Final

Seahawks 23

(3-1, 1-1 away)

49ers 3

(2-2, 1-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:05 PM ET, September 30, 2007

Monster Park, San Francisco, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 0 13 7 323
SF 0 0 3 03

Top Performers

Passing: M. Hasselbeck (SEA) - 281 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: F. Gore (SF) - 16 CAR, 79 YDS

Receiving: D. Branch (SEA) - 7 REC, 130 YDS

Seahawks knock Smith out of game, stomp 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The balance of power in the NFC West hasn't moved an inch to the south. The Seattle Seahawks are still on top -- just as 308-pound defensive tackle Rocky Bernard illustrated by landing right on poor Alex Smith.

Matt Hasselbeck passed for 281 yards and two touchdowns, Bernard separated Smith's shoulder with a sack on the third play, and the Seahawks remained the best in the West with a 23-3 victory over the struggling 49ers on Sunday.

Scouts Buzz
Alex Smith or Trent Dilfer, it really doesn't matter for the 49ers' offense right now. Dilfer replaced an injured Smith (shoulder) early in the first quarter but had the same issues. The Seattle defensive backs took San Francisco out of the game by playing aggressive press coverage against the slower 49ers receivers. Darrell Jackson and Arnaz Battle lack the speed to separate consistently, and that forced Dilfer to hold the ball longer, which led to his being, sacked, hurried and harassed all day long. With TE Vernon Davis out, the Seahawks were able to play their safeties close to the line of scrimmage, take away the run game and lock up the 49ers receivers one-on-one on the outside. Until San Francisco finds a way to open up the offense, it will see many more days like this offensively regardless who is playing quarterback.
-- Jeremy Green, Scouts Inc.
Complete Week 4 Scouts Buzz

The 49ers (2-2) were full of cautious optimism during the week. Coach Mike Nolan hoped they were ready to challenge the Seahawks' run of three straight division titles after two wins over Seattle last season, two division victories already this year and an offseason spending spree.

Instead, the Seahawks (3-1) are showing the whole NFL they might be close to their Super Bowl form of 2005. With uniformly solid veteran play and a game plan that anticipated the 49ers' every move, they outgained San Francisco 371-184 and coasted to a blowout win.

"I think we have the most depth and the most experience throughout the conference," said former 49ers linebacker Julian Peterson, who had three of the Seahawks' six sacks. "I think everybody knows that we're the team to beat, but we still have to go out there every week and prove that, so that's what we did."

Deion Branch had seven catches for 130 yards for the Seahawks, while Bernard made the biggest of Seattle's six first-half sacks. The impact separated Smith's right shoulder, likely sidelining him through the 49ers' bye week in mid-October, and the offense was mostly awful with Trent Dilfer in charge.

"They said a few things in the paper this week and they did a few things to us last year that we really took personally," said Bernard, who didn't initially realize he had sidelined Smith. "I saw Trent was in the game and I was like, 'What's up?' It took a while to realize what was going on."

The 49ers know that feeling far too well after struggling offensively through all four games. The offense that failed to gain 200 yards in either of the club's victories didn't have a chance without Smith, who had taken every snap the past two seasons.

Dilfer, who spent four years in Seattle as Hasselbeck's mentor, went 12-of-33 for 128 yards in his first regular-season action since one tough year with Cleveland in 2005.

"It's hard. It's like seeing your little brother go down," Dilfer said. "[The Seahawks] deserve a lot of credit. They put us in a position, whether it be our fault or their good play, where we had to play uphill."

Hasselbeck moved the ball effectively, hitting Bobby Engram and Marcus Pollard with TD passes while Alexander rushed for 78 yards and Josh Brown kicked three field goals. But Seattle's defense won it with two interceptions by Marcus Trufant, solid run-stopping and a game plan to blitz the 49ers silly.

"I'm too old for the revenge thing," coach Mike Holmgren said. "I just was very disappointed in how we played last year. Shoot, this is my home, where I was born and raised and taught school and all those things, coached here. At the very least, I want my teams to come down here and play well."

Frank Gore, who set a franchise record with 212 yards rushing in the Seahawks' last visit to Candlestick, fumbled twice in the first half before finishing with 79 yards.

Thanks to Seattle's sack party, San Francisco had negative total yardage with less than 6 minutes left in the first half. The Niners gained nearly a third of their 87 first-half yards on Michael Robinson's run on the final play of the half.

"In the first two weeks, you get by with it because you win," left tackle Jonas Jennings said. "When you lose, [mistakes] get magnified. We've got to find an identity, because even when we did things well, they didn't work."

The Seahawks' offense also started slowly, managing only one field goal until Branch ran past $80 million cornerback Nate Clements for a 65-yard catch midway through the second quarter. Engram then caught a 17-yard pass over the middle to complete the two-play, 82-yard TD drive.

San Francisco trailed 20-0 before finally scoring on Joe Nedney's field goal late in the third quarter.

Game notes


Third-string Seahawks RB Alvin Pearman incurred an apparently serious knee injury, though Holmgren won't know its extent until Monday. ... Backup Seahawks QB Seneca Wallace lined up on offense on a handful of plays, throwing a pass, catching an 18-yard throw and running the ball once. "It's a great opportunity to do something to help this team," he said. "I'll do whatever they want me to." ... WR Darrell Jackson, traded to San Francisco in April after seven years in Seattle, had three quiet catches for 38 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SEA
SF
1st Downs179
Passing 1st downs
136
Rushing 1st downs
43
1st downs from penalties
00
3rd down efficiency
5-172-14
4th down efficiency
0-00-1
Total Plays7159
Total Yards371184
Yards per play5.23.1
Total Drives1516
Passing27875
Comp-Att
23-3212-34
Yards per pass
8.21.9
Interceptions thrown
12
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-36-53
Rushing93109
Rushing Attempts
3719
Yards per rush
2.55.7
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-50-0
Penalties3-159-65
Turnovers13
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
12
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession36:1023:50

Passing Leaders

SEAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Hasselbeck23/312819.1212-3
Wallace0/100.0000-0
SFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Dilfer12/331283.9025-43
Smith0/100.0001-10

Rushing Leaders

SEACARYDSAVGTDLG
Alexander25783.1017
Morris5132.609
SFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Gore16794.9017
Robinson12828.0028

Receiving Leaders

SEARECYDSAVGTDLG
Branch713018.6065
Engram45313.3126
SFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gore34214.0022
Jackson33812.7020

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERSEASF
seaFG13:00Josh Brown 23 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 52 yds, 5:29
30
seaTD6:15Bobby Engram, 17 yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 82 yds, 0:47
100
seaFG1:00Josh Brown 31 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 68 yds, 2:30
130
THIRD QUARTERSEASF
seaTD12:22Marcus Pollard, 14 yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 44 yds, 2:37
200
sfFG4:40Joe Nedney 43 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 26 yds, 1:44
203
FOURTH QUARTERSEASF
seaFG14:51Josh Brown 25 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 17 yds, 1:31
233