Week 14 Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers 3, Seattle Seahawks 41
What you need to know
Rookie QB Alex Smith received some more NFL game experience as the 49ers wind down another disappointing season. Smith showed glimmers of the skill that made him the draft’s top pick, but mostly he showed rookie inexperience. He was sacked only three times, but saw heavy pressure all day long and scrambled for minimal positive yardage six times. He finished the game with no touchdowns versus one interception, tallying only 77 passing yards in a nine of 22 effort. His team leads the league on three-and-outs and they added five more to their total in this game.
RB Kevan Barlow never really had a chance to get a running game on track as the 49ers three touchdown deficit at halftime only grew larger. He finished with 33 yards on only 11 carries and added 30 receiving yards as QB Alex Smith’s safety valve receiver. Barlow also had a 53 yard reception nullified by an illegal man downfield penalty.
The 49ers defensive secondary showed their inexperience time and time again, with two of Seattle’s four receiving touchdowns coming on blown coverages. Both Bobby Engram’s game opener and Jerramy Stevens’s second quarter touchdown came amid 49ers confusion, nearly uncontested by anyone in a burgundy jersey.
The Seahawks continue to rack up the points and victories almost at will, destroying a severely overmatched 49ers squad in every facet of the game. QB Matt Hasselbeck enjoyed his best outing of the season, throwing for 226 yards and four touchdowns in only three quarters of play. His lone mistake, a well under thrown interception shortly before halftime, didn’t come back to bite him. Seneca Wallace took over at quarterback in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.
RB Shaun Alexander also sat out the entire fourth quarter, but mustered 108 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries before giving way to back-up Maurice Morris. Alexander really coasted, showing his patience on stretch plays and his usual sense of understated power up the gut.
Wide receivers Bobby Engram and Joe Jurevicius finished with nearly identical yardage figures, 65 and 63 yards respectively, but Engram was targeted nine times to Jurevicius’ five looks. Engram made two trips to the end zone twice in this contest to Jurevicius’ lone touchdown and each receiver could have logged another score if not for an under thrown Hasselbeck pass and a phantom offensive pass interference call. Both sat out the fourth quarter with the game all but over.
Seattle’s defense made lots of noise last Monday night, scoring three defensive touchdowns and shutting out of the Philadelphia Eagles. Though the defense didn’t find the end zone this week, they continued their strong play with an interception, a fumble recovery and three sacks, limiting the 49ers to 139 offensive yards. Rookie MLB Lofa Tatupu should be up for some honors again this week, with the aforementioned interception, fumble recovery and one of the sacks being credited to him.
What you ought to know
|QB Alex Smith, Pass: 9 - 22 - 77 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 20 - 0|
The learning curve continues for this rookie signal caller. He had a few positive moments, but most were punctuated by rookie-like mistakes, including a botched handoff and two occasions where the ball slipped out of the back of his hand while passing. In four starts this season, he still has not thrown for a touchdown.
|RB Kevan Barlow, Rush: 11 - 33 - 0, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (6 targets)|
Barlow and the 49ers’ running game never really had a chance to establish itself as the Seahawks high-flying offense had the 49ers playing catch-up. Barlow tallied only 33 yards on 11 attempts and added another 30 yards in the receiving game. His 3.0 yards per carry average was a few tenths lower than that of his rookie quarterback, Alex Smith. Barlow also had a 54 yard reception called back by penalty.
Hicks saw some action in garbage time.
|RB Frank Gore, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)|
Gore saw limited action, mostly as the third down back.
The veteran fullback was not a fantasy factor.
Lloyd was QB Alex Smith’s first look on most passing plays and had a team high eight targets. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, a combination of Smith’s inaccuracy and Seattle’s stiff defense limited Lloyd to only three catches for 37 yards.
McAddley caught one of the three passes thrown in his direction by QB Alex Smith.
The rookie wideout was targeted once in the first quarter, but did not record a catch.
Nedney made his only attempt, a 39 yard score on the 49ers first offensive possession. His team was not in field goal range again.
The 49ers’ rush defense did little to slow down Shaun Alexander in this game. They stopped the stretch a couple of times, but for the most part, Alexander had an easy 108 yard, three quarter effort. Back-ups Maurice Morris and Leonard Weaver added 63 additional yards in garbage time.
The 49ers’ pass rush applied pressure to Matt Hasselbeck on occasion, but he was able to move up in the pocket and avoid being sacked all but once. The secondary looked confused on several occasions, giving easy touchdowns to wide receivers Bobby Engram and Joe Jurevicius and allowing QB Matt Hasselbeck to record his highest passer rating of the season.
Hasselbeck put up his best fantasy showing of the season, throwing for four touchdowns and completing 21 of 25 passes for 226 yards in only three quarters of play. He showed excellent confidence in moving up into the pocket when pressure was applied and was sacked only once. Hasselbeck was picked off heading into halftime when he under threw Bobby Engram just shy of the goal line.
Wallace replaced Matt Hasselbeck in the fourth quarter when the game was all but over. He completed three of five passes for 33 yards, but was mostly asked to hand the ball off to back-up running backs Maurice Morris and Leonard Weaver.
Alexander managed to rack up 108 yards on 21 carries and snuck into the end zone just before finding his fourth quarter seat on the bench with his team ahead by five touchdowns. He also contributed more than usual as a check down receiver, catching all four of his targets for 20 yards. His only fault was a rare fumble in the second quarter, but an offensive lineman recovered it.
Morris saw all seven of his carries in fourth quarter garbage time.
|RB Mack Strong, Rush: 4 - 8 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)|
The thirteen year veteran saw a couple more touches than usual and had his name mentioned as a should be Pro Bowl candidate by game commentators. Strong was shaken up late in the third quarter and did not return to the game, but neither did any of the Seahawks’ other key starters, as Shaun Alexander found pay dirt on the next play to give Seattle a 35 point lead. Strong was seen chuckling on the sidelines and doesn’t appear to be hurt.
Weaver broke off a 24 yard carry in fourth quarter garbage time.
After logging his first touchdown catch of the season last Monday night, Engram found the end zone twice more in this game. He could have easily had a third touchdown when he was open just short of the goal line, but QB Matt Hasselbeck under threw him and was intercepted. He finished with a solid 65 yard effort and the two aforementioned touchdowns before being benched with the rest of Seattle’s’ key starters in the fourth quarter.
Jurevicius caught his eighth touchdown pass of the season on the Seahawks’ first offensive play of the second quarter. In his usual fashion, he used his height advantage to make a leaping catch in the corner of the end zone. Jurevicius was seemingly robbed of another touchdown seconds before halftime when the officials called phantom offsetting penalties following an outstanding catch/no-catch in the corner of the end zone. Had the penalties not been called, the play would have been reviewed and undoubtedly ruled a touchdown. Jurevicius finished the game with 63 yards and one touchdown before Seattle coaches decided to pull the key starters to begin the fourth quarter.
Hackett’s six targets were spread evenly among the final three quarters of play and the #3 receiver recorded three catches for 43 yards. He had a step on coverage and a sure touchdown in the third quarter, but the corner grabbed him and took the pass interference call instead of giving up the touchdown.
All of Warrick’s looks came in garbage time, when the key starters were bench planted and wearing their sideline caps for good.
Stevens caught three of the four balls thrown to him and recorded an easy second quarter touchdown.
The number two tight end made a nice grab for a first down in the third quarter.
Brown made two of three long field goal attempts, hitting from 52 yards twice and coming up short from 50 yards out.
Kevan Barlow and the 49ers rushing game never had a chance in this game. With the number on Seattle’s side of the scoreboard rising fast, Barlow was given only 11 carries and recorded 33 yards on the ground.
Rookie MLB Lofa Tatupu is really making a name for himself. For the second straight game, he recorded an interception and a fumble recovery. The Seattle defense as a whole has stepped up and appears to be a force, limiting the 49ers to only 139 total yards of offense and causing the 49ers to go three-and-out on five occasions in this game. Rookie quarterback Alex Smith led his team past midfield only twice.