October 16 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers Monday night victory was the first time this season that I believed Steve Mariucci and his staff out coached their opponent. Last week’s victory did not have the same level of head games between coaches, it was more a matter of play execution that made the difference. The scripted 19 plays lead to a quick 10-0 lead, and while the offense seemed to stall at that point, the team made the necessary adjustments to get back on track.
Defensively the 49ers really weren’t able to step up and stop the Seahawk’s exploitation of the middle of the field. Still Mora had his team step up and make plays when the team needed it, and left the game in the hands of the offense to win it all. Mora may have wanted to shift to a ‘run blitz’ package with Rumph on the field more to help the issues in the middle of the field, but for some reason he decided against it
The 49ers called a key bootleg run for Garcia at the end of the game that simply had the Seahawks fooled. It was an overall good effort.
Focus was lacking from this team though, and that doesn’t surprise me after last week’s big victory. The 49ers had 8 penalties assessed against them, some of them either negated big plays by their team, or allowed the Seahawks to continue their drives. For the second strait week the 49ers lost the time of possession battle, but still won the game - that formula likely won’t last much longer.
The coaching staff will have a short week to prepare the 49ers for a very difficult New Orleans team. The former NFC West rival will provide quite the challenge for this team, and focus along with execution will be paramount.