Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare has five touchbacks to share the NFL lead, while punter Jon Ryan leads the league in net average (44.3) and is third in gross average (52.6).
Defensive end Lawrence Jackson leads the NFC and is tied for third in the league with three sacks.
Through Sunday’s games, the Seahawks rank 12th in the league in total offense (12th rushing, 11th passing) and are 14th in total defense (27th rushing, 2nd passing).
Eight of Justin Forsett’s 14 touches on offense (eight carries, six receptions) have resulted in first downs (five rushing, three receiving).
With eight tackles against the 49ers, free safety Jordan Babineaux leads the team with 13. Rookie linebacker Aaron Curry is second with eight.
The Seahawks lost their Week 2 game for the third consecutive season and the sixth time in the past 10 years. The four Week 2 wins came in four consecutive seasons (2003-06).
A look back at the week that was and the week that will be for the Seahawks:
Anatomy of a 23-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers
Matt Hasselbeck’s tender ribs: The word this morning remained more positive than the situation looked after the team’s QB struggled to get off the field at Candlestick Park following his collision near the goal line with 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.
Hasselbeck will get additional tests, but the X-rays taken Sunday were negative that led to an initial prognosis of bruised ribs. Coach Jim Mora will provide an update during his news conference this afternoon.
Adding to the frustration of the injury was how well Hasselbeck ran the two-minute offense on the same drive where he was injured. Hasselbeck moved the team from its own 30-yard line to the 49ers’ 4 by hitting passes over the middle (7 yards to running back Justin Forsett), to the left (6 yards to wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and 15 yards to rookie Deon Butler) and to the right (13 yards to wide receiver Nate Burleson). Read more »
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Frank Gore. It could have been a different game if the 49ers running back had not needed only two plays to compile 159 yards and two touchdowns. Gore ran 79 yards for the score that put the 49ers up 10-0 in the first quarter and then 80 yards for another TD on the first play of the third quarter.
Gore is the first player since Barry Sanders on Oct. 12, 1997, to have two rushing touchdowns of 75-plus yards in the same game.
He finished with 207 rushing yards before leaving in the fourth quarter with a sore ankle – 5 yards shy of his career-best effort against the Seahawks at Candlestick Park in 2006. That same season, he also went for 144 yards against the Seahawks at Qwest Field. But in the past two seasons, the Seahawks had limited Gore to an average of 76.5 yards in four games.
Not on this Sunday. At least not on those two runs. On his other 14 carries, Gore averaged 3.4 yards.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Gore’s second TD run. It was longer (by a yard), took less time (by a second) and dashed any hopes the Seahawks were harboring of rallying because it put the 49ers up 20-10.
Defense: Seneca Wallace completed six passes in a row in the fourth quarter to move the Seahawks to the 49ers’ 16-yard line. But on fourth down, cornerback Nate Clements broke up his pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the end zone.
Special teams: Coach Jim Mora had said that he would use Nate Burleson on punt returns if the team found itself needing a big play, despite Burleson being the starting split end and coming off major knee surgery. The Seahawks needed just that in the third quarter, and Burleson delivered with a 19-yard return to the Seattle 47-yard line. But the effort was wasted when Wallace’s pass was intercepted by former University of Washington safety Deshon Goldson.
Who was that dapper guy chatting up Houshmandzadeh during pre-game warm-ups? Jerry Rice, the NFL’s all-time leading receiver who also played for the Seahawks in 2004. Rice was one of several 49er greats on hand because former owner Eddie DeBartolo was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony.
After his 3-yard scramble ended in a collision with 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, QB Matt Hasselbeck headed for the Seahawks’ sideline. But he never made it, at least not on his own power. Hasselbeck started to fall, but was held up by members of the team’s medical staff. He was taken to a local hospital for X-rays (which proved negative) and also a CT scan, which revealed that he has a bruised rib. It looked worse. Much worse.
Hasselbeck met the team at the airport for the trip back to Seattle.
Coach Jim Mora was surprisingly upbeat during his post-game session with reporters. Disappointed, obviously. Even a bit perturbed. But then Mora is not just a glass-half-full guy, he’s a glass-overflowing type.
“What I’m impressed with is the resolve of our football team,” he said. “When I looked in their eyes, in the locker room, I saw disappointment. I didn’t see dejection. I saw resolve, a firmness. And I like that.”
Mora later offered, “We’re going to be OK. We’re going to be OK. Have I convinced you?”
In addition to Hasselbeck, left tackle Sean Locklear (sprained ankle) and cornerback Josh Wilson (sprained ankle) also left the game and did not return. Brandon Frye, who was signed after the final roster cut, stepped in for Locklear, while Kelly Jennings took over for Wilson.
Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu started, but lasted only two series before giving way to David Hawthorne. Tatupu strained a hamstring in the season opener and felt he might risk additional damage if he continued to play.
Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane did not play after straining a calf in practice on Wednesday. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Craig Terrill.
YOU DON’T SAY
“He’s got some jets.” – Defensive tackle Patrick Kerney, when someone expressed surprise over how fast Gore was on his two long runs
The quarter started with a continuation of a 49ers’ trudge, rather than a drive, as the Seahawks simply could not get off the field on third down.
On third-and-5 from the 49ers’ 19, Shaun Hill passed 5 yards to wide receiver Isaac Bruce. On third-and-13 from the 20, it was Hill to Bruce for 14 yards. On third-and-12 from the Seahawks’ 47, it appeared the Seahawks had stopped Frank Gore for an 11-yard gain on a pass from Hill, but cornerback Ken Lucas got his hand in Gore’s facemask and the 15-yard penalty gave the 49ers a first down at the Seattle 21.
The Seahawks finally held on a third down, as Hill’s pass was incomplete in the end zone. But Joe Nedney kicked a 39-yard field goal to run the 49ers’ lead to 23-10 with 6:53 to play. Hill was 9 of 11 on the 16-play, 67-yard possession that consumed almost 9½ minutes.
A sprained ankle finally ended Gore’s gallop toward his own record, but not until he had run for 207 yards on 16 carries. He also caught five passes for 39 yards.
The Seahawks were down on the scoreboard and down to their backups at QB, left tackle, defensive tackle, middle linebacker and left cornerback, but they refused to call it a game. Wallace drove them from their own 30 to the 49ers’ 13 – thanks to his 22-yard pass to Houshmandzadeh on 4th-and-13 – but the last-gasp rally fizzled when his fourth-down pass to Houshmandzadeh in the end zone was broken up.
The second half began with news that Matt Hasselbeck’s return was doubtful after he sustained a rib injury on the Seahawks’ next-to-last play of the first half. Things only got worse as Frank Gore ran 80 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the half.
Gore darted up the gut of the Seahawks’ defense again, but his 80-yard dash took 11 seconds – compared to the 12 seconds it took him to run 79 yards for a score in the first quarter.
Gore’s second long run gave him 206 yards for the day – 6 shy of his career-best effort against the Seahawks at Candlestick in 2006. But in that game, Gore did not score.
The Seahawks also lost another player in the quarter, as cornerback Josh Wilson went out with an ankle injury. That left Kelly Jennings to fill-in and moved safety Lawyer Milloy into the nickel defense.
The Seahawks put together a 10-play, 52-yard drive to open the second quarter that ended with a 36-yard field goal by Olindo Mare. Hasselbeck was 4 of 5 for 46 yards, including a 17-yarder to tight end John Carlson and a 21-yarder to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Julius Jones also had a 2-yard run on third-and-1 to keep the drive alive.
But the drive cost the Seahawks left tackle Sean Locklear, who twisted his right ankle on the seventh play. He was ruled out for the rest of the game and replaced by Brandon Frye, who was signed after the final roster cut.
The 49ers scored again, with 2:57 to play. But it had more to do with Andy Lee’s 41-yard punt that was downed – after taking one hop – at the Seattle 4-yard line than Nedney’s 42-yard field goal. Pinned near their own goal line, the Seahawks could muster only 3 yards. A 36-yard punt by Jon Ryan gave the 49ers the ball at the Seattle 43 and a 15-yard run by fullback Moran Norris gave Nedney the yardage needed to push the 49ers lead to 13-3.
The Seahawks weren’t done, however, as Hasselbeck shoved the two-minute offense into high gear. First, he scramble for 7 yards on third-and-6. Then, he passed for 7 yards over the middle to running back Justin Forsett, 6 yards to Houshmandzadeh on the left side, 13 yards to Nate Burleson to the right side and 15 yards to rookie wide receiver Deon Butler to the left side. Forsett then powered his way to the 4 for a 14-yard gain. But on second down, Hasselbeck scrambled to the 1, only to be slammed into by 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.
A woozy Hasselbeck started to the sideline, but almost fell over. He was replaced by Seneca Wallace, who threw a 1-yard pass to running back Julius Jones to cap the 11-play, 70-yard drive.
The TD came from a trips-right formation, as all three receivers went to their left, leaving Jones alone in the right flat.
Hasselbeck sustained a rib injury and his return is doubtful.
The Seahawks wanted to get the ball and also get on the board first. They got it half right. The Seahawks did win the coin flip, but then went three-and-out as Matt Hasselbeck’s second-down pass went off the hands of tight end John Owens and the Seahawks QB was then sacked by Ray McDonald.
It was the 49ers who scored first, as they drove 55 yards in 13 plays to a 37-yard field goal by Joe Nedney. The eight-minute possession reached the Seahawks’ 13-yard line (twice), but linebacker Aaron Curry dropped Frank Gore for a 2-yard loss on first down and defensive end Patrick Kerney sacked Shaun Hill for a 6-yard loss on third down.
The 49ers pushed their lead to 10-0 the next time they touched the ball, but this time they struck quickly. Gore took the handoff, got through a crease between center Eric Heitmann and right guard Chilo Rachal and was gone for a career-long 79-yard TD run that took only 12 seconds. Safety Jordan Babineaux and cornerback Ken Lucas chased Gore to the end zone, but could not catch him.
The quick strike came with middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu on the sideline, as he aggravated the hamstring injury he got in the season opener.
The 49ers also scored the next time they touched the ball, as Allen Rossum broke a 75-yard punt return for a TD. But Glenn Coffee was flagged for an illegal block on Will Herring, a penalty that resulted in only a 3-yard return for Rossum.
Former Washington State WR Jason Hill is among the 49ers’ inactive players.
CB Marcus Hudson
S Curtis Taylor
LB Ahmad Brooks
C Cody Wallace
WR Brandon Jones
DT Ricky Jean Francois
3rd QB: Nate Davis
Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu will play – and start against the 49ers. But defensive tackle Brandon Mebane is among the Seahawks inactive players. Craig Terrill will start for Mebane at the three-technique spot.
CB Travis Fisher
LB Leroy Hill
C Chris Spencer
OT Walter Jones
WR Deion Branch
DT Michael Bennett
3rd QB: Mike Teel
Greeting from Candlestick Park, where some of the Seahawks already are on the field stretching and warming up for today’s game against the 49ers.
It’s a beautiful day by the Bay for what should be a physical game between two former finesse teams that have taken on the personalities of their defensive-minded coaches – Jim Mora for the Seahawks and Mike Singletary for the 49ers.
The winner of this Week 2 game will take sole possession of first place in the NFC West, but it’s also important for other reasons.
Mora looked at last week’s shutout victory over the Rams at Qwest Field as a validation for everything he has been teaching – and preaching – since taking over for Mike Holmgren in January. Singletary, who stepped in last season after Mike Nolan was fired, wants to win this home opener for the same reasons.
Whether middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane play remains to be seen. Tatupu strained a hamstring against the Rams, while Mebane strained a calf in practice on Wednesday. If they can’t go, David Hawthorne and Craig Terrill will start.