Niners replay

Rookie offensive lineman Adam Snyder made an impressive debut for the 49ers at a spot that has been one of their major weaknesses this season. The 49ers have not gotten any semblance of stable play from their offensive tackle positions, which has contributed to their anemic passing game. But Snyder gave the 49ers some production from that position in his first start at left tackle during Sunday's narrow loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Snyder a third-round draft pick from Oregon, turned in a solid performance against Seahawks defensive end Grant Wistrom, who was held to four tackles and no quarterback pressures on a thankful Ken Dorsey.

"I thought he did pretty good," Wistrom said. "He's a young guy who played tackle in college. I don't think I attacked him the way I should have because I didn't have a lot of film on him. I thought he did a pretty solid job."

Snyder, who started Nov. 13 against the Bears at right guard, said he felt comfortable switching to the spot he played in college. Last season, he was named the winner of the Morris Trophy, awarded to the Pacific-10's top offensive lineman.

"I was ready to play this game," Snyder said. "I felt good. I told myself to go out and play football and not try to be perfect. ... If you over-think, you can get mixed up in what you're doing. I knew the offensive scheme and all the checks, and I just went out and played football."

The 49ers thought they had shored up left tackle when they signed free agent Jonas Jennings to a lucrative contract during the offseason. But Jennings played in just three games because of a bad right shoulder. He went on injured reserve two weeks ago.

Then, the 49ers signed veteran Anthony Clement, who had spent most of his career at right tackle. Clement struggled mightily in his six starts, forcing the 49ers to give Snyder a shot.


The 49ers finally showed some offensive punch, but it was not enough in a two-point loss to the NFC West-leading Seahawks, who now own the best record in the NFC at 8-2.

The 49ers snapped a franchise-worst streak of three games without a touchdown, and they also threw their first touchdown pass in six games.

Dorsey performed well in his second start of the season after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury. He completed 18 of 29 passes for 249 yards, including a 22-yard scoring pass to Brandon Lloyd. Dorsey had arguably his best game in three NFL seasons, finishing the game with a quarterback rating of 101.1. He has yet to turn the ball over in the two games in which he has played.

The 49ers had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but Dorsey's two-point conversion pass to Johnnie Morton came up short.

"Many guys feel bad about it, but I do want to say that it is evident to me that this football team is going in the right direction," coach Mike Nolan said. "Overall, as a team we showed great character and continue to get better."


--- QB Alex Smith, who practiced all week, was the third quarterback for Sunday's game. He should be physically ready to play Sunday against the Titans, but Nolan might decide to stick with Dorsey after his strong showing against the Seahawks. Nolan said early Monday afternoon that the team will not make a decision until later in the week after evaluating the injury progress of both Smith and Dorsey, who tweaked his ankle late in the fourth quarter against the Seahawks but continued to play.

--- CB Ahmed Plummer might never regain his starting spot because of the performance of second-year player Bruce Thornton. Plummer has fallen out of favor with the 49ers' coaching staff. He has missed seven games after what was considered minor arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his left ankle.

--- RB Frank Gore did not play in Sunday's game because of a hip flexor strain. Gore sustained the injury in practice Friday, and it did not improve enough to enable him to play.

--- RB Kevan Barlow sustained a concussion in the third quarter against the Seahawks and was kept out of the remainder of the game as a precaution. Barlow said he could have returned to action, and he fully expects to play Sunday against the Titans.

--- RB Maurice Hicks took full advantage of his opportunity to play because of injuries to Barlow and Gore. The first time Hicks took a handoff this season, he gained 50 yards. He finished with 83 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

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