TMQB: Seahawks 24, 49ers 0

"Maurice Morris didn't crest 100 yards but he turned in a solid workman-like performance in the backfield and showed some really elusive moves once he got through the line. Still, there were way too many rushing attempts that got blown up in the backfield for my taste."

Seattle Seahawks 24 San Francisco 49ers 0
Monday, November 12, 2007
Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington

Play Of The Day:  Fourth-and one-and-a-half feet from the Seattle 2 trailing by 17, the 49ers handed the ball off to Frank Gore, who was stopped for a short loss.  LB Kevin Bentley blew up lead blocker FB Moran Norris forcing Gore into the waiting arms of Rocky Bernard and Lofa Tatupu, one yard short of the first down and effectively snuffing out any 49ers chances for a comeback.  

Handouts to the StandoutsMatt Hasselbeck proved that he is more than capable of carrying the team, going 27-40 for 278 yards and two touchdowns while throwing one interception.  Hasselbeck looked confident in the pocket, going through his progressions with precision, completing passes to 8 different receivers.  He misfired on a few passes but didn't get rattled under pressure and guided the Seahawks to an easy victory.

D.J. Hackett led the team with 8 catches for 101 yards and touchdown, a big step towards him locking down the number two WR slot for the next few years.

Kevin Bentley led the team with six tackles and four assists, not to mention blowing up the lead blocker on a crucial 4th and less-than-a-yard play from the 2 yard line the broke the 49ers spirit early in the 3rd quarter.

C.J. Wallace managed to hang onto a trick onsides kick to begin the second half that marked the first time in several years that the Seahawks have managed to recover a surprise onsides kick

Things That Made Me Go "Blech":  What's with the stupid penalties on FG attempts all of a sudden?  TE Will Heller was flagged for holding on 46 yard FG that forced Seattle to punt rather than retry the kick in the second quarter, and later in same quarter, Chris Spencer was nabbed for a false start on a 49 yard FG.  Josh Brown would miss his second attempt from 54 yards.  All in all, that's six points taken off of the board by bonehead penalties on special teams.

Having all three timeouts gone within the first minute of the second quarter could have cost the Seahawks dearly, as it effectively erased any coaches challenge attempts for the rest of the half.  It didn't wind up costing the team, but with Mike Holmgren's questionable clock management in past games, one has hope that the team works on this during the week.

Offense:  The offensive game plan was centered on using the pass to set up the run and it worked perfectly in the first half.  Seattle scored on their first two possessions, and if wasn't for a two bonehead penalties on FG attempts, the Seahawks would have scored on all four first half possessions.  The Seahawks put together two drives of 12+ plays that ate up a majority of the first half.

The second half started off significantly worse than the first, with Seattle turning over the ball on two straight possessions to start the 3rd quarter.  But by the time 4th quarter rolled around, the Seahawks were back in sync as Hasselbeck found D.J. Hackett in the back of the end zone to cap off a 12-play, 77-yard drive to put the game way out of reach.

Maurice Morris didn't crest 100 yards but he turned in a solid workman-like performance in the backfield and showed some really elusive moves once he got through the line.  Still, there were way too many rushing attempts that got blown up in the backfield for my taste.  The offensive line did better run blocking against San Francisco than they did against most of the other teams that they've faced so far this year, but they have by no means returned to 2005 form.  Still, credit must be given to a unit that has been downright atrocious for most of this year for not being a glaring weakness.  Perhaps they've turned a corner.  We'll find out next week when the Bears come calling at Qwest Field.

Defense:  The Seahawks Defense returned to form against the anemic San Francisco offense forcing them into 4 three and outs and 2 turnovers in the first half.  Both Patrick Kearny and Daryl Tapp had forced fumbles on sacks, although in both cases they were granted a free ride to the QB due to some blown assignments by the 49ers offense. 

Three times the 49ers went for it on fourth down, and all three times the Seattle defense rose to the occasion.  The stout Seattle defense yielded just one third down conversion in 12 attempts all game long. 

Special Teams:  Poor Josh Brown.  He had 6 point taken off of the board by dumb penalties and struggled with short kickoffs for most of the game.  Punter Ryan Plackemeier place two kicks inside the ten but also shanked a punt badly.  Nate Burelson's first punt return was extremely risky and he appeared to have been coached out of making those risky decisions later on in the game as he let a short punt go rather than field it on a bounce as he's done in the past, and later actually fair caught a ball on the six.  The Seahawks kick coverage wasn't up to their usual high standards, and Niko Koutouvides ran into the returner on a punt in the second half of the game that most assuredly would have cost the Seahawks points against a better team.

The Golden Microphone Award:  Here's the frustrating thing about watching a Monday Night Football game this season:  the booth crew of Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser are actually quite competent.  They didn't blow any calls nor did they mispronounce any names.  Tirico is fine play-by-play man, Jaworski's analysis is a heckuva lot better than most other commentators and Kornheiser interjects his color commentary relatively infrequently, and when he does, it's actually rather insightful for a color guy. 

But ABC/ESPN insists on forcing us into some Bizarro male bonding version of "The View" every freakin' week with inane booth interviews.  Who gives a crap what Drew Carey is doing with an MLS expansion team and does anyone anywhere care to hear what Steve Young has to say about Brett Farve?  I don't know of one football fan that enjoys these little forays into Oprah territory and here's hoping that the suit over at the network who thinks this is "good cross promotion" comes down with raging case of scabies.  Certainly ESPN as a network deserves this week's Golden Microphone Award for subjecting us to the dreaded booth interview week after week.

Random Notes:  Has anyone ever seen the three tight end, I-formation goal line play action pass to a TE not work?  Seriously.  Will Heller was wide open on the play for the Seahawks first score, and after watching it, I realized that I don't think I've ever seen this play successfully defended.  I've seen guys drop the ball, I've seen quarterbacks overthrow their receiver but I don't think I've ever seen a linebacker or safety covering the TE.

The 49ers made like they were going to fake a punt and tried to draw the Seahawks offside.  Seattle special teams did a great job in not biting on the hard count and giving the 49ers a free first down.

Summary:  The Seahawks re-established themselves as the team to beat in the NFC West, although with a record just barely above .500, they've got a long way to go before they can be considered legit contenders for anything more than a first round exit in the postseason.

Next Week:  Home vs. Chicago.

Dylan is a die-hard Seahawks fan trapped in Eagles Country and firmly believes that "Live At Leeds" is the single greatest live performance since a deaf Ludwig Van debuted his final symphony in Vienna in 1824.  You can e-mail Dylan at . Top Stories