Know Your Enemy: Scouting The 49ers


Lets face it, we know the 49ers. There isn’t much to scout for this team.

We know all about their front 7. Justin Smith is still the best in the league at his position. Aldon Smith is still an elite pass rusher. Navarow Bowman and Patrick Willis are still 2 of the best 3-4 ILBs you’ll find.

We know all about that offensive line, which is still the best in the NFL. We’re also fully aware of Frank Gore’s power style, and Vernon Davis’s ability to outrun 95% of LBs in the league.

We also know full well about their weaknesses at WR that’s led them to rely on an ancient already-lost-two-and-a-half-steps Randy Moss. Just like we are quite familiar with their average CBs overrated safeties who look better than they are because of the quality pass rush the front 7 creates.

Yes, we already know about the 49ers.

We know all about their run first offense, how they protect the football, and how they play offense knowing they don’t need to score 30 to win. We’re also aware that their defense is good enough for them to win even if their offense can’t get to 20.

We’ve seen all this before. Everything, except their new QB.

Dec 16, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) looks to pass the ball against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the New England Patriots 41-34. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Kaepernick is now under center, in place of Alex Smith. If you’re a 49er fan, thats a good thing, and thus it’s a bad thing for us Seahawks fans. Alex Smith is simply mediocre, there’s no other way to put it. His biggest asset, and the only reason the 49ers won with him, was that he avoided turnovers. He lacked the ability to make the big throws. Kaepernick on the other handhas a much bigger arm than Smith, and it really shows up on the tape. He regularly makes throws that Smith simply can’t make.

One thing that both QBs do well is run. Smith has been one of the better runner at his position for years, but he wasn’t that dynamic player in the ground game the way many of the QB who’ve entered the league in the last 2 season have been. Kaepernick is. He doesn’t have the escapability that Wilson does, but he’s got the straight line speed that is usually reserved for wide receivers.

The one drawback to the QB change is that Kaepernick is still going through the growing pains that all first year starters go through. He makes mistakes. He doesn’t see open receivers. He… plays a lot like Russell Wilson did 6-8 weeks ago. We he’s on he can be very good, and when he’s off he can be frustrating to watch.

In my opinion, Harbaugh made the right choice at QB. I just wish he’d waited to make it until after this week. Kaepernick makes the 49ers better, and for a Seahawk fan, that’s not a good thing.