49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

December 23, 2012
Halftime: 49ers overrun by surging Seahawks

sherman.jpg

Even routine field goals have ended in misery for the 49ers.

David Akers' short attempt, at the beginning of the second quarter, was blocked and then scooped up and returned 90 yards by - who else? - Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman. The 49ers trail 28-6.

Sherman became prominent after the team's first meeting when he was called out by Jim Harbaugh for his aggressive play. And his presence in the game was in doubt this past week after he had a hearing to appeal a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.

It was one of several disastrous plays for the 49ers, who allowed the Seahawks to score after just two offensive plays, then lost tight end Vernon Davis to a concussion after a hard hit near the goal-line by safety Kam Chancellor, who was flagged for an illegal hit. That set up Aker's short attempt on which defensive lineman Red Bryant bull-rushed Joe Staley, reached up and got a hand the ball for the fourth block of his career. Akers later was good from 33 yards and 54 yards, perhaps indicating that he is emerging from a mid-season slump.

Meanwhile, backup defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois said last week he expected the Seahawks to run straight at him in his first game substituting for ironman Justin Smith. They obliged.

Smith (elbow) was declared inactive for the game, ending his streak of consecutive starts at 185 games. On Seattle's second offensive play, Marshawn Lynch ran straight toward Jean Francois, got past him and then found little resistance from San Fancisco's other 10 defenders. Lynch finished the half with 12 carries for 64 yards. He had 103 yards against San Francisco on Oct. 18.

The Seahawks exposed plenty of other 49ers defenders in the first half.

Cornerback Carlos Rogers gave up a 43-yard reception to receiver Doug Baldwin - like Sherman, Baldwin played for Harbaugh at Stanford -- on the Seahawks' second drive. Later on the series, Rogers was caught flat-footed on a touchdown toss to Lynch, who ran into the end zone untouched. Aldon Smith also has failed to hold the edge on outside running plays, something he had been doing well up to this point this season.

On offense, Colin Kaepernick has gotten into a rhythm after a rocky start to the game. He's 8-19 for 85 yards. Counterpart Russell Wilson has just one incompletion, a tipped pass that was intercepted by Patrick Willis. He's 8-9 for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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