Redskins

49ers make just enough plays, hold off Seahawks

201210182248820925618-p2.jpeg

49ers make just enough plays, hold off Seahawks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers sure have a knack for leaving tough losses behind.

They've never lost two games in a row under the reigning NFL Coach of the Year.

This time, the 49ers had all of four days and no choice but to forget in a hurry; first place in the NFC West was on the line.

Alex Smith threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker late in the third quarter and San Francisco held off the Seattle Seahawks 13-6 Thursday night to give the 49ers a victory in their long-awaited division opener.

``Coming off a loss, we wanted to go out there and get that mojo back,'' linebacker Patrick Willis said. ``We never lost it, but at the same time, you never want to lose a game. It's a bad taste in everybody's mouth. We just knew we had to come out and play great football against this team tonight.''

It wasn't all that pretty, but that hardly matters to the Niners.

They're alone in first place - for now.

``You lose, you move on and you get ready for your next opponent,'' defensive tackle Justin Smith said. ``It just happened to be Seattle, who's in our division.''

Frank Gore ran for 131 yards and the 49ers (5-2) hung tough on defense late in a game featuring two teams allowing fewer than 16 points per game.

Alex Smith went 14 of 23 for 140 yards in a second straight subpar performance.

Walker's score was San Francisco's first touchdown in seven quarters after an embarrassing 26-3 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday in a lopsided rematch of the NFC championship game.

NFC rushing leader Marshawn Lynch finished with 103 yards for Seattle (4-3).

It's now Harbaugh 3, Pete Carroll 0 since these coaching rivals started facing off in the NFL last year after all those memorable moments in the college game.

``That was the most physical 30 minutes of football in the second half that I have ever seen our football team play,'' Harbaugh said. ``It's a sweet win. It was a real football fight, and our guys won it.''

The 49ers improved to 5-0 after regular-season defeats since Harbaugh took over before last season.

Pulling off this one could give the 49ers some momentum, too. It was the first of two straight prime-time games for San Francisco, which doesn't play again until Oct. 29 at Arizona.

The defensive fight left the animated coaches shaking their heads and hollering on opposite sidelines all game, offering plenty of entertainment for the sellout crowd of 69,732 at balmy Candlestick Park.

``We found ourselves in a real slugfest here today,'' Carroll said. ``I'm not surprised it could have gone that way with two good defenses and two teams committed to running the ball.''

These teams met in Weeks 1 and 16 last season, with the 49ers beating Seattle 33-17 at home for Harbaugh's first victory as an NFL coach.

This one was close until the end.

``We've got to figure something out. We've got to figure out a way to get it done,'' Seahawks receiver Golden Tate said. ``The season's not over. We still have a long way to go, so we can't let this set us back. I think we still have the chance to be a real special team.''

After Walker's touchdown, Dashon Goldson intercepted a deep pass by Russell Wilson to thwart Seattle's next drive after NaVorro Bowman clobbered the rookie quarterback as he was trying to throw.

Smith gave the ball back with an interception of his own early in the fourth quarter. His fifth interception of the season matched his total from all of 2011.

Harbaugh went to backup Colin Kaepernick for one keeper play that lost a yard, then Smith returned for third-and-goal on the 7. He scrambled to his left looking for an open receiver and Brandon Browner jumped in front of a pass intended for Randy Moss.

That gave Seattle the ball back with 11:58 remaining. Yet again, the Seahawks couldn't capitalize on a night of missed opportunities and dropped balls.

Gore had his third 100-yard game of the season, not to be outdone by Lynch on the other side.

``I just got in that rhythm, and once I get in that rhythm, I feel I can't be stopped,'' Gore said.

Lynch carried 19 times and bounced back from a 41-yard outing in Sunday's comeback 24-23 home win against the Patriots. The 49ers and their top-ranked defense hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 22 consecutive home games before New York's Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 116 yards and a touchdown Sunday - and now the Niners made it twice in five days.

Not that they should have been too surprised. This is Lynch, after all.

The last time they faced off, on Dec. 24, Lynch ran for 107 yards as San Francisco's defense had its streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher end at 36 games. And his 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter also was the first TD rushing allowed by San Francisco all season.

Wilson, who leading up to the game said that he couldn't wait for his introduction to this heated rivalry, went 9 of 23 for 122 yards, an interception and two sacks after rallying his team late to stun New England.

``The way we lost was frustrating. We could have done some things better,'' Wilson said. ``I could have done some things better.''

San Francisco was in control of the division at this stage last season - sitting at 5-1 - but needed a big second half Thursday after a quick week of preparation.

Steven Hauschka kicked a 52-yard field goal as Seattle scored first for the seventh time in as many games this year. He added a 35-yarder early in the second quarter, but missed wide left on a 51-yard try later in the quarter.

David Akers, who had eight of his NFL-record 44 field goals in the two games against the Seahawks last season, booted a 38-yarder late in the first quarter to make it 3-3.

NOTES: 49ers LT Joe Staley returned after sustaining a concussion Sunday. ... Seattle lost LB Malcolm Smith to a concussion on the opening kickoff, then WR Doug Baldwin later injured his ankle and did not return.

Quick Links

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

scherffvideo102918.jpg
USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Anthony Santander has a huge outing in blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox

usatsi_13075192.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Anthony Santander has a huge outing in blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox

Check out the latest news and notes on the Baltimore Orioles

Player Updates:

Even in a loss, the night belonged to OF Anthony Santander who went 4-for-5 with a homer, triple and two runs scored. Santander tripled and scored during the Orioles' five-run rally in the third inning. He then tagged Rick Porcello for a solo shot in the fifth that pulled the Orioles to within 10 runs at 16-6. It was the first four-hit game of the young outfielder's career. 

SP Thomas Eshelman had a rough day on the mound giving up nine runs (five earned) on six hits over 3 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander also issued three walks while striking out three. He struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark in this one, giving up home runs to Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers and Mookie Betts before departing in the fourth. 

Due to Pedro Severino's illness, the Orioles optioned C Austin Wynns to Triple-A Norfolk. He has played in 16 games for the O's this year with a .233 batting average, zero homers and three RBI in 47 plate appearances.

Injuries:

C Pedro Severino: Illness, Day-to-day

SP Dylan Bundy: Knee, 10-day Injured List

RP Josh Rogers: Elbow, 10-day Injured List

OF DJ Stewart: Ankle, 10-day Injured List

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-day Injured List

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-day Injured List

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-day Injured List

Coming Up:

Sunday 7/21: Orioles vs. Red Sox, 1:05 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Monday 7/22: Orioles at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m., Chase Field

Tuesday 7/23: Orioles at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m., Chase Field

Source: Rotoworld

MORE ORIOLES NEWS: