The San Francisco 49ers lost a tough one to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2, losing 12-9 at CenturyLink Field. The 49ers held a lead in the fourth quarter, but the defense was worn down and Russell Wilson was able to take advantage. His scrambling and touchdown pass to Paul Richardson proved the difference.
1. Carlos Hyde remains a heck of a runner
The 49ers only consistent offense came from Hyde. He rushed for 102 yards in the first half, and 124 for the game. It was disappointing he did not get more work, but it was a strong game nonetheless. For the time being, he will remain the most important player in this offense.
2. Brian Hoyer is most certainly not the quarterback of the future
Hoyer lost a huge potential fourth quarter play to a Marquise Goodwin drop, but it was a struggle for him. He did not get consistent time in the pocket, but when he did, he took too much time to throw. He made a horrid decision on the Bobby Wagner interception, and generally struggled. After the game, Kyle Shanahan put the loss on the passing game, and while it was a blunt assessment, it was factual.
3. Aaron Lynch is kind of valuable as a pass rusher
The 49ers activated Lynch, and he stepped up with the first sack of the game. In fact, it was the 49ers first sack of the season. The pass rush was much improved, and Lynch was a big reason for it. It will be interesting to see how he and Xavier Cooper alternate activations depending on the offensive line and passing vs. rushing attack of the opposing team.
4. The 49ers defense could turn into a really good unit sooner rather than later
The 49ers defense bent but didn’t broke for most of the game. They broke at the worst possible time, but that was due in part to how much work they had to put in for the first three and a half quarters. The 49ers held the Seahawks to 3.5 yards per rush, and only 3.9 total yards per play. They benefited from facing a bad Seahawks offensive line, but it was a strong effort nonetheless.
5. The 49ers struggle on third down
The 49ers offense was 2-of-12 on third downs. Convert a couple more of those, and they very well might have won this game. The defense settled down, but during the Seahawks opening drive, they struggled to close the deal. The Seahawks converted to third downs and a fourth down before eventually settling for a field goal. That drive certainly didn’t end the game, but a potential six or nine play drive turned into a 16-play drive. Seattle had four drives of double digit plays. As the 49ers defense continues to improve, they’ll cut down the amount of time they spend on the field.