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Ginn’s two 4th quarter return touchdowns help 49ers hold off Seahawk comeback
Posted By Erik Olsoy On Sep 12 2011 @ 2:47 am In Seattle Seahawks | No Comments
Fred Ginn Jr. ran back two kicks just 59 seconds apart in the 4th quarter to preserve a 49ers home victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The game began as a defensive struggle, and poor field position and a Tarvaris Jackson fumble allowed the 49ers to open up an early 6-0 lead. The Niners continued to extend the lead, moving the ball on long drives twice more in the second, and going into the half with a 16-0 lead. The Seahawk offense struggled in much the same way that they had during the preseason, struggling to provide Jackson enough time to throw. Still, the halftime score flattered the 49ers, who managed just 131 yards in the first half.
The Seahawks came out of halftime looking like a different team. They forced the 49ers into a three and out, and then marched 9 plays and 56 yards for a touchdown. During the drive, the Seahawks developed a noticeable rhythm, and Jackson looked comfortable and accurate throwing from the pocket. This rhythm and tempo remained present in the Seahawk offense for much of the remainder of the game.
During the 3rd quarter, the 49ers were almost completely unable to move the ball, and could muster only 10 yards on their three drives. Throughout the game, the 49er offense failed to string positive plays together on a regular basis, largely due to the lack of effectiveness of their running game. The Seahawks held Frank Gore to 59 yards on 22 carries, and frequently forced Alex Smith and the 49ers into second or third and long situations.
The Seahawks again moved down the field on a drive that concluded the 3rd quarter that lasted 11 plays. Though they were unable to cap off their drive with a touchdown, the Seahawks closed the gap to 16-10 with a Steven Hauschka field goal.
The 49ers countered with their best drive of the game, but despite getting a first and goal inside the Seahawk one yard line, could score only 3 points on kicker David Akers’ 4th field goal of the game. The game appeared to be in doubt for the Seahawks, who were now down by more than one score with under 6 minutes to play. Following a touchback, the Hawks had several passes and a clutch Tarvaris Jackson third down scramble to thank for getting them nearly to midfield. Then, Doug Baldwin broke a short pass for 55 yards and a touchdown, showing the speed and open-field ability that helped him make the team. The score was 19-17. The Seahawks had outscored the 49ers 17-3 to that point in the second half, and had every reason to believe they could win the game.
Ted Ginn Jr. then won the game for the 49ers. He ran the kickoff back 102 yards for a touchdown. After the Seahawks were held to three plays and forced to punt, Ginn again ran back a kick, this time, a 55 yarder. The score had gone from 19-17 to 33-17 in under a minute of game time, and neither team scored again. Here is a link to video of Ginn’s returns .
Though they lost, the Seahawks actually looked like a good team in the second half. I’m not happy about the loss, but at least they showed that they have some offensive firepower. Undrafted rookie Doug Baldwin lead the offense with 83 yards on 4 catches, and he made the most of his playing time in the absence of Sidney Rice (out with a shoulder injury). On the other side of the ball, first-year starter at strong safety, Kam Chancellor, lead the team with 10 tackles.
The Seahawks actually outgained the 49ers 219 yards to 209, and played an excellent second half. Though the Seahawks were not able to sack 49er quarterback Alex Smith, I thought the Seahawk defense played extremely well otherwise. A loss against division rivals San Francisco was not an ideal way to start the season, but it was just one game, and the team will only get better with more practice. If the momentum the Hawks built up for a time in the second half can be replicated next week, I think the Seahawks will be in the hunt for the division championship when all is said and done.
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 Image: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/psb/uploads/2011/09/tjack-49er-fumble.jpg
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 Here is a link to video of Ginn’s returns: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWuHHYyGBak
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