Up next: San Francisco 49ers

Matt Hasselbeck

A look at the Seahawks’ opponent in Week 2:

When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m., Candlestick Park

Record: 1-0 after beating the Cardinals in Arizona 20-16 on Sunday

Where they rank: No. 29 on offense (32nd rushing, 22nd passing); No. 15 on defense (6th rushing, 22nd passing)

Series: Seahawks lead 11-9, and have won five of the past six games played in San Francisco.

Star power: Patrick Willis. The 49ers’ Pro Bowl inside linebacker just makes plays. And tackles. Lots of tackles. In Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, Willis had 13 tackles, an interception and another pass defensed. Last year, he had 185 tackles – including eight in each game against the Seahawks, and an 86-yard interception return for a touchdown in the 49ers’ overtime win at Qwest Field.

Unsung hero: Isaac Bruce. The 16-year veteran will turn 37 on Nov. 10. But he has managed to stay a step – or two – ahead of Father Time. Sunday, he hooked up with QB Shaun Hill on a 50-yard pass play that setup the first of two touchdowns by Frank Gore, and three of his four receptions came on third downs. Last season, his first with the 49ers after playing 13 with the St. Louis Rams, Bruce had four catches for 153 yards against the Seahawks at Qwest Field – including a 63-yarder.

On the spot: The offensive line. The 49ers have allowed 110 sacks the past two seasons – 55 last year and 55 in 2007. Not the kind of balance coach Mike Singletary is looking for this season. But Hill went down four times on Sunday, a pace that will produce a 64-sack season. The running game averaged 0.8 yards per carry against the Cardinals. As Singletary put it on Monday, “Our offensive line, for a number of reasons, did not play great.”

Burning question: Which Gore will the Seahawks see on Sunday? After he Gore-d them for 212- and 144-yard rushing performances in 2006, the Seahawks have “limited” Gore to an average of 76.5 rushing yards in four matchups the past two seasons. But then Gore was able to do a lot (he had a rushing TD and receiving TD in the same game for the first time in his career) with a little against the Cardinals (48 yards combined rushing and receiving).

Familiar faces: Starting free safety Dashon Goldson played at the University of Washington, while backup wide receiver Jason Hill played at Washington State. Quality control coach Shane Day coached at Auburn’s Riverside High School, while special assistant to the head coach Bill Nayes was on the Seahawks staff from 1999-2006.

The last word: “I couldn’t care less whether it was an ugly game. It was beautiful for us.” – Singletary, after Sunday’s win over the defending NFC champion Cardinals


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