Shak’s Take: San Francisco 49ers Week 2 Rant

Kap.Seahawks

Let it be known that this article is strictly my humble opinion. With that said, the San Francisco 49ers visited the Seattle Seahawks. This Sunday Night Football game was deemed to be a classic battle of the titans. It was far from that.

There was only one titan, the Seahawks.

The final score of the game was 29-3, with Seattle basically dominating the 49ers. Statistically speaking, this game was probably the worst I have seen, from an offensive perspective. The Seahawks dominated the 49ers, rushing for over 170 yards, in typical beast mode.

The 49ers also turned the ball over five times, including three interceptions from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He did add 87 yards rushing, but that was because he was running for his life. The 49ers wide receivers were blanketed the entire game, led by Seattle’s corner Richard Sherman.

Let’s forget the intricacies of the game for a moment and focus on what the 49ers must do. Granted, it is only week two and championships are not won in September. However, one cannot ignore the fact that the Seahawks have now outscored the 49ers 71-16 in their last two meetings.

Let that one sink in.

Defensively, I think the 49ers played very well, but when the opposing team has the ball for 36:43 minutes compared to 23:17 minutes, fatigue is bound to kick in, defensively. Seattle controlled the tempo of the game. It was inevitable that the stout 49ers defense would be exhausted in the second half.

I saw it coming from a mile away. Seattle’s running back Marshawn Lynch was wearing down the defensive front and was quietly on his way to a 100 yard performance. Still, the 49ers held their ground on numerous occasions, putting pressure on quarterback Russell Wilson and playing relatively sound defense in the secondary.

Besides for a few bone head defensive penalties, I was quite pleased the way San Francisco played on defense.

The major concern is on the offensive side of the ball. San Francisco is blessed to have a young dynamic quarterback, with a running game that most teams would love to have, along with a dynamic tight end. The glaring hole is at the wide receiver position.

After wide receiver Anquan Boldin, the 49ers do not have much depth. Granted, Boldin exploded in week one with 13 catches for over 200 yards and a touchdown, but that was against a defense with many question marks, especially in the secondary. Simply put, Boldin is a solid option, but at this juncture in his career he cannot be relied on to have a 13 catch game consistently.

Boldin lacks getting separation from defenders, that’s no secret. He likes to “battle” for the ball in the air, while using his big body versus smaller cornerbacks. But what happened last night? Seattle Seahawks corner back Sherman was all over him, holding Boldin to zero catches.

The one catch he had was when Sherman was not covering him, and the outspoken cornerback was quick to highlight that in the post game interview.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke need to wake up and smell the coffee. Yes, they can beat any team on any given night, but their current nemesis are the Seahawks and quite frankly, the 49ers existing wide receivers will not suffice.

Please do not tell me that when wide receiver Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree come back all will be fine. First, I do not think Manningham would even get on the field. Who would the 49ers ask to step back? As for Crabtree, he will be coming back from a major injury, so it would be foolish to rely so heavily on him.

Reality is wide receiver Kyle Williams is not the answer. I knew this coming into the season. Many people thought that this could be Williams’ year to break out. But prior to his ACL injury, he was not considered a major threat to defenses, so what makes one think he can break out now?

Especially after a torn ACL.

The 49ers can dominate and bully other teams in the National Football League and they probably will do just that. But do not be mistaken, they will have to face the Seahawks again on December 8th and maybe for a third time in the playoffs. The third meeting may even be in Seattle, which would be suicide for San Francisco.

Do not get me wrong, I strongly believe that San Francisco has a great football team, they are one player away from being a dominating force. San Francisco needs a wide receiver that demands a double team, on almost every single play. Names like, Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Andre Johnson and Dez Bryant come to my mind.

Imagine Kaepernick having a wide-out with that type of talent. There is nobody on the current roster who demands a double team on the outside, including a healthy Crabtree. In the early 1990’s the 49ers were in a similar situation. A change was needed desperately for them to get over the hump and win the Super Bowl.

Quarterback Steve Young’s team was one player away from winning the Lombardi trophy and the front office knew that. The 49ers’ nemesis back then was America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. Losing two NFC Championship games in a row to the Cowboys, the 49ers went and signed cornerback Deion Sanders.

They knew he could help the team get over the hump. Primetime was a primo donna, but they needed that attitude to dethrone the Cowboys. I strongly believe that this is a similar situation, but the player is needed at the wide receiver position.

From an NBA perspective, the Miami Heat had trouble with the Indiana Pacers, going to game seven in the Eastern Conference Finals. Even though Miami won the series, general manager Pat Riley knew that it would be a tall task to beat them again, since the team was lacking size.

What did he do? He went and signed a 7 footer in center Greg Oden to help mitigate against Pacers’ center Roy Hibbert.

I understand that the NFL is not the NBA. Two totally different games, but the concept is the same. You build to beat the teams in your division and your conference. Right now the St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks are nightmare matchup’s for San Francisco.

The 49ers failed to beat the Rams last year, losing on one occasion and tying on the other. Not like the Rams are a top five (or maybe even top ten) team in the NFL, but they are strictly built to face the teams in their division. In this case, they match up well verse the 49ers.

A change is a must at the wide receiver position and there is nothing you can do or say to change my mind.

I know a Megatron type wide receiver is nearly impossible to add at this point in the season. But there is one older version on the market, who could still run. He can also match up (decently) against the strength and size of Richard Sherman.

Trust me he can.

Thy name is Terrell Owens. Now before you roll your eyes, hear me out. San Francisco would not need Owens to be the go to man. Nor would they need him to produce Pro Bowl type numbers. They simply would need him to help them “get over the hump” against the Seahawks.

Owens has matched up already against Sherman during Seattle’s training camp last year. So it would not be unfamiliar territory for him. Owens is bigger, faster and quicker than Boldin, even today. Like right now.

Take that to the bank.

Last week I read reports that the 49ers were pursing wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Say what? Lloyd himself declined the 49ers’ offer, simply because he states he is not mentally ready nor in shape to make a comeback. I respect Lloyd for doing that and not just collecting a paycheck.

But you are telling me that the 49ers would rather have him over a man who is in phenomenal shape, who is out to prove a point, who is hungry to compete and begging for an opportunity? That is blasphemous in my opinion.

It makes me sick to my stomach.

Owens would give the 49ers the much needed big bodied wide receiver that they need in order to beat the Seahawks. He is still fast and will demand safety help in help coverage. He also has the football IQ of a savvy veteran.

Folks, he will help the team win games. There is no harm in bringing him in for a try-out. If he makes the team better, what more could you ask for? If he becomes a distraction and plays poorly, then cut him.

One thing for sure is, the current roster does not have the depth to beat Seattle’s press coverage. It was evident last year with a healthy Michael Crabtree and also this past Sunday with a red hot Anquan Boldin, coming off of a career game.

Yes, there is no “I” in team and one person does not make or break a ball club. But there is an “I” in “win” and if one person can help win football games, then it is important to give that person an opportunity. Otherwise, I could see the 49ers winning a lot of meaningless games, but not the important ones that count, especially verse Seattle.

Obviously Owens is not the long term fix. But he would help in the short term and it is apparent that the 49ers need to win now. Baalke and Harbaugh will have to do their due diligence and find a receiver in the draft that has the capability of demanding a double team.

The 49ers’ front office have missed on many occasions in the past on drafting quality receivers. That will have to change. Immediately.

It would be a sin if they do not find a go to receiver. Kaepernick needs to be surrounded by amazing talent and quite frankly, he lacks that at the receiver position. Unless a team like the Atlanta Falcons are willing to trade wide receiver Roddy White or Julio Jones (do not bet on that), San Francisco will turn to the draft.

Believe me, rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton is not the next Megatron. In the mean time, the short term fix is looking at San Francisco dead in the face, perhaps a reunion is what is needed. The team will never know unless a try out is given.

This receiving core needs the attitude of a T.O., kind of like the 1993-94 49ers team needed Deion Sanders. San Francisco needs someone to quiet Seattle’s Richard Sherman, and since there is no draft until next year, only one person can do the job. He has something left in the tank.

Owens posted a video of him running some routes. It gives you a pretty good sample of how good he still is. The video can be viewed here: Terrell Owens Running Routes

Unless you have a better strategy, I still have my popcorn ready, maybe you should too.

Shakeel Khan is a San Francisco 49ers writer for Pro Football Central