The San Francisco 49ers, no matter how promising a club that they may be, may have ensured that they do not visit the postseason as they squandered opportunity after opportunity during their game Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field. Even icing the Seahawks kicker, Olindo Mare, had no effect; Mare would connect on the game-winning, 30-yard field goal with no time left on the game clock, lifting Seattle past San Francisco 20-17.
San Francisco drew first blood at the 6:16 mark of the first quarter on a 33-yard Alex Smith-to-Vernon Davis touchdown pass, giving them a 7-0 lead; however, Seattle struck back as Matt Hasselbeck connected with Deion Branch on a 7-yard TD pass, tying things up at 7-all. Hasselbeck would connect again as he threw a 8-yard TD pass to Justin Forsett with 10:06 left remaining in the second quarter, making it 14-7. Smith would connect with Josh Morgan on a 22-yard TD pass, tying the game yet again at 14-all, which would be the score going into halftime.
The third quarter was relatively quiet as no scoring took place. The final period was chockfull of errors; four consecutive completions by Hasselbeck got the Seahawks to the San Francisco 40-yard line. Then came a negative-yardage completion, a screen pass to Julius Jones, who would get waxed by Patrick Willis, resulting in a 5-yard loss. Next was a false-start by center Chris Spencer which put the Seahawks back to midfield for a third-and-19 situation. Hasselbeck tossed a great pass to Branch, but he would drop it.
It wouldn’t get any better for the 49ers either as they went 3-and-out. Nate Burleson would return the punt 21 yards to the Seattle 48 with just 21 seconds left in the contest. Two plays later, Deon Butler would catch a Hasselbeck pass for a 32-yard gain; after a run play, Seattle would take a timeout and Mare would connect on the game-winning FG as time expired.
Smith had his best game as a pro, going 27-of-45 for 310 yards and 2 TD’s while Hasselbeck went 25-of-34 for 198 yards and 2 TD’s while rushing 4 times for 31 yards. Julius Jones led the Seahawks rushers with 67 yards on 20 carries while Frank Gore led the 49ers with 25 yards on 9 carries.
Burleson led all Seahawks receivers with 5 receptions for 54 yards while T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught five for 37 yards; Davis led the 49ers receivers with 6 receptions for 111 yards and a TD while Michael Crabtree caught six passes for 60 yards; Morgan caught six passes for 56 yards and a score in a losing effort by the 49ers.
Seattle (5-7) plays again next Sunday when they travel to Houston to take on the Texans while San Francisco (5-7) returns home to host the Arizona Cardinals next Monday night.