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San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks: A Prospector's Guide

49ers_logo_medium @ Th_seahawks_icon_medium

And so begins the 16 game march through the regular season to a potential playoff berth. For those who have missed them before, during the middle of each week during the season I'll be posting what I call the Prospector's Guide for each week's game. These posts aren't breaking down matchups or providing hard-core analysis. Rather, they are based off the game release the 49ers send out each week. We have everything from a look at the last matchup between the teams to a look at player and coaching connections between the teams. Big thanks to the 49ers for sending out this information.

San Francisco will kick off the 2010 regular season by traveling to Seattle to face the Seahawks in a battle of NFC West Divison foes. After a promising preseason, which resulted in a 4-0 record, the Niners are shooting to take the NFC West Division crown for the first time since 2002. The 49ers are 6-6 on the road vs. the Seahawks, and 10-12 in the overall series.

The Niners beat the Chargers 17-14 last week in the preseason finale to finish4-0, matching the most wins for the team in a preseason since 1993. Rookie RB Anthony Dixon led all NFL RBs in rushing yds. (300) and TDs (4) in the preseason. Dixon's four preseason game rushing total is the most since Rams RB Steven Jackson's 323 yards in 2004.

49ers-Seahawks Connections

  • 49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari held the same title with theSeahawks from 2008-2009.
  • 49ers special assistant to the head coach, Bill Nayes, was the admin-istrative assistant/football operations (1999-2000) and the football operations coordinator/team travel (2000-2006) for the Seahawks.
  • Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, a native of San Francisco, CA,coached for the 49ers from 1995-1996, serving as the defensive coordinator during that time span.
  • Seahawks tight ends coach Pat McPherson served as the 49ers quality control coach/defense (1996).
  • Defensive line coach Dan Quinn served as the quality control/defense (2001-2002), and defensive line coach (2003-2004) for the 49ers.
  • Seahawks senior personnel executive Scot McCloughan rejoined the Seahawks after spending the previous five seasons with the 49ers, most recently as general manager.
  • Seahawks assistant special teams coach Jeff Ulbrich is currently in his first season on the coaching staff in Seattle after spending 10 season as a linebacker on the 49ers (2000-2009).  

SEAHAWKS-NORCAL CONNECTIONS - Justin Forsett (2004-2007), G Mike Gibson (2006-2007), TE Cameron Morrah (2005-2008), and DT Brandon Mebane (2003-2006) played at UC-Berkeley.

49ERS-SEATTLE CONNECTION - 49ers S Taylor Mays was born and raised in Seattle, WA, attending O'Dea High School in Seattle ... S Dashon Goldson attended the University of Washington (2004-2006).

FORMER 49ERS - Seahawks RB Michael Robinson spent four seasons with the Niners, including the last two seasons as a special teams captain ... Seahawks DE Kentwan Balmer was selected in the first round of the NFLDraft by the 49ers in 2008.

TROJAN TIES - 49ers G Chilo Rachal and S Taylor Mays were coached at USC by Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll at USC ... 49ers G Chilo Rachal played with Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu, DE Lawrence Jackson and WR Mike Williams during the 2004 season.

HOTTY TOTTY! - 49ers LB Patrick Willis played at Mississippi with Seahawks C Chris Spencer from 2005-2007.

"U" KNOW ME - 49ers RB Frank Gore played at Miami with Seahawks CB Kelly Jennings from 2002-2003.

PANTHER PRIDE - 49ers TE Nate Byham played at Pittsburgh with Seahawks CB Kennard Cox from 2006-2007

DUCKS FLY TOGETHER - 49ers DT Will Tukuafu played at Oregon with Seahawks CB Walter Thurmond, C/G Max Unger, and DE Nick Reed from 2007-2008.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 22
Series Record: Seahawks lead series 12-10
49ers Home Record vs. Seahawks: Seahawks lead series 6-4
49ers Away Record vs. Seahawks: Series tied 6-6
First Meeting: 9/26/76, 49ers win, 37-21, at Seattle
Last Meeting: 12/6/09, Seahawks win, 20-17, at Seattle
Current Streak: Lost 1
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 3 (11/25/85-12/8/91)
Longest Seahawks Win Streak: 6 (10/12/03 | 12/11/05)
Most 49ers Points: 38 (9/25/88): 38-7, at Seattle
Most Seahawks Points: 42 (11/7/04), 42-27 at San Francisco
49ers Shutouts: None
Seahawks Shutouts
: Two Times: Last (11/12/07), 24-0 at Seattle    

At Seattle, WA, December 6, 2009

Although the 49ers passing attack was on fire for much of the game, it could no heat up the cloudy, cold temperatures quite enough as San Francisco dropped a heartbreaking 20-17 decision to the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field. In the end, the foot of K Olindo Mare was the hottest thing in the stadium, as he drilled a 30-yd. FG to seal the win as time expired.

The afternoon began with great promise as the Niners opened the scoring drive midway through the 1st quarter with a very familiar connection. On 4th-and-1 at the SEA 33, QB Alex Smith tossed a short pass to TE Vernon Davis who raced to the endzone for a 33-yd. score. The SF defense followed up the score by forcing a 3-and-out by the Seahawks. But, on the ensuing punt, returners Brandon Jones and Arnaz Battle fumbled the exchange on an attempted reverse that the home team alertly hopped on at the SF 13. Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck converted the miscue into 7 pts. 3 plays later as he connected with WR Deion Branch on a 7-yd. scoring pass.

The Seattle defense retrieved the ball from the 49ers and set their offense up for another scoring drive. Hasselbeck then directed the squad on a 12-play, 87-yd. drive that culminated in an 8-yd. screen pass to RB Justin Forsett, who  slashed into the endzone. Not to be outdone, Smith connected with Davis on the very next drive for 42 yds., setting up a 22-yd. TD pass to WR Josh Morgan, knotting the score at 14 heading into halftime.

The 3rd quarter was a defensive battle that resulted in no points. The 4th qtr. began with an impressive drive by the 49ers that appeared to result in go-ahead points, but a RB Frank Gore fumble at the SEA 22 negated the opportunity. CB Josh Wilson returned the ball to the SF 41, where Smith tracked him down, setting up a 25-yd. Mare FG to give the Seahawks a 3-pt. lead. Smith responded once again by directing the 49ers to the SEA 16, where K Joe Nedney connected on a 34-yarder to tie the game at 17. After stopping the Seahawks on their next possession, the Niners took over at their own 11 yd line. The Seahawks defense remained stingy and forced a 3-and-out. Hasselbeck took control at his own 48 with :21 remaining in the game. Three plays later, he had directed his squad to the SF 12, where Mare sealed the game.

2009 Statistics

49ERS (rank) SEAHAWKS (rank)
8-8 (2nd NFCW) Record 5-11 (3rd NFCW)
20.6 (18th) Points per game 17.5 (25th)
290.8 (27th) Total Offense 316.8 (21st)
100.0 (25th) Rushing Offense 97.9 (26th)
190.8 (22nd) Passing Offense 218.9 (15th)
29:46 (18th) Possession Avg 27:31 (32nd)
17.6 (4th) Points allowed/gm 24.4 (t-25th)
326.4 (15th) Total Defense 356.4 (24th)
97.0 (6th) Rushing Defense 111.0 (15th)
229.4 (21st) Passing Defense 245.4 (30th)
44 Sacks 28 (t-t-26th)
47.6 (2nd) Punting Avg (Gross) 46.2 (7th)
+9 (5th) Turnover Differential -8 (t-26th)