49ers, Seahawks get help from upstairs


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Two replay challenges helped the 49ers and Seahawks prevail in Week 1.

Alert coaching staffs contributed in both cases.

  • Update: The Seahawks' challenge was within the final 2 minutes of the half, so I hereby rescind all credit given to Seattle coaches.

The Rams were still in the game against Seattle when they returned a blocked kick for an apparent touchdown. The replay official challenged the touchdown, claiming the Rams had 12 men on the field. Officials reversed the call.

In Arizona, officials claimed the 49ers had 12 men on the field during a first quarter punt return. The penalty would have resulted in an automatic first down for the Cardinals. Instead, coach Mike Singletary successfully challenged the call. The 49ers took over in Cardinals territory, putting them in position for a field goal that gave them a 6-0 lead.

Coaches take heat for poor game management. The 49ers' staff -- and the replay official in Seattle -- deserve credit for paying attention to the little things.