NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell watches as much NFL game film as anyone. Throughout the season, Cosell will join Shutdown Corner to share his observations on the teams, schemes and personnel from around the league.
In Cosell's first post each week, he will feature a few of the games from the previous week and break down the coaching decisions and players who stood out.
Seahawks 29, 49ers 3
• Overall this was a poor performance by 49ers offense both tactically and physically. The Seahawks are not that multiple schematically; against San Francisco they predominantly just lined up and played.
• The 49ers do not ask quarterback Colin Kaepernick to do a lot of progression reading. They scheme his success. Against the Seahawks, the 49ers struggled to scheme open receivers. Shifts, motion, bunch and stack formations were not a part of the 49ers' approach, as they were against the Packers.
Kaepernick played fast without a lot of poise. He was uncertain and tentative in the pocket. Kaepernick stayed too long on primary reads and left plays on the field, including a touchdown on third and goal at the 3-yard line in the third quarter, when he showed a lack of patience and vision. On Earl Thomas' red zone interception, it was an inaccurate throw by Kaepernick, He had Vernon Davis wide open and threw it too far outside.
• The Seahawks' secondary was better than the 49ers' receivers. Normally Seattle's Richard Sherman stays at left cornerback, but he followed Anquan Boldin much of the game, including in the slot. Boldin cannot separate against quality man coverage. He needs help to get open, from formation and play design. Boldin gets exposed when you line him up outside the numbers against quality corners. This was a game in which the 49ers' loss of receiver Michael Crabtree was a factor.
• The 49ers' offensive line got handled in run game for the second consecutive week, which is a concern. This was as poor a game as I’ve seen left guard Mike Iupati play. Right tackle Anthony Davis also had a bad game, especially in pass protection.
• In the first half, Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch's success running the ball came out of three-receiver sets versus San Francisco's nickel defense. From "11" formations (one back, one tight end) he had eight carries for 71 yards. Lynch was a sustaining factor in run game; quarterback Russell Wilson made a few throws but the Seahawks offense did not dominate the 49ers defense. Wilson was again tentative in the first quarter, and had an inaccurate throw to tight end Zach Miller on what would have been a touchdown in the second quarter.
Chiefs 17, Cowboys 16
• The Chiefs defense looked very disciplined and very well coached. The Chiefs defense controlled the Cowboys offense both physically and tactically. Kansas City's defense looked fast and active, with multiple looks and pressure concepts. Kansas City had a lot of blitzes, 28 of them (44 percent of Cowboys' snaps) including 13 on first down. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was 15-of-22 for 118 yards against the blitz, only 5.4 yards per attempt.
• Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was not a factor in the pass game, with safety Eric Berry matched up man-to-man against Witten on significant snaps.
• Dallas' DeMarco Murray is a straight line downhill runner, with stiff hips with limited lateral agility and quickness.
• Kansas City's offensive line, especially their tackles, struggled with DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer and George Selvie. Chiefs rookie right tackle Eric Fisher had some struggles in pass protection, with anchor and balance issues.
• Kansas City showed a very limited pass game, with very few intermediate and downfield throws. Quarterback Alex Smith knows where to throw it, he is just limited with velocity.
Chargers 33, Eagles 30
• Chargers predominantly played nickel defense with five defensive backs, and some snaps of dime. They mostly played single high safety coverages, and were aggressive with blitzes on the Eagles' final drive, especially in the red zone.
• Overall Eagles quarterback Michael Vick threw the ball very well from the pocket, as consistently well as I’ve seen him for four quarters. He looked very comfortable in the pocket and the ball came out with velocity.
• Rookie first-round pick Lane Johnson, Philadelphia's right tackle, struggled with the pass rush of Chargers outside linebacker Dwight Freeney. There were times Freeney made Johnson look unathletic. Freeney looks rejuvenated as a pass rusher, showing quickness and power.