San Francisco Sputters Out On Both Sides Of The Ball

This was not a good game for the 49ers. They came out strong on both sides of the ball, and seemed to sputter out from then on. Defensively, they opened up with a Nate Clements interception on the first pass thrown by Matt Hasselbeck. Offensively, they drove down the field on a few occasions and went for a few fourth down conversions, of which they only converted one.

Alex Smith had a strong command of the offense and inspired a lot of confidence for the 49ers — for the first few drives. The defense stepped it up with some good stops — for the first few drives. After that, though, the 49ers had a steady course set for beating themselves.

Wide receiver Michael Crabtree will receive a lot of grief from coaches after this game. He was called out this preseason, reportedly for his lack of practicing and dedicating himself to the team in the offseason and lack of playing in the preseason by team captain Vernon Davis. It's clear now that Crabtree needed those reps, because he made mistake after mistake.

He consistently lined up wrong, drawing the ire of quarterback Alex Smith and fellow receiver Josh Morgan. He also dropped a pass that was put right into his hands in the second quarter that would have been a first down and feasibly preventing the Seahawks from scoring before the half ended.

The special teams units for the 49ers were clearly struggling. On punt coverage, kickoff coverage, kick returns and punt returns, they lacked leadership, order and consistent playmaking. It was clear that veteran Michael Robinson was missed on the unit, and if the team is to survive in all three aspects of the game, one of the players currently on the roster will need to step up.

As I type this, Mike Singletary is very late to his press conference. Next week, the 49ers have their home opener on Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints.

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