This week’s Thursday Night Football match up between the 49ers and Seahawks had a little bit of everything: a great performance by Frank Gore, two miserable performances by Alex Smith and Russell Wilson, a great defensive battle and a weird and out of the blue decision that cost gamblers all over the world a lot of money. Let’s grade a few performances from last night’s game.
Frank Gore: A+
Gore had a monster game against the hard nose Seahawk defense. He rushed for 131 yards on 16 carries, had two break away runs (one for 37 yards) and added another 51 yards receiving. When Gore can have games like that, the 49ers are awfully tough to beat.
Both the 49ers and Seahawks defenses played great. Fans might not enjoy a 13-6 grind-out-fight-for-every-inch defensive battle, but those ugly games are a thing of beauty. The NFL axis of power is slowly being tilted away from the flashy offenses teams and back to the hard nose defensive teams that play tough football.
Alex Smith/Russell Wilson: D
Both these Quarterbacks are in a similar position. Both play for teams with an upper echelon defense, both have a super star running back to carry the offensive load, and both are expected to be merely game mangers. Wilson could only manage to complete a couple of passes in the second half, and Smith threw a red zone interception that could have come back to cost the team a victory. If either of these guys can figure out how be a consistently good quarterback the rest of the NFL would be in a lot of trouble.
Jim Harbaugh: F
During last few minutes of Thursday’s game Jim Harbaugh managed to pull off one of the biggest gambling bad beats of all-time and singled handedly crushed gamblers all over the United States. The 49ers were either a 7 or 7.5 point favorite across various sports books heading into the game versus Seattle. During the final play before the 49ers ran out the clock, Seattle (trailing by 7) was called for a penalty in their own end zone, which resulted in a safety and two points for the 49ers. That is until Harbaugh decided to decline the penalty and take the points off the board, and turn a nine point lead into a seven point lead. So gamblers, who had thought they had just won the game, either lost it completely or pushed.
Leave it to Harbaugh and his ridiculously outlandish decision to help remind gamblers everywhere that they probably shouldn’t have been gambling in the first place.