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.