he is 4th in the NFL in strip sacks with 16.
Not a bad trait to bring to the team.
So these are the new guys we got on the line — along with O’Brien Schofield. Once we get Chris Clemons back, as well as Bruce Irvin, this defensive line is going to be tough to match up against.
Next up we have a potential barn burner with Blaine Gabbert and the Jacksonville….Jacksonville….JAGUARS! That’s right, they’re called the Jaguars.
Could get ugly. In the best sense of the word.
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