Instant Analysis: 49ers put up fight, but fall to Seahawks once again

Instant Analysis: 49ers put up fight, but fall to Seahawks once again


SEATTLE – The 49ers have come to Seattle with better teams since the 2012 season, but Kyle Shanahan’s squad kept things interesting for a lot longer than some of those other units.

The 49ers’ young defense kept things close, putting the clamps on Russell Wilson and the struggling Seattle offense for most of Sunday before San Francisco’s upset bid fell short with a 12-9 loss at CenturyLink Field.

The 49ers – listed as a 14-point underdog against the Seahawks -- entered Sunday’s game with six consecutive losses in Seattle by an average deficit of 18 points. The Seahawks entered with seven consecutive victories over the 49ers, including a victory in the 2013 NFC Championship that propelled Pete Carroll’s team to its only Super Bowl victory.

In a game dominated by both defenses, the 49ers’ only offensive spark for most of the game came from running back Carlos Hyde.

Hyde rushed for 124 yards on 15 carries, including a career-long 61-yard burst in the second quarter that gave the 49ers some energy and enabled them to tie the game at halftime.

Since the end of the 2014 season, Hyde is the only running back to gain more than 100 yards against the Seahawks’ home stadium. Hyde has now done it in back-to-back appearances.

The 49ers rallied from a 6-0 deficit to take a 9-6 lead with 11:36 remaining in the fourth quarter. After a steady dose of Hyde, the 49ers sprinkled in undrafted rookie running back Matt Breida on the go-ahead drive. Breida had back-to-back runs of 11 and 13 yards to set up Robbie Gould’s third field goal of the game.

But the Seahawks came back to take a 12-9 lead on Wilson’s 9-yard touchdown pass to receiver Paul Richardson. Wilson, running for his life against the 49ers’ pass rush, singlehandedly took Seattle down the field with his ability to scramble for yards and buy time to make plays down the field. Blair Walsh missed the extra point.

The 49ers tied the game with Gould field goals of 40 and 37 yards late in the first half. Walsh gave Seattle a 6-0 lead with field goals of 25 and 27 yards in the first quarter. The latter field goal was set up by Bobby Wagner’s interception of a Brian Hoyer pass.

Hoyer and the passing game struggled throughout the game. Hoyer completed 15 of 27 passes for 99 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Seattle could not sustain much offense, either. Wilson completed 23 of 39 pass attempts for 198 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Neither the 49ers nor Seahawks scored a touchdown in opening-week losses. The 49ers fell to the Carolina Panthers 23-3, while Seattle opened with a 17-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

--Fifth-year veteran Eric Reid left the game three times with apparent issues with his left knee. He went down in the second quarter with a non-contact knee injury. Reid was approximately 30 yards away from the ball on a deep Wilson pass attempt when he sustained the injury. Reid sat out the remainder of the first half but returned to action at the start of the second half. He briefly left again after a big hit on tight end Jimmy Graham. After re-entering the game, Reid sustained another injury in the third quarter and exited the game for good.

--Outside pass rusher Aaron Lynch, who was not active for the 49ers’ first game of the season, recorded the team’s first sack of the season when he threw Wilson for a 1-yard loss in the first quarter. Tank Carradine and Arik Armstead also recorded sacks.

--Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas recorded two tackles for loss, as he made a major improvement in his second NFL game. He was credited with a “start” because the 49ers opened the game in their nickel defensive package.

--Ray-Ray Armstrong started in place of linebacker Reuben Foster, who is expected to miss approximately a month with a high ankle sprain. Armstrong was briefly benched for Brock Coyle in the first half after he blew a couple of assignments. Armstrong returned to his role in the 49ers’ base defense in the second half.

--Hyde had 102 yards rushing in the first half, becoming the first player since Adrian Peterson in 2012 to rush for 100 or more yards against the Seahawks in a half.

Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions


Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions

SANTA CLARA – While rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard is taking a micro view of his promotion, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is not shy about admitting he is looking at the big picture.

Shanahan said how Beathard performs after replacing Brian Hoyer as starting quarterback will have “a ton” of influence on how the 49ers proceed during the offseason.

After all, the 49ers know every position will come under tremendous scrutiny as the organization looks to add the pieces that will make the club competitive.

“That’s for every position. That’s for every player on our team. That’s for every coach on our team,” Shanahan said. “We’re 0-6, and that’s extremely tough. But I’m extremely excited about this place and excited about where we’re at and where we’re going. There’s not a moment that I don’t waste thinking about that stuff.”

Beathard will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

Hoyer failed in his bid to earn consideration as the 49ers’ quarterback for the remainder of this season and beyond during his six starts. Hoyer completed just 58 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 74.1.

Now, Beathard gets his chance. But he said he is not thinking about the big picture and what it might mean for the future.

“I’m really just trying to take it one day, one week at a time,” Beathard said. “I’m not looking that far ahead. Right now, my focus is on today’s practice and geared towards beating the Cowboys and doing the best we can to get better and improve.”

Beathard was pressed into action last week when Hoyer’s struggles continued at Washngton. Beathard stepped in and completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception. For the first time, Beathard is getting the first-team practice snaps with a game plan that is designed specifically for him.

Said Beathard, “Getting those extra reps, reps with guys that you don’t usually throw to, in the huddle with the guys that are out there, I think it’ll help a lot.”

Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates


Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates

More than 35 players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl champion will be in attendance on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium to show support for Dwight Clark, who revealed in March he was diagnosed with ALS.

Clark, 60, will have ample opportunity to reconnect with some of his old friends on Saturday evening and again on Sunday. At halftime, Joe Montana, surrounded by most of the 49ers' 1981 team, will introduce Clark before a video tribute.

Clark is also expected to make some remarks while situated in a suite for the 49ers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Montana and his wife, Jennifer, have remained in close contact with Clark and his wife, Kelly. The Clarks recently watched the Blue Angels in San Francisco with the Montanas during Fleet Week.

“He’s getting pretty inundated with everyone staying in touch with him at this point,” Montana said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“It’s fun for him. At one point, he was telling his wife, Kelly, ‘This is what it’s all about. This is what I want and what I miss, seeing the guys.’ So any of the guys reaching out to him, he surely appreciates it.”

Montana said Clark has not lost his positive outlook or his sense of humor, as evidenced by some not-fit-for-print words he recently had about his wheelchair. Montana said there are always some good laughs and stories any time Clark gets together with his friends.

“That’s the fun part," Montana said. “You just try to get him to forget what’s there, and that you’re there for him whenever. I think the support is the biggest thing right now. In that stage of ALS, it's got to be getting tough, where all of a sudden, things are becoming more and more difficult.”