Sunday, September 20, 2009
Rapid Reaction: 49ers 23, Seahawks 10
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
SAN FRANCISCO -- Injuries didn't beat Seattle as much as the 49ers beat up the Seahawks during a game with significant implications for the NFC West.
When the physical mismatch mercifully ended, the Seahawks had lost quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (rib injury), left tackle Sean Locklear (leg), middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu (aggravaged hamstring injury) and cornerback Josh Wilson (ankle). Each started but could not finish the game.
Seattle was already without left tackle Walter Jones (knee), defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (calf), linebacker Leroy Hill (groin), receiver Deion Branch (hamstring) and cornerback Marcus Trufant (back).
Linebacker Patrick Willis' knockout shot on Hasselbeck was the signature play for the 49ers' defense. Frank Gore's 80- and 79-yard touchdown runs were the signature plays for the 49ers' offense.
It's far too early to say the Seahawks are finished this season, but they're staggering after only two weeks. The 49ers are 2-0 in the division, the Cardinals are surging after an impressive showing in Jacksonville and even the Rams showed improvement in their second game under Steve Spagnuolo. The long-term injury implications of this performance prevent the Seahawks from playing the it's-only-one-game card. This one hurt and it could hurt for weeks to come.
The tougher, more physical team prevailed. Injuries played a role, but the 49ers played a bigger one.