SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Simplicity agrees with the Seattle
Seahawks. Their stripped-down game plan was still too complicated
for the San Francisco 49ers.
Jackson had five catches for 114 yards on a sprained ankle, and
Koren Robinson also caught a TD pass for the Seahawks (5-3), who
stayed atop the NFC West with their second victory following three
Coach Mike Holmgren stuck with the plan that stopped the skid
last week against Carolina, sacrificing much of his beloved West
Coast gadgetry to keep his talented skill players working at a
brisk pace in a straightforward scheme.
"It's just like in my high school," said Alexander, who capped
two long second-quarter drives with short TD runs. "Our coaches
said, 'You know what, if we can just run three plays well, we'll
probably win the state championship. It's simple.' Of course, the
NFL's a little complex, so we need maybe one more than three.
"It's a really simplified offense, but we have enough talent to
really make things simple and still make great plays."
Seattle didn't need much trickery to extend the woeful 49ers'
worst start since 1979. Hasselbeck was 17-for-28 for 285 yards
while the Seahawks marched to 453 yards of offense, with
Alexander's shifty running setting up Seattle's passing game.
"We condensed some things down, and guys are just executing a
lot better now," Holmgren said. "If Matt can throw the ball
effectively and we can gain some yards rushing, we're going to be
able to do some good things."
Jerry Rice caught one 5-yard pass, but wasn't a factor in
Seattle's game plan. The relatively sparse crowd at Candlestick
Park gave an ovation to the longtime 49ers star in perhaps his last
game in San Francisco -- though Rice would be interested in
returning to the Niners next season.
After making his way through dozens of cameras on the field and
getting a handful of hugs from friends, Rice walked out of this
place for perhaps the final time. This is his 20th NFL season and
he's changed his mind a few times on whether he'll return next
"I really did (think about that)," he said. "When the last
few seconds wound down, I said to myself, 'This might be my last
time here.' It was unbelievable."
Jackson didn't practice this week and wasn't cleared to play
until Saturday morning, but he put on a performance reminiscent of
Rice in his prime.
He caught a 33-yard scoring pass in the first quarter and a
39-yarder in the third, sprinting past San Francisco's secondary to
haul in Hasselbeck's perfect throws.
"I played with injuries all last season," Jackson said. "This
isn't anything different. We've got a lot of receivers banged up,
so I had no choice but to go out there."
Tim Rattay passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns for the
Niners (1-7), who wasted an impressive offensive performance with
dismal defense in their fourth straight loss to Seattle under coach
"We all want to win, and this isn't much fun for anybody,"
said Erickson, the Seahawks' coach for four seasons before Holmgren
arrived. "It's not about effort. It's about not giving up big
Both teams moved the ball easily in the first half, and San
Francisco took a 24-21 lead on Brandon Lloyd's 39-yard TD catch
early in the third quarter. But Robinson and Jackson caught TD
passes later in the quarter, and linebacker Anthony Simmons
clinched the win with a 23-yard interception return for a score
midway through the fourth.
"We can't hope to win and expect to lose," said tight end Eric
Johnson, who had five catches for 54 yards. "This sort of thing
just pounds your motivation. It's tough to keep coming back."
Lloyd had four catches for 75 yards after teammates Fred Beasley
and Kevan Barlow criticized him earlier in the week for a lack of
professionalism and team spirit. Lloyd showed plenty of emotion
this week, waving a towel on the sideline and screaming at
Barlow rushed for a TD on the 49ers' first game-opening scoring
drive of the season, and Curtis Conway leaped at the goal line for
a 28-yard TD catch later in the half.
Alexander had his 17th career multi-touchdown game, tying
Steve Largent for the franchise record. Only Kansas City's Priest
Holmes has more multi-TD games since 2001. ... Seahawks CB Ken
Lucas was carted off the field in the second quarter with a bruised
chest after falling on the ball while trying to make an
interception. He was expected to stay in a San Francisco hospital
overnight. ... The 49ers still can't run the ball. Barlow had just
61 yards, leaving San Francisco near the bottom of the league after
years as a top rushing team.
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