Week 11 Game Recap: Seattle Seahawks 27, San Francisco 49ers 25
What you need to know
RB Shaun Alexander continues to punish opposing defenses putting up his seventh 100 yard game of the season with two more touchdowns. Through the first half Alexander was averaging 5.0 yards per carry without ripping off any of the long runs we’ve seen early in the season. He was producing very consistently. However, late in the game the Seattle offense ground to a halt and allowed the 49ers a chance to climb back into the game.
WR Bobby Engram was clearly the number one option for the second week in a row in the Seattle passing game (ten targets). Joe Jurevicius and DJ Hackett (both seven targets) each played integral roles as well, but it was Engram that was targeted on most of the intermediate seam routes posting much better numbers. Hackett scored his second touchdown in as many weeks, and was also targeted deep as he was last week as well. Hackett may be developing into the deep threat that’s been missing from the Seattle offense without WR Darrell Jackson available.
The Seattle offense finished the game with four consecutive three and outs allowing the 49ers a chance to crawl back into the game. They only ran nine total plays in the fourth quarter. The playing not to lose feeling was running rampant through their sideline. Their defense was also lifeless and looked relieved to get off the field at the end of the game surviving the final two point attempt. The Seahawks should gladly admit they escaped with a win.
WR Brandon Lloyd was spectacular through most of the game. He made two amazing one handed athletic grabs. The 49ers appeared committed to getting him the ball deep and he abused CB Marcus Trufant in one on one coverage.
RB Kevan Barlow was replaced by backup Maurice Hicks during the third quarter. This was only because RB Frank Gore suffered a groin injury during pre-game warm-ups. Hicks looked quick and accelerated well out of his cuts giving the 49ers offense a much-needed boost out of the running game.
QB Ken Dorsey gave the San Francisco passing game a giant lift, but also missed several opportunities in the game to make plays when he had the chance. He injured his ankle late in the game, but stayed under center. It’s unclear if the injury affected his ability to plant and throw, but he was short on several passes including the final two point attempt at the end of the game.
Defensive lineman Bryant Young left the game after injuring his right knee and ankle. The 12 year veteran showed plenty of pained emotion as he was helped to the locker room just before half time. He did not return to the game in the second half, but was seen on the sideline. Young has been the franchise leader and cornerstone for several years and is the last semblance of their glory years. If he misses significant time, or cannot return, he will be sorely missed.
What you ought to know
Hasselbeck was sharp and efficient for most of the game, but didn’t get a lot of help from some of his receivers. He put several balls on target during the game that receivers could have made a play on, but no one was able to make the big play that would have put the game out of reach. However, Hasselbeck also had a couple of passes that could have been picked off after being deflected up in the air. His touchdown pass to WR D.J. Hackett was a nicely thrown tight spiral and right on target. He nearly had a second touchdown pass to WR Joe Jurevicius in the second half, but instant replay put him down on the one yard line after the play was originally ruled a touchdown. Hasselbeck showed more of a tendency to leave the pocket and scramble today. He had plenty of time to survey the field, but did run for positive yards three times without sliding. At the end of the first run on the first Seattle drive Hasselbeck fumbled and turned the ball over, but instant replay overturned the play and led to the first Josh Brown field goal. During the fourth quarter Hasselbeck had WR D.J. Hackett open deep behind the defense, but threw the pass terribly short.
Alexander sliced through the 49ers’ defense moving the sticks well through the first three quarters, but only had four carries from the end of the third quarter to the end of the game. His last four carries went for 1, -1, 4, and 2 yards. Seattle went three and out on their last four possessions. Both of Alexander’s touchdowns and both of his longest two runs in the game were behind the Pro Bowl left side of his offensive line.
Morris spelled Alexander after a 40 yard run, but was replaced in the lineup almost immediately after one quick 12 yard carry.
|RB Mack Strong, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 1 - -1 - 0 (1 targets)|
Strong was not a factor in the game today. His one carry came on third and long.
Hackett was targeted twice on the first Seattle drive catching both passes. His touchdown reception came on a post pattern deep in the end zone from 12 yards out. Hackett did a nice job gaining separation on the play making it an easy toss for QB Matt Hasselbeck. Hackett got off to a good start in the third quarter as well pulling in 16 and 17 yard receptions. He was also targeted on a deep jump-ball bomb. He was open behind the defense, but was under thrown. Hackett did a good job of timing his leap on the ball after coming back for it, but LB Julian Pederson broke it up.
Engram got off to a hot start pulling in four passes for 77 yards before half time. Engram was targeted on long seam and sideline routes through the game allowing WR Joe Jurevicius to work the underneath routes. Engram was targeted once in the end zone on the first Seattle drive.
Jurevicius was definitely the second option behind WR Bobby Engram from the beginning of the game. Jurevicius was targeted within ten yards of the line of scrimmage during most of the game. At the start the third quarter he was targeted in the end zone once and nearly scored on another play on their following drive. Jurevicius caught a quick hitch, and broke a tackle making a dive for the goal line. The play was originally called a touchdown, but instant replay ruled him down at the one yard line leading to the second Alexander touchdown. Later in the game Jurevicius was targeted on one deep ball that he nearly made a play on, but couldn’t come up with the ball.
Warrick’s first action was an end around near the red zone on Seattle’s second touchdown drive. His only passing target came on the final Seahawk drive before halftime. He dropped what would have been a sure first down.
Did not play due to knee surgery.
Stevens caught a 27 yard reception off of play action on fourth and one deep in San Francisco territory on Seattle’s first drive of the game. His second target was on a third down play. Had he made the reception he would have been well short of the marker, but LB Julian Pederson was climbing up his back drawing the pass interference flag. Stevens dropped his final target in the game when the Seattle offense was getting desperate for a first down.
Brown missed from 51 yards at the end of the first Seattle drive in the second half. He was wide left by only a yard or two.
The Seattle front seven did a solid job of shutting down RB Kevan Barlow through the first half. They stuffed holes and hit Barlow in the backfield on most carries. However, when backup RB Maurice Hicks entered the game in the third quarter he immediately ripped of 50 and 24 yard runs. However, his next five carries went for 1, -1, 0, 1, and –2 yards. Seattle had an eight point lead when San Francisco drove to the Seahawk nine yard line. Three running plays later Hicks was in the end zone. The Seattle defense spent nearly all of the fourth quarter on the field and looked lifeless at the conclusion of the game.
Seattle brought lots of pressure early in the game hitting QB Ken Dorsey hard four times on the first 49er drive including a combined sack by rookie LBs Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill. SS Michael Boulware put a serious hit on WR Johnnie Morton during the second quarter that should make this week’s “jacked up” reel. CB Marcus Trufant didn’t handle one on one coverage well with WR Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd burned him deep on several plays, and Trufant had trouble with his mechanics on deep balls. The pass rush got to Dorsey three more times in the second half and hit him several more times. Dorsey had a fairly hard limp after one of the hits.
|QB Ken Dorsey, Pass: 18 - 29 - 249 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 6 - 0|
Dorsey was poised, accurate, and a huge upgrade over what the 49er passing game has endured over the past four weeks. Dorsey got off to an impressive start taking four hits from the Seattle pass rush early, but still looked composed in the pocket. Dorsey radar-locked himself into WR Brandon Lloyd. Dorsey put several passes up high for Lloyd allowing him to use his leaping ability to go over the top of smaller cornerbacks.
|RB Kevan Barlow, Rush: 12 - 21 - 0, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (2 targets)|
Barlow was shut down from the start of the game. He didn’t have holes and ran into a pile play after play during the first half. Barlow was replaced by a much more effective Maurice Hicks during the third quarter. Speculation was that Barlow may have suffered a concussion.
Hicks entered the game midway through the third quarter. His first carry was designed to go left, but he cut it back breaking off a 50 yard run. His next carry was a sweep to the left. After a quick stutter step, he accelerated around left end for a 24 yard gain. His next five carries went for nothing special, but at the conclusion of the game Hicks final three carries of 3, 5, and 1 yards put him into the end zone. His second effort on his final carry got him the score. Hicks was much quicker and accelerated harder than RB Kevan Barlow.
Did not play due to a pre-game groin injury.
Lloyd was the only positive offensive contributor in the first half for San Francisco. The 49ers were committed to getting him the ball deep. Lloyd pulled in an amazing diving one-handed 44 yard pass from QB Ken Dorsey. He was targeted deep in the left corner of the end zone shortly after this play and made another spectacular one handed play. The catch could have been ruled a touchdown as he may have been pushed out of bounds by the defensive back. On the next 49er possession Lloyd was targeted deep again down the left sideline and induced a pass interference flag working against CB Marcus Trufant. Lloyd was targeted deep again in the right corner of the end zone on this same drive. When San Francisco came out after half time their first play was another deep ball to Lloyd. QB Ken Dorsey continued to stay radar locked on Lloyd. Their first San Francisco touchdown in four games came when Lloyd went high on a slant into the end zone. He came down hard on his back, but held on to the pass. On the final 49ers’ possession, Lloyd was targeted on a stop fade at the goal line, but dropped an easy score when he went up high to pull it in. He made much tougher grabs all game long, but didn’t pull in what should have been his easiest catch.
Morton caught his first pass on the first San Francisco play of the game. He did a nice job of pulling the ball in on a low pass. On the same drive he was targeted in the end zone. Morton disappeared until the very end of the game. He caught another 11 yard pass on their final drive. Morton was also targeted on the two point attempt after the 49ers scored, but QB Ken Dorsey short hopped the pass.
Battle caught an 11 yard pass during the first drive of the game. His other target was a 24 yard reception, but it was called back because of an illegal shift penalty.
Jones was targeted early in the game once on their first drive. His other target was a 19 yard reception on second and nine late in the third quarter. Jones ran well with the ball after the grab.
Nedney hit all four of his field goal attempts in the game.
The 49ers had trouble containing RB Shaun Alexander through three quarters. Each of Alexander first eight carries went for at least four yards. However, when the game was on the line San Francisco tightened up and shut him down. His last five carries went for 1, 1, -1, 4 and 2 yards keeping the Seahawk offense on the sideline for almost all of the fourth quarter.
LB Andre Carter got to QB Matt Hasselbeck once in the first quarter, but the 49ers weren’t able to put pressure on him consistently in the game. The 49er secondary had several chances to intercept passes that could have turned the tide, but couldn’t come up with a play. Defensive lineman Bryant Young was helped to the sideline just before halftime, and may have suffered a serious injury. He did not return to the game.