SAN FRANCISCO – A recap of the Seahawks’ 13-6 loss to the 49ers at Candlestick Park on Thursday night:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Frank Gore. What is it about the Seahawks that seems to bring out the best in this guy? He has had two 200-plus yard rushing performances against them in the past, and already had run for more yards against the Seahawks (1,079 in 12 games) than any other team.
Thursday night, Gore ran for 131 yards on just 16 carries – for an 8.2-yard average.
“They did a great job,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “They schemed beautifully and Frank ran great. But we need to do better.”
Gore, meanwhile, was at his best when the 49ers most needed him. On the only touchdown drive of the game – a 10-play, 86-yarder in the third quarter – he touched the ball six times for 50 yards. On a fourth quarter field-goal drive – a seven-play, 39-yarder – he touched the ball twice for 30 yards. On the drive to the 49ers’ first field goal – an 11-play, 60-yarder in the first quarter – he touched the ball three times for 31 yards.
Oh, and he also caught a team-high five passes for another 51 yards.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: The game’s only TD, as 49ers QB Alex Smith went to Delanie Walker on the left side at the Seattle 8-yard line and the tight end made a lunge to get into the end zone for a 12-yard score.
Defense: Where to start in a game dominated by the defenses? Let’s go with the open-field tackle that Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas made on Gore on the second play of the fourth quarter. Gore already had rambled for 37 yards to the Seahawks’ 8-yard line. Without Thomas’ saving stop, Gore likely would have scored. Instead, cornerback Brandon Browner intercepted a Smith pass in the end zone three plays later.
Special teams: Steven Hauschka’s first field goal. It was a 52-yarder to cap a 10-play, 62-yard drive on the Seahawks’ first possession of the game, and gave them a 3-0 lead.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith got a concussion while making the tackle on the opening kickoff of the game and did not return. He was replaced on the kickoff coverage unit by rookie defensive lineman Greg Scruggs.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin sprained an ankle while going up to make a catch in the second quarter. He did not return, either.
Seahawks linebackers K.J. Wright (nine), Leroy Hill (nine) and Bobby Wagner (eight) combined to make 26 tackles.
The 49ers have allowed three 100-yard rushing efforts since 2009 and Marshawn Lynch has two of them – 103 yards on Thursday night and 107 yards in the Week 16 game at CenturyLink Field last season.
After gaining 105 yards on their first two possessions that ended in field goals, the Seahawks generated 146 yards on their remaining eight possessions.
The Seahawks defense forced four three-and-outs, tying their second-highest total of the season. They had five against the Panthers in Carolina. They also had four against the Cardinals and the Rams – and lost those games, too.
The Seahawks are now 1-3 on the road, with all three loses coming against the other three teams in the NFC West.
Ben Obomanu led the Seahawks with three receptions for 50 yards. The Seahawks have had six different leading receivers in seven games.
YOU DON’T SAY
“On this night, it was a very tight football game and both teams played like crazy and beat the heck out of one another. That’s kind of what this division is, what it’s become.” – Carroll