SAN FRANCISCO – As Seneca Wallace connected with Julius Jones for a touchdown in the second quarter, Matt Hasselbeck was being examined after suffering an injury one play earlier.
It was just that kind of day for the Seahawks.
Even when things went right for the Seahawks on Sunday – and little did – there were plenty of negatives to overshadow whatever good did happen in their 23-10 loss to San Francisco at Candlestick Park.
Jones goes untouched for a touchdown to cut into the 49ers lead? Hard for the Seahawks to enjoy it when moments earlier their starting quarterback spent more than two minutes on the ground. Olindo Mare kicks a field goal to get the Seahawks on the scoreboard? All fine and dandy. Well, except for the fact that left tackle Sean Locklear was carted off to the locker room moments after the ball split the up rights having left the game with an ankle injury a few plays earlier.
Hasselbeck suffered a rib injury when he was hit in the back by linebacker Patrick Willis while diving toward the goal line on a scramble. After he walked to the sideline, Hasselbeck’s legs buckled as he was met by trainers.
Still, coming out of the locker room for the second half, the Seahawks felt they had a bit of momentum on their side having scored that touchdown late in the second quarter to make it a three-point game.
Then Frank Gore happened. Again.
Gore, who scored on a 79-yard run in the first quarter, popped an 80 yarder on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, extending the lead to 10 points and taking the wind out of the Seahawks’ sails.
“The back breaker for us was, you come out on the first play of the second half and then Frank Gore takes it 80,” Seahawks coach Jim Mora said. “We felt like we were back in it, we had some momentum and we were fired up and we were focused, then pop, 80 yards. Boy, that sucks the air out of you.”
Gore finished with 207 yards on 16 carries for his second 200-yard game against the Seahawks.
The 49ers got three points out of their first drive, then needed only one play – Gore’s 79-yard run – to make it 10-0 on their next possession.
The Seahawks got back into the game with 10 second-quarter points, but never recovered from Gore’s second long touchdown run.
“It really came down to two plays,” said Seahawks defensive end Patrick Kerney. “Two plays they executed and we didn’t. It just goes to show how in tune you have to be every single snap you’re out there.”
In addition to those to plays, the game also came down to injuries. The Seahawks started the game without several key players, then lost Locklear to an ankle injury, Hasselbeck to a rib injury, linebacker Lofa Tatupu to a hamstring injury, and cornerback Josh Wilson to an ankle injury. Including cornerback Marcus Trufant, who is on the physically unable to perform list, and guard Mike Wahle, who was forced into retirement before training camp by a shoulder injury before, the Seahawks were without 11 potential starters by the end of Sunday’s game.
With Hasselbeck out, the Seahawks offense never scored again, and the 49ers put the game on ice with a 16-play, 67-yard drive that ended in a field goal to make it 23-10.
49ers 23, Seahawks 10
SF—FG Nedney 37
SF—Gore 79 run (Nedney kick)
Sea—FG Mare 36
SF—FG Nedney 42
Sea—J.Jones 1 pass from S.Wallace (Mare kick)
SF—Gore 80 run (Nedney kick)
SF—FG Nedney 39
|Total Net Yards||283||379|
|Time of Possession||25:29||34:31|
RUSHING—Seattle, Forsett 5-35, Hasselbeck 3-12, J.Jones 8-11, James 2-6, S.Wallace 4-1, Griffith 1-1. San Francisco, Gore 16-207, S.Hill 1-17, Norris 2-16, Coffee 9-13, Spurlock 1-3.
PASSING—Seattle, S.Wallace 15-23-1-127, Hasselbeck 10-18-0-97. San Francisco, S.Hill 19-26-0-144, Spurlock 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—Seattle, Forsett 6-57, Carlson 6-46, Houshmandzadeh 4-62, Burleson 4-46, J.Jones 3-(minus 2), Butler 1-15, Griffith 1-0. San Francisco, Gore 5-39, Bruce 4-35, Norris 3-17, V.Davis 2-32, Coffee 2-16, Robinson 2-4, Battle 1-1.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.