It was rough, tough, and the way that both teams wanted it. For the 49ers, they seem to want it a little bit more.
The San Francisco 49ers managed to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 13-6 after losing their second game of the year to the Giants just 4 days ago. It was an ugly game to watch and came down to the end with Seattle having one more shot at tying the game. They failed to convert a 4th and 17 from their own 4 with under a minute to go as Ben Obamanu caught a pass from Russell and was stopped just short of the 1st down marker by 49er defenders. Even if he had past the marker, the Seahawks would’ve failed to convert anyway as there was a chop block penalty on Paul McQuistan that was declined by 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. It would’ve resulted in a safety.
Instead, the 49ers declined the penalty, kneed the ball twice, and improve to 5-2 on the season. Meanwhile, the Seahawks fall to 4-3.
From beginning to end the game was physical and you could tell there was going to be some big hits, after play shoving, and trash talk all night long. The 49ers were especially rough in the 2nd half and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh could tell.
“That was the most physical 30 minutes of football in the second half that I have ever seen our football team play,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a sweet win. It was a real football fight, and our guys won it.”
It wasn’t until their first drive of the second half when the 49ers offense looked at their best. The 49ers scored a TD on a 12 yard pass to Delanie Walker towards the left sideline who just got one foot in the end zone before going out of bounds. This capped off a 10 play drive in which 6 plays had Frank Gore doing the bulk of the work. The 49ers took a 10-6 lead which they wouldn’t lose.
Gore had a huge day rushing the ball with 16 carries for 131 yards along with 5 receptions for 51 yards. It was Gore’s third 100 yard rushing game of the season. The rest of the team ran it 16 times for 44 yards.
“We had a long drive in the third quarter. We just kind of felt them start to give up a little bit, and they knew we were just going to keep running the ball on them,” 49ers RG Alex Boone said. “It was more of, `Let’s get back to our roots and do what we’re good at,’ that’s being physical, pounding the ball. Frank’s a great runner.”
It was all about ground and pound on the Seattle side of the ball as well. Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks ran for 109 yards in 19 carries as he often broke the tackles of the 49ers defense to get more yards throughout the game. Though an impressive performance against one of the league’s best defenses, Seahawks as a team had less rushing yards than the 49ers (175 to 136).
While the Seahawks were able to run the ball, that was about all they could do. Russell Wilson was 9 for 23 on the night with 122 passing yards and one interception thrown to 49ers safety Deshon Goldson in the 3rd quarter. Credit NaVarro Bowman for the assist as his rush and hit on Wilson caused the errant throw.
As bad as Russell Wilson was along with his receivers dropping a lot of his throws, Alex Smith wasn’t much better. For most of the game, whenever Smith dropped back, he looked like he was trying to do too much. It was really that one drive to open the second half did he do what he was supposed to do and that was settle for the short dump passes and let the receivers do the rest. Smith was 14 for 23 for 140 yards, had that one TD pass to Walker, and threw one interception in the beginning of the 4th quarter to CB Brandon Browner when the 49ers were knocking on the end zone door.
There wasn’t much of Colin Kaepernick tonight as he ran the ball once on a keeper for a loss of one on the play before Alex Smith threw the pick.
Both teams seemed to mirror each for most of the night with each side exchanging blows. The difference was just how much their respective offenses could make the other defense bend. The 49ers managed to get in the red zone 4 times scoring one TD, 2 FGs from David Akers, and getting picked off once. The Seahawks only managed one red zone visit which resulted in one 35 yard Steven Hauschka Field Goal. Hauschka recorded the only points for Seattle. He had a 52 yard FG earlier in the game but missed a 51 yard attempt after his 2nd FG.
“We found ourselves in a real slugfest here today,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “I’m not surprised it could have gone that way with two good defenses and two teams committed to running the ball. And there was plays in this game that I’ll always want to know, what would have happened if we made this play or made that play? It was so close.”
Jim Harbaugh has yet to be beaten by the Seahawks as he is 3-0 against them and Carroll. Harbaugh in 5-1 overall against Pete Carroll going back to the college days when Harbaugh was coach of the Stanford Cardinal and Carroll was coach of USC.
The 49ers and the Seahawks will face each other once more in Seattle towards the end of the season. The next game, however, has the 49ers going to face the Cardinals in Arizona next Sunday.
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Written by Daniel Trucios