If you have followed 49ersHUB for any amount of time, you may have seen the theme to “Growing Pains” used not just as an off-hand joke, but also as an internal rallying cry towards the team. GM John Lynch crafted #BrickByBrick, we have the "Growing Pains" theme. Watching the Week 2 game against Seattle, a different ABC Family TV show came to mind: The Patrick Duffy/Suzanne Somers-led “Step By Step”. If you haven’t seen it it is basically the same show as "Growing Pains", minus Kirk Cameron. Now why does this come to mind after the game against Seattle? Here’s why:
The San Francisco 49ers lost a Week 2 defensive struggle against a fellow NFC West team. The 2 teams locked together for multiple field goals and both teams had great defensive showings, wreaking havoc on the opposing offensive line and quarterback.
This may sound like a general overview of the Week 2 loss to Seattle, but it’s actually an overview of the San Francisco vs. Carolina game from November 10, 2013, in which Carolina won 10-9. That game was considered a letdown at the time. One that was more the 49ers losing the game rather than the Panthers winning it.
There will be a lot of people that will look at this team and think it’s insane to compare them to the 2013 team, but there are more similarities than differences.
That team was still coming into their own with Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. The defense was the strength of the team, with an incredible defensive line and pair of linebackers that helped make some average defensive backs look like shut down corners. The offense was working out some issues, relying heavily on a run game anchored by one of the best backs in the league, and working to try and establish a passing offense that would balance out the run game.
By all accounts, the defense is looking to be getting close to where they were in 2013. Four first-round picks in the front seven of the defense and 6 total when you include the secondary and there shouldn’t be any question they will be good. Injuries to S Jimmie Ward and LB Reuben Foster are hampering the progress, but little by little (Step by Step), they will return. Once they return and after they become more comfortable with the new defensive playbook, they should have no problem expanding on their top-10 showing in Week 2.
So where does this leave the offense? More will be written about the lack of touchdowns within the first two weeks of the season, but the offense had much more roster turnover than the defense had after HC Kyle Shanahan and Lynch came in this offseason. It will ttake longer for them to come in their own. QB Brian Hoyer will become more comfortable now that OL Laken Tomlinson has assumed a starting role. Marquise Goodwin will solve his drop problem, and if he doesn’t it will open up opportunities for WRs Victor Bolden Jr. and Kendrick Bourne. RBs Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida will build chemistry and, along with OW Kyle Juszczyk will help make this backfield one that teams will have trouble game-planning against. Once that happens, wins will come.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. It wasn’t even built in a year. It was built, though. Step by Step, and Brick By Brick.
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