|Time of possession||2:14||12:46|
Matt Hasselbeck started out poorly last season with two interceptions in the first quarter. He started out even worse in 2010. At least it took him two pass attempts in 2009 before he was intercepted. Hasselbeck was picked off on his very first throw in Sunday’s regular-season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. His pass, intended for tight end John Carlson, was intercepted by cornerback Nate Clements. Hasselbeck appeared to overlook Clements position, leading Carlson too far. San Francisco took over on the Seattle 29 and turned that into a 24-yard field goal by Joe Nedney. It appeared the 49ers scored a touchdown three plays before that when Josh Morgan caught an 8-yard pass in the back of the end zone. Officials ruled it was a touchdown, but Seattle coach Pete Carroll challenged the play to a replay review. Officials determined that Morgan’s elbow hit the ground out of bounds before his second foot came down. Seattle coach Jim Mora was 0-for-9 on replay challenges a year ago.
|First 23 minutes||Last 7 minutes|
|Time of possession||3:39||5:09|
Seattle didn’t have a first down for the first 24 minutes of the game. Their first three possessions totaled 11 yards of offense and Seattle had held the ball for 3:39 total.
That changed suddenly.
In the final 5 minutes of the first half, Seattle scored two touchdowns by gaining 77 yards and forcing a turnover.
The momentum built gradually. First, the Seahawks got a first down by penalty when Nate Clements was penalized for holding Deion Branch on third-and-4. It was Seattle’s first first down of the game.
The second first down came two plays later when tight end Cameron Morrah caught a pass from Hasselbeck for an 11-yard gain.
At that point, Seattle had the ball, first-and-10 at the San Francisco 39. The Seahawks total offense was 31 yards. On second down, Matt Hasselbeck pump-faked toward Mike Williams, getting Clements to bite forward. That left Williams wide open, he caught the ball ran back inside and got all the way to the 1.
Hasselbeck scored on the next play, a 1-yard run, and just like that Seattle had the lead.
San Francisco’s next possession became another opportunity when Alex Smith’s third-down pass bounced off Michael Crabtree and was intercepted by safety Jordan Babineaux, who returned the ball 20 yards to the San Francisco 13.
On first down, Hasselbeck threw to Deon Butler in the corner of the end zone for his first NFL touchdown.
San Francisco’s offense scored more points for the Seahawks than it did for its own team. The 49ers received the ball to begin the second half, and on third down, quarterback Smith’s pass was intercepted by Marcus Trufant, who returned it 32 yards for a touchdown.
It was the first touchdown of Trufant’s career, which is now in its eight season. He returned an interception 84 yards in 2007 against Arizona, but didn’t reach the end zone.
Seattle extended its lead to 28-6 on Deion Branch’s 3-yard touchdown catch in the first 5 minutes of the third quarter.
San Francisco’s first three drives of the game gained 139 yards and nine first downs.
The 49ers failed to gain a first down on five of their next six possessions. Those five possessions gained 59 yards.
Tough to find a lot of things that didn’t go right for Seattle in this game, but the running game was certainly one of them. Seattle had 29 yards rushing halfway through the fourth quarter, a total that Justin Forsett more than doubled with his 32-yard gain in that final period.
The only other flaw? Seattle was penalized three times for defensive encroachment. But when Olindo Mare kicked a 35-yard field goal with 2:24 left as Seattle scored the final 31 points of the game.