The Long, Slow Grind Towards Victory

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 12: Running back Leon Washington #33 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes during the NFL season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field on September 12 2010 in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Seattle was up by 22. Fox had sent Jimmy Johnson in to distract. The game was over but for 1,406 meaningless ticks on the game clock.

  • Seattle's offensive line adjusted right to pick up the Niners three down linemen. Leon Washington picked up Parys Haralson blitzing from wide left. But Patrick Willis streaked free on a delayed blitz. Tyler Polumbus missed the read and missed the block.
  • Max Unger did the Max Unger thing: Ray McDonald pushed through him and disrupted an attempted stretch right. Unger held McDonald so as to, y'know, not allow McDonald to screw up the play. That's Unger's job. Get well, Max, and stronger.
  • Travis Laboy came free on a stunt. Despite playing from behind, the Niners created much more pressure in the second half. It seems like they adjusted to some of Seattle's weaknesses.

Niners three and out:

  • Seahawks overload the left, sending Aaron Curry and Kelly Jennings. The Dream Team fails to generate pressure. None of Seattle's blitzes were very effective, but at least the Seahawks showed restraint and blitzed five. There is nothing quite as suicidal as a seven man blitz that fails to generate pressure. Alex Smith rolls right and finds Davis.
  • Junior Siavii and David Hawthorne jointly filled and forced back Frank Gore on a rush attempt up the middle. Gore staggered back and to his left, was smacked again by Red Bryant and then, on his final attempt to recover, crumbled to the turf for a loss of two.
  • Lofa Tatupu blows cover on Frank Gore, but Chris Clemons's pressure forces a pass wide left and out of bounds.

Seahawks begin to kill the clock.

  • Chris Spencer loses his block but Washington pinballs for three.
  • Great timing to Deion Branch.
  • Great timing to Mike Williams.
  • Washington speeds through the hole.
  • Washington almost breaks this one. Spencer gets great movement on a single block against Aubrayo Franklin. Chris Baker turns his man. Washington has a seem and and a line pushing and pulling out to lead block, but Laboy slings around left end and catches Washington from behind. A backside cut block is not designed into the play.
  • Good timing to Obomanu.
  • Franklin storms through Ben Hamilton and falls on Washington after two.
  • Laboy runs around Polumbus and sacks Hasselbeck.
  • Finally, Seattle sets in a single wide, two tight end, "I" formation; Hasselbeck begins to walk towards the left sideline, and ... the play clock runs out. Spencer stands up from center and holds up his hands like "what just happened?"
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