2. Deon Butler. The rookie wide receiver from Penn State had a great catch early from Hasselbeck and showed excellent ability as a gunner on the punt unit by downing a punt at the one yard line while walking the tight rope on the end zone line.
3. Laurence Jackson. The second year defensive end from USC had his best game with 2 sacks, 4 tackles, a strip of Shaun Hill and swatting down a pass attempt. Jackson was dogged last year for taking plays off but so far this season he has played hard every time he has been on the field.
4. TJ Houshmandzadeh. Not a great game, but TJ led all Seahawk receivers as he caught 4 passes for 62 yards, but he was targeted 8 times total.
1. Run Defense. 49ers running back Frank Gore set his career long run of 79 yards in the first quarter. He then broke it with 80 yards in the third. Both runs were up the middle.
2. Aaron Curry. The rookie looked it against San Francisco. Granted, he was the only starting linebacker in the game after the 49ers first series, Tatupu played briefly before sitting out the rest of the game and Leroy Hill didn’t travel with the team, but as good as Curry was against the Rams, he was just as bad against the 49ers.
3. Ken Lucas. Getting beat by Isaac Bruce is not a good sign.
4. Offensive Line. It was always going to be rough when Sean Locklear left the game with an ankle injury early, but the line played reasonably well. The bad part was a lack of a running game and the uncanny ability to get a penalty at the exact wrong time.
1. The Safeties. Deon Grant and Jordan Babineaux were both caught in the wrong place at the wrong time more than once. Particularly on Gore’s two runs. I understand stuffing the box with 8 and 9 defenders against the 49ers. Shaun Hill is not Joe Montana but Frank Gore is the real deal. If you do bring up that many defenders into the box, then you had better stop the run. On both of Gore’s runs, they didn’t.
2. Injuries. A total of 11 starters, if you count Deon Branch as a starter anymore, were out with injury by the end of the game. Lost against the 49ers were Lofa Tatupu (hamstring), Sean Locklear (ankle), Josh Wilson (ankle), and Matt Hasselbeck (back/ribs). The status of these players are up in the air at the moment although the latest word has Hasselbeck with either a rib bruise or a rib fracture, depending on which “source” you subscribe to. Either way, I would expect him to be gone for at least a week. Locklear was in a walking boot after the game and may be back to face the Bears in Seattle on Sunday. The team is hoping that Walter Jones will be back with Locklear, something that should help solidify the offensive line quite a bit. Hopefully defensive tackle Brandon Mebane will be back too. He usually starts in the slot that Frank Gore gashed the line at for both of his home runs.