Odd game. 24-13 seems like innocent enough…a solid Seattle victory, the 49ers scoring on the last play of the game or it would’ve been 24-6. Kinda what we would all expect from a Seattle-SF game at this stage of the season.
I have to note this because it’s important for your handicapping purposes…for the second time this season, the 49ers played toe-to-toe with Seattle. This game was just 7-6 Seattle midway through the 3rd-quarter, and Seattle having scored its TD set up by a very fluky turnover. Seattle labored in this game the 49ers gaffed every opportunity, dropping passes, fluky turnovers, dropping INTs, etc. Judging it as a beauty contest, it was the 49ers as the slightly better (slightly less awful) team for about 2-3 quarters.
I’ve thought Seattle was a fraud all season, good but more mediocre than not…but with the defensive backfield in shambles – they borderline stink among the ‘good’ football teams out there. They have a terrible O-Line and can’t cover the pass (due to injuries). Russell Wilson is literally carrying this franchise and masking over all the on-field and off-field issues. Had Jimmy Garoppolo started this game…Seattle goes down. The 49ers don’t really want to win, so once again Seattle is fortuitous. The Seahawks are going to get exposed soon enough.
I would not be shocked if Seattle lost their next four in a row, in fact – I’d bet on it. They are playing the four best non-Patriots and Steelers teams in football the next 4 weeks. Hosting PHI this week could be embarrassing, as the Eagles charmed season continues as they host a team that is a shell of its former self (Seattle). After that, Seattle heads to Jacksonville. If they lose their next two and fall to 7-6…they then get the 9-4/10-3 Rams…and if the Rams smoke Seattle…the Seahawks fall to 7-7 in time to go to Dallas who will have everyone/thing back they’ve been missing. It’s very possible Seattle finishes 8-8 this season. If they get to 9-7, they have no quality wins over a quality opponent to use for a tie-breaker. They will have lost to DAL and ATL and be in a bad way for a tie-breaker if they get that far. The NFC probably has 10-wins as the last playoff spot anyway. There is almost no way Seattle is winning three of their next five to get to 10-6.
The 49ers want to lose for draft pick positioning. But their plan may be thwarted by now having to play Jimmy Garoppolo, and we’ll start there…
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- So, C.J. Beathard gets knocked out of the game with a minute left…and driving (3rd & 5 on the Seattle 18). In comes Jimmy Franchise (I just trademarked that by typing ‘I just trademarked that’).
Garoppolo scrambles/runs for 4-yards to get to 4th & 1, then a penalty forces them back to 4th & 5, and then J-Franchise hits a nice pass to Aldrick Robinson for a 1st-down. 1st & goal with 0:02 seconds left. Jimmy G. looks out from the pocket, he slides away from trouble with grace, throws across his body on the run and puts a bullet on where only Louis Murphy can make the catch – touchdown. A meaningless TD, but try to tell the 49ers fans that…and SF players who were utterly delighted by watching Das Franchisen give them a taste of what’s to come.
Jimmy Garoppolo is SO good.
If Mitchell Trubisky = Aaron Rodgers and Jared Goff = Tom Brady…who is Garoppolo’s ‘match’? Tall Drew Brees with some Tom Brady DNA, maybe? I don’t know…I need to work on the simple comparison tool.
The thing is, assuming he gets the Week 13 start…Garoppolo might pop right away. We might not have a painful Goff-Trubisky introduction period as their dreadful head coaches destroy every fiber of their Q-being. Goff-Trubisky both had terrible, failing head coaches who are/were defensive guys presiding over a run-first offense with no WRs of any note to throw to. Garoppolo enters with an offensive minded, possibly offensive guru coach who is more than happy to throw the ball and score 30+ a game.
Plus, Garoppolo is no rookie. He comes from the greatest graduate school of football…being the backup to Tom Brady and being around Bill Belichick for three years. James G. is too big/good/prepared to fail.
Trubisky is the better talent top-to-bottom, but Garoppolo is right there talent-wise and in a known great situation already. You have Trubisky-Garoppolo-Goff, any 2 or 3 of those three QBs…you have the fantasy future.
Garoppolo has three solid starts ahead: ‘at’ dying Chicago, at soft Houston, hosting sad Tennessee…and then Week 16 hosting Jacksonville is no Bueno.
I think he could be a QB1 right off the bat but it’s hard to have total confidence considering I’ve never seen him with this team…except for one glorious minute this past Sunday.
-- I can tell you this…Garoppolo has weapons to throw to. Whether he has a QB-WR relationship with them is dicey to predict at this stage.
Marquise Goodwin (4-78-0/6) stepped up and played nicely as the 49ers new #1 WR (for just the rest of this season). He caught all kinds of passes from different routes. He looked good.
Trent Taylor (2-35-0/3) is so good in that ‘Welker’ role it's not even funny. He’s terrific. Garoppolo + Taylor = PPR gold…but probably not until 2018, but you may want to try to take a taste now in case it’s a whole thing right away. I could see Taylor being better than Goodwin in PPR, right away, for Garoppolo.
-- Speaking of WRs… Paul Richardson (4-70-0/7) is suddenly honing in on Doug Baldwin’s place in Russell Wilson heart/targets.
The past two games…
4.5 rec. (7.5 targets), 63.0 yards = Richardson
2.0 rec. (4.5 targets), 32.5 yards = Baldwin
In the first 7 games of 2017, Richardson caught 4 TD passes…Baldwin had 2 TDs.
I’m not pitching that Baldwin has lost favor or stinks…I think Seattle is shifting away a little because teams realized that’s where Wilson was going without fault. Defenses don’t have to worry about the run…they just need to cover Baldwin. Because Wilson is smart, he’s then making use of what he has more available – Richardson and Jimmy Graham.
Tyler Lockett (0-0-0/1) appears to be dead.
Richardson COULD matter in this schedule crunch coming up – PHI-JAX-LAR…there will be a lot of focus on Baldwin…there will be Seattle down in big deficits, likely. There will be Seattle throwing 45-50+ times a game and Richardson as a guy Wilson has consistently ‘thrown it up for grabs’ to and magic has occasionally happened.
-- Like I said, like we all know…Seattle cannot run the ball. The best they ever look is when Mike Davis (DNP) is the lead guy. I’ve already written about Davis enough, so you know how I feel. Best runner, best power runner, and good hands – he’s a three-down back, but he will share touches with J.D. McKissic (4-22-0, 4-24-0/7).
I love Davis but I worry Week 13 is not the time – vs. #1 run defense Philly and Davis not 100%...it’s a risk. Seattle gets down and throwing – McKissic may be the better PPR play, and boy does JDMK bring life to this offense.
Eddie Lacy (17-46-0, 3-15-0/3) is such an unbelievable waste of time, but still a fear to take touches as well – because Pete Carroll is such a genius and so enthusiastic.
-- George Kittle (1-14-0/2) was back from injury and played about 50% of the snaps. He was rusty, didn’t stand out. Curious to see him with Jimmy Franchise™.
-- 49ers LB Brock Coyle (6 tackles) keeps low-key producing because everyone runs on SF…6-6-8-6 for tackle totals his last 4 games.
-- Seattle new starting safety is a producer, and was last year…Bradley McDougald (8 tackles). He has 13 tackles his first two starts in place of Kam Chancellor.
Snap Counts of Interest…
54 = Goodwin
47 = Taylor
33 = Bourne
56 = Richardson
53 = Baldwin
46 = Lockett
35 = Lacy
29 = McKissic