The Week 1 win against the Packers masked issues on the 49ers, but the Seahawks just tore off the mask. What do we see?
The offense is worse than it was last season. Let's start there.
They're missing key players: Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Delanie Walker and Frank Gore. Yes, Gore is missing. More on him later.
Crabtree and Manningham may or may not come back. They're recovering from serious injuries and we don't know if they can be effective this season.
Delanie Walker, a key receiver and blocker the past two seasons, is not coming back. He's a Titan. The 49ers replaced him with a rookie, second-round pick Vance McDonald who is not a good blocker yet and has caught just two passes in two games.
And then there is Gore. He may never come back even though he's still a 49er.
His legs are gone. They no longer have the snap or explosion or whatever you want to call the thing a running back's legs need.
Maybe he's still tired from the playoffs. As you get older, it takes longer for your legs to come back. Maybe he's trying to compensate in the weight room by doing more explosive exercises and only further fatiguing himself and ending up with dead legs. Whatever it may be, he doesn't seem to be able to explode through tight holes or bounce runs outside this season.
He averaged 2.6 yards after contact per carry the past two seasons according to Pro Football Focus. He's averaging just 1.5 yards after contact per carry through two games this season. He may or may not be able to get his legs going periodically, but definitely not consistently.
To get the running game going, Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman need to get clever. The pistol isn't working. Gore keeps getting hit in the backfield. Runs from the pistol don't hit the line of scrimmage as quickly as runs from under center.
In 2011 and 2012, the 49ers' offensive line dominated defenses on trap plays and power off-tackle runs. Old-school plays. The 49ers hardly have run any of those plays this season. That needs to change right now.
And the 49ers need more production from their passing game, too. That may be difficult.
They have just two proven receiving threats – Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis – and Davis pulled his hamstring against the Seahawks. If the 49ers have to play the Colts game without him – and they may, hamstring pulls typically take a few weeks to rehab – the offense could be bad.
The Colts' defense could load up against the run, double-cover Boldin and force Colin Kaepernick to throw to Kyle Williams or Vance McDonald or Quinton Patton or any of the other 49ers' receivers NFL defenses aren't scared of. That's a no-brainer game plan most NFL defenses can execute.
Then there's the 49ers' defense. It has issues of its own, particularly stopping the run without a nose tackle on the field.
The 49ers use their Nickel defense when the opposing offense puts three receivers on the field. Out of necessity the 49ers spread out their defense leaving big holes for the running back. On those plays, the 49ers' have a front six, not a front seven, and their front six gets gashed in the running game.