Peephole perspective: An early 49ers’ field goal. A first-play-of-the-season interception thrown by Matt Hasselbeck. 49ers 3-0.
Player of the quarter: 49ers QB Alex Smith was 9 of 10 for 81 yards.
Play of the quarter: On the first play of the game, 49ers CB Nate Clements intercepted Hasselbeck’s pass that was intended for TE John Carlson to set up the quarter’s only score.
Stat of the quarter: 7.3. That’s the 49ers averaged on their first down plays on the drive that closed the quarter and spilled into the second quarter.
The bigger picture: The Seahawks won the coin toss, when 49ers MLB Patrick Willis called tails, but it was heads. The “momentum” didn’t last long, as Leon Washington couldn’t handle the kickoff into the end zone and Hasselbeck’s first-down pass was intercepted by Clements and returned 7 yards to the Seahawks’ 29.
The Seahawks had opened in a two-tight end set, with Carlson and Chris Baker on the right side.
The 49er needed five plays to score, on Smith’s 8-yard pass to a wide-open Josh Morgan in the right side of the end zone. The Seahawks challenged the ruling, however, and a review showed that Morgan’s elbow came down out of bounds. So rather than a TD, the play was an incomplete pass. The review was huge, as Frank Gore gained 2 yards on second down and CB Kelly Jennings dropped Gore for a 1-yard gain on the third down pass. Joe Nedney kicked a 23-yard field goal with 10:16 to play, capping the eight-play, 24-yard drive.
Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 41 yards to the Seahawks’ 47. But the Seahawks went three-and-out.
The 49ers were driving as the quarter ended, having moved from their own 10 to the Seahawks’ 15. The big play was a 23-yard gain on a screen pass from Smith to – who else? – Gore.