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2010 49ers Game-by-Game Review: Week One, At Seattle Seahawks

As we here at Niners Nation move forward to the 2011 off- season it seems to be the right time to review the 2010 season. Over the next 8 weeks I will be conducting a bi-weekly post of each individual game that our San Francisco 49ers played in 2010. In each post I will review the game, give an analysis of the events and post important statistics in regards to the game.

After the jump I will begin with the 49ers Week 1 game on the road against Seattle.

The 49ers went into the first week of the 2010 regular season with high expectations. San Francisco was the favorite to win the NFC West according to most news outlets. Conversely, the Seattle Seahawks began a new era with the hiring of Pete Carroll, a local to Northern California and former New England Patriots, New York Jets and USC Trojans Head Coach.

The first play from scrimmage of the 2010 season was a Matt Hasselbeck interception by Nate Clements that set the 49ers up at Seattle's 29 yard line. What a great way to start the 2010 season right? A couple plays later on 1st and goal at the 8, Alex Smith hit Josh Morgan for an 8 yard TD pass. However, Seattle challenged that Morgan wasn't in bounds. Eventually the play was overturned and San Francisco settled for a FG (3-0 SF)

After holding Seattle to a 3 and out, San Francisco took over at their own 10 yard line. The 49ers then drove down the field on a 15 play, 89 yard drive. On 4th down and goal from the 1 San Francisco decided to go for it. Under center Alex Smith threw a fade to Moran Norris in the end zone, a combination of a bad pass and the inability of Norris to catch the ball resulted in a turnover on downs.

Seattle went three and out for the second consecutive time, and after a 16 yard punt return by Ted Ginn Jr, the 49ers took over at the Seahawks 37. A nine play drive eventually stalled and San Francisco settled for a FG. (6-0 SF)

The ensuing drive saw Seattle drive down 64 yards in 9 plays, resulting in a Matt Hasselbeck 1 yard TD run. the Seahawks would go up for good. (7-6 Seattle)

A holding penalty by Josh Morgan to start the next drive set San Francisco back deep in their own end. This stalled the drive before it started and a couple plays later an Alex Smith pass to Michael Crabtree was picked by Jordan Babineaux. On the very next play Hasselbeck hit Deon Butler for a 13 yard TD pass. (14-6 Seattle). End of 1st Half

The 3rd quarter began with a thud. Following two unsucceful plays Alex Smith dropped back and threw towards Michael Crabtree, the pass was picked off by Marcus Trufant and returned returned 32 yards for a TD (21-6 Seattle)

Ted Ginn took the next kick off from inside the 49ers own end zone and was tackled by a gang of Seahawks short of the 15 yard line. Following two consecutive incomplete passes, one to Michael Crabtree and the other to Delanie Walker, Alex Smith was called for intentional grounding on 3rd and 10, forcing a punt. After the possession turnover on the punt Dashon Goldson was called for unnecessary roughness on Matt Hasselbeck, thus handing Seattle a 1st down inside San Francisco territory. After completions to John Carlson and Mike Williams, Carlson was called for offensive pass interference, setting up a 1st and 20 from San Francisco's 25. A 13 yard pass to Michael Robinson and 9 yard completion to Justin Forsett gave Seattle a first and goal from inside the 5. San Francisco forced two consecutive incomplete passes before Hasselbeck hit Deion Branch for a TD, pretty much putting the game away. It must be noted that i counted four missed tackles on this drive, two of which could have ended the drive. (28-6 Seattle)

There were many penalties, a lot of sloppy play and no scoring for the next 20 minutes of game time or so. San Francisco would see a drive stall inside Seattle's 40 because of two long incomplete passes by Alex Smith, one to Ted Ginn and the other Vernon Davis. On the next 49ers drive Alex Smith would miss Frank Gore on a short screen on 3rd down and 3, thus ending another drive near mid field. On the 49ers next drive Mike Singletary curiously decided to punt on 4th and 9 from Seattle's 43, down by 22. The 49ers would not mount another drive into the Seahawks side of the field for the rest of the game. So, there you have it, 3 drives at, near or past midfield, and 0 points. Seattle's offense sputtered until a Olindo Mare FG with just over two minutes left in the game (31-6 Seattle)

Post Game Quotes from the Niners Community

The main things that bothered me yesterday were Michael Crabtree and his inability to grasp the concept of professional football and the special teams play (Ninjames: 9/13/2010)

Rather than give a player of the game award, let's give the dumbass of the game. Today it goes to Travis LaBoy. With the 49ers down 28-6 he managed to sack Matt Hasselbeck (the team's only sack of the game). He then proceeded to get up and do a little dance (Fooch: 9/12/2010)

"I want to tell Pete Carroll, 'Thank you very much for kicking our tails.' It was good medicine and we're going to take it. And we'll go from there." (Mike Singletary: 9/12/2010)


The 49ers came into this game with huge expectations and stunk like a day old egg sitting out in 100 degree weather. I remember watching this game and thinking "is this for real", and "is this happening". Actually, those weren't my exact words but the site decorum prevents me from actually writing what I was thinking at that time.

The good: San Francisco did out gain Seattle 100 yards to 16 in the first quarter. They really did come out to play, ane executed for the most part in the early stages of the game. Although it resulted in only 6 points, San Francisco dominated the first 20 minutes of the game.

Standout Performance(s): As usual Patrick Willis came to play. He finished the game with 10 solo tackles, played real nice against the run and was usually all around the ball. Travis LaBoy, despite his foolish dance late in the game, did put a nice amount of pressure on Matt Hasselbeck and finished with 2 tackles for losses and a sack. However, those numbers don't show the whole story. He had pressure on Hasselbeck on a consistent basis throughout the game

The Bad: There is so much here to list, so I decided to stick with the basics. San Francisco finished the game with six drives of three plays or less, and didn't sustain a drive of 37 yards after the Smith-Norris debacle in the 2nd quarter. You cannot win a football game when you go 1-15 on 3rd down conversions. This continued to be a theme for the 49ers throughout the season. Additionally, the 49ers had the ball in Seattle's territory a total of five times, and came out of the game with 6 points total. Michael Crabtree looked lost in his route running throughout the game. In fact, he looked more like a rookie than he did during his first season. On multiple occasions i noticed confusion between he and Alex Smith. This happened throughout the first half. I would conclude that some of that had to do with a lack of continuity due to Crabtree missing the pre-season.

The Ugly Perfomance(s): In what would be a continuing theme throughout the season Dashon Goldson took bad angles, whiffed on tackles, and looked utterly lost on occasion. Despite finishing with 7 tackles, Goldson wasn't the ball hawk that many envisioned him to be after a standout 2009 season. Half of the passes that were thrown Michael Crabtree's way were completed, the problem is two of those were intercepted. In total, Crabtree had two receptions for 12 yards. It has to be said that Alex Smith wasn't on target in this game, but Crabtree did him no favors. He ran bad routes, dropped a routine pass, and was off his game all day long. A major regression in a game we expected big things from him.

Game Changing Play(s): The score was 7-6 Seattle late in the first half and the 49ers were right in the game. Alex Smith dropped back, had great pass protection and stepped up in the pocket. He threw a perfect pass to Michael Crabtree, who dropped the ball right into the hands of Jordan Babineaux. What would have been a 3rd down conversion with a 1:40 left in the half ended up going the other way. Babineaux returned the ball to San Francisco's 13 yard line. On the very next play Seattle scored a TD, and changed the momentum of the game forever.

Conclusion: More times than not I had to prevent myself from throwing my cell phone at the TV. This game would actually come to depict the 49ers 2010 season in a nut shell. In fact, one could say that there was not a single reason to watch another 49er game this season. This game had it all; bad coaching, horrible play calling, untimely penalties, squandered scoring opportunities and of course turnovers. You cannot expect to win in the NFL when you go 1-for-15 on 3rd downs and score six points on five possessions that ended on the other teams side of the field.

Scoring Plays

Joe Nedney 23 Yard Field Goal (3-0 SF, 10:16 1st), Joe Nedney 23 Yard Field Goal (6-0 SF, 6:23 2nd), Matt Hasselbeck 1 Yard TD Run (7-6 SEA, 2:26 2nd), Matt Hasselbeck 13 yards to Deon Butler (14-6 SEA, 1:27 2nd), Alex Smith intercepted by Marcus Trufant, returned 32 Yards (21-6 SEA, 13:59 3rd), Matt Hasselbeck to Deion Branch 3 Yards (28-6 SEA, 10:30 3rd), Olindo Mare 35 Yard Field Goal (31-6 SEA, 2:24 4th)


Alex Smith: 26/45- 225 Yards- 0 TD- 2 INT- 2 Sacks (52.5 Rating)

Frank Gore: 17 Rushes- 38 Yards- 2.2 AVG- 6 Receptions- 45 Yards

Vernon Davis: 8 Receptions- 73 Yards

Josh Morgan: 3 Receptions- 32 Yards

Delanie Walker: 3 Receptions- 27 Yards

Matt Hasselbeck: 18/23-170 Yards- 2 TD- 1 INT- 1 Sack (108.3 Rating)

Justin Forsett: 7 Rushes- 43 Yards- 6.1 AVG

Mike Williams: 4 Receptions- 64 Yards

Box Score

1st Downs 14 14
Passing 1st downs
10 9
Rushing 1st downs
4 3
1st downs from Penalties
0 2
3rd down efficiency
1-15 5-11
4th down efficiency
2-3 0-0
Total Plays 66 47
Total Yards 263 242
Passing 214 165
26-45 18-23
Yards per pass
4.8 7.2
Rushing 49 77
Rushing Attempts
19 23
Yards per rush
2.6 3.3
Red Zone (Made-Att) 0-3 3-4
Penalties 8-60 5-35
Turnovers 2 1
Fumbles lost
0 0
Interceptions thrown
2 1
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 1
Possession 32:45 27:15