49ers report: In the grand scheme of things Niners glad not to be playing in Seattle Sunday

by Ken Gimblin

SANTA CLARA–The 49ers had a lot of trouble whenever they had to play the Seahawks in Century Link and they lost their last two contests when they had to play there including the second game of this season where they just got demolished. It was a little closer than it appeared because the Niners were only trailing 12-3 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Niners weren’t really in that game running back Vernon Davis got injured, Ian Williams got knocked out and the team just could not move the ball at all on offense. A large part of that was obviously the Seahawks fantastic defense and it was the insane crowd in Seattle that is just so loud that the offensive players can’t hear anything.

The Niners couldn’t hear the snap count, they couldn’t hear their teammates, it made it really hard to get off the ball in a timely manner. It gave a huge advantage to the Seahawks who take advantage of that communication along the lines and getting an extra push out of it. There’s a reason that the Seahawks haven’t lost at home in a couple of seasons is because of that crowd gives them a huge homefield advantage.

The Seahawks are not the same team on the road as they get ready to come to Candlestick this Sunday against the 49ers that advantage they have at home completely vanishes and they become a slightly more beatable team. This year they only lost once and that was to the Colts in Indianopoilis. The Colts are one of the few teams to have beat the Niners and the Seahawks.

Just because the Hawks lost the one game on the road doesn’t mean their not going to lose any games on the road they still have the best record in the NFL and the 49ers certainly will have their hands full when they play them this weekend. The home field is the biggest thing and the Niners and the Seahawks match up very well we’ve seen the last couple times they played at Candlestick which is a good home field for the 49ers but it doesn’t offer any distinct advantage.

It’s not a dome stadium, it’s not artificial turfed that makes it a little faster for the Niners, there’s no advantagous noise factor going in there. When the Niners play anybody there yeah they have the homefield advantage but it’s not the same as a stadium like Seattle. I wouldn’t call Candlestick a neutral ground but it’s a much more balanced location for anybody to play.

For the Niners and the Seahawks, yes the 49ers won the last few games at the Stick against Seattle all of those games have been close  tough defensive battles, their not high scoring affairs it’s where you see how evenly matched these teams really are and that’s what the Niners have to look forward to.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Crabtree is key to the Niners playoff push


by Kahlil Najar

The 10-point victory against the Rams on Sunday wasn’t as much of a surprise as was the return of the Niners star wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Over six months ago, Crabtree was sidelined when he tore his Achilles and had the Niner nation in a scare. There were talks of how he wouldn’t be able to come back this year and that the Niners will need to find another standout receiver to give them a chance to get back to the Superbowl. With two loses on the year against teams with great secondaries (Saints, Seattle) and surprise loses to the Colts and the Panthers – Niner fans were wondering how it might be if they had a healthy Crabtree on the field.

In his season debut yesterday he had two catches for 68 yards including a character defining 60 yard dash that had him battling off Rams defenders and streaking down the sideline. The play sparked the offense and instantly opened up the offense. Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin ended up with a combined 180 yards receiving and one touchdown.

The Niners are currently ranked second to last in passing offense and average a little over 180 yards per game in the air. The only team below them is the lowly New York Jets who are having a whirlwind of a year trying to figure out if they have the right quarterback or not. Also no other receiver on the Niners has caught a touch down this year other than Boldin and Davis.

With Kaepernick  having his number one receiver back, a formidable receiver in Boldin and the always dependable Davis – there will now be three targets that are on the field that are legitimate big play makers. This will open the field much more for some screen plays, delays and even just the running game in general which Frank Gore has been championing with over 800 yards rushing and 8 TDS.

Crabtree has to stay healthy and active and the Niners offense can come alive and give them the push into the Superbowl again.