Three things you need to know from 49ers' 12-9 loss to Seahawks

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 12-9 loss to Seahawks

SEATTLE -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2 on Sunday:

1. Wilson is the difference
The Seahawks have their franchise quarterback. The 49ers do not. This game came down to one quarterback’s ability to make plays, and the other one’s inability to change the game.

Both quarterbacks were under harassment throughout the game, which made it difficult to operate. Wilson was not spectacular, but when the Seahawks needed something, he delivered. On the game-winning drive, Wilson picked up 27 yards rushing, including two first downs. He used his unique ability to side-step the rush to buy time for a 9-yard touchdown pass to Paul Richardson.

The go-ahead score with 7:06 remaining is the only touchdown the Seahawks or 49ers have scored through two games. For the 49ers, it’s the first time in franchise history the club has been held out of the end zone in back-to-back games to open the season. That’s a major disappointment, considering Kyle Shanahan’s background as an offensive guru.

Hoyer completed 15 of 27 attempts for 99 yards and one interception. The 49ers converted just 2 of 12 third-down attempts.

2. The makings of a strong defense
The 49ers implemented a Seahawks-style defense this season under coordinator Robert Saleh. That unit, by and large, has exceeded expectations in the first two weeks of the season.

But the 49ers’ defense was on the field for way too many snaps. The 49ers' offense is partly to blame, of course, but the defense must do a better job of getting off the field on third downs. The Seahawks had a 42-percent success rate on third downs. The 49ers' defense seemed to wear down late in the game. 

The 49ers got particularly strong play on the defensive line from their recent first-round draft picks. Solomon Thomas recorded two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit; DeForest Buckner was dominant on the interior with four tackles and three quarterback hits; and Arik Armstead also recorded four tackles, to go along with a sack.

Considering the 49ers ranked worst in the NFL last season in yards and points allowed, the defense has made significant strides in a short period of time.

3. Quick turnaround
The 49ers must regroup quickly to face the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium. Dating back to December 2015 – under Jim Tomsula, Chip Kelly and, now, Shanahan, the 49ers have won just three of their past 22 games. The 49ers are 3-0 against the Rams, and 0-19 against every other team.

The 49ers do not have enough established talent to overcome the kind of mistakes they've made in the first two weeks of the season. The only encouraging sign on offense was the production out of Carlos Hyde, who gained 124 yards on 15 attempts. The offensive line did a good job in the run game, as left guard Laken Tomlinson seemed to hold his own as he took over in the starting lineup for struggling Zane Beadles.

The 49ers must have continued success in the run game to set up Hoyer and the passing game. The problem with the 49ers have been their lack of consistency. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin had another dropped pass on a play that would’ve given the 49ers a first down near the Seattle 10-yard line. Instead, they settled for a field goal to open the door for Wilson’s late-game, go-ahead heroics.

Kilgore: All of 49ers on same page 'for the first time in a long time'


Kilgore: All of 49ers on same page 'for the first time in a long time'

The 49ers’ coaching staff made its feelings known to center Daniel Kilgore throughout the season.

But, in the past, that would not have necessarily meant everyone in the organization had the same thoughts about Kilgore, who was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

“The whole season, coaches and I had a good relationship,” Kilgore said Wednesday on conference call with Bay Area reporters. “Just talking and having one-on-ones with various coaches, I had a positive outlook for the future.

“But that’s just one thing. The coaches have an opinion of you, but then there’s also the front office. That’s two totally different things. And I think for the first time in a long time, our coaches and the front office are on the same page.”

Kilgore was working out back home in Tennessee on Wednesday when he signed a three-year contract to avoid hitting the free-agent market. Kilgore, 30, a seven-year NFL veteran, described the contract as a team-friendly deal.

The 49ers presented Kilgore with a contract offer during the season but negotiations did not get serious until just recently. While the 49ers expressed interest in retaining Kilgore, he said he did not know what the future held for him when he packed his belongings from the locker room on the day after the season ended.

“It kind of makes you nervous because in this profession, people like the younger guys,” Kilgore said. “You just never know what will happen at any time, any given day, in the NFL. So toward the end, that last day of clearing out the locker, I didn’t know if I’d be back. I didn’t know if the Niners would want me back.”

Kilgore was named the winner of the organization’s top honor for an offensive lineman. Kilgore won the Bobb McKittrick Award for best exemplifying the dedication, excellence and commitment of the long-time 49ers offensive line coach. Kilgore started all 29 games in which he appeared the past two seasons, including a career-high 16 games last season.

"I've been here seven years and I consider the Bay Area my second home,” Kilgore said. “To be able to extend my career wearing the 49ers jersey was special to me. This team is heading in the right direction, I wanted to be a part of it."

Why the 49ers did not hesitate to pay Garoppolo big money

Matt Maiocco

Why the 49ers did not hesitate to pay Garoppolo big money

When Jimmy Garoppolo signed a contract that could pay him up to $137.5 million over the next five years, he was asked what convinced him during his nine weeks with the organization that he wanted to be with the 49ers for the long term.

“I think it was a number of things,” Garoppolo said last week. “The team, the acceptance that they had of me when I first got here from the get-go, the coaching staff, Kyle and Rich. It was a very welcoming environment, and I really liked that. We had some success down the stretch, and you could see that pieces were falling into place. We've got a long way to go, but I think we're moving in the right direction.”

Kyle, of course, is head coach Kyle Shanahan. Rich Scagarello is the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach, and the person from whom Garoppolo spent the most time after arriving in Santa Clara on Oct. 31 after a trade with the New England Patriots.

Garoppolo earned $3.5 million in his first four NFL seasons. His new contract makes him the NFL’s highest-paid player, making an average of $27.5 million per season, with $48.7 million fully guaranteed.

Scangarello, appearing this week on The 49ers Insider Podcast, talked about what he learned about Garoppolo from working so closely with him to teach him Shanahan's offense. Scangarello said there is no question in his mind the money will not change Garoppolo’s approach to his work.

“That’s why it was easy for the organization and everyone to invest in somebody like Jimmy Garoppolo,” Scangarello said. “I just think that’s not the kind of person he is. If you met his family, you know where he comes from, what he’s about. His brothers, his parents, are just good, solid people people. He’s made of the right stuff and I just don’t see that affecting him in that way.

“It’s just not who he is. That’s the fun part of working with somebody like that every day. When they’re really talented and they appreciate everything and they work at it, you have a chance to be a successful organization and they can be a great player. And I don’t think those things will ever affect him.”