SANTA CLARA – With the 49ers going to rookie quarterback Trey Lance following a calf injury to starter Jimmy Garoppolo, they were going to need a big effort from the offensive support cast as well as their defense against the Seahawks from Seattle.
That didn’t happen, as Russell Wilson got off to a bad start on the Seattle offense to do what he usually does – beat the 49ers. The Seahawks won 28-21 and the result was beyond doubt despite the final score.
A look at the 49ers’ spikes and misfires as they fell to 2-2 and have another challenge next week with a road game against Arizona and quarterback Kyler Murray:
Ross Dwelly: George Kittle’s backup tight end didn’t have much action, but in the 49ers’ first practice he caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo. Dwelly was isolated on the Sidney Jones IV corner, making his first start, and he shielded Jones with the ball to make the capture. Kittle had caught two assists earlier on the drive. It was the fourth career touchdown for Dwelly, who had 19 catches for 245 yards and one touchdown in 2020.
Deebo Samuel: With the 49ers led 21-7 at the end of the third quarter, Seattle blew up coverage to a remarkable degree for a 76-yard giveaway from Lance to Samuel with 2:10 left in the quarter. He came in on a first and 10 off the 49ers 24-yard line and breathed some life into a team that needed it. Samuel finished with eight receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
Trey’s sermon: He ran 19 carries for 89 yards as a point guard as Elijah Mitchell missed a second straight game with a shoulder injury.
Rush to the early passes: The 49ers started the game as if they were going to take it out on Russell Wilson early and often. They sacked him three times in the first half, two from Dee Ford and one from Nick Bosa as Seattle initially spat. Bosa huffed around Seahawks Duane Brown’s tackle like he was an inanimate object.
Trey Lance: Coach Kyle Shanahan wasn’t in a big rush to get Lance into the game, except for some specialty games. It was clear why this was the case after Jimmy Garoppolo left at half-time with a calf injury. The 49ers’ offense with Lance was mostly a series of play options, a few broken scrambles, and the 76-yard touchdown pass to Samuel against a blown blanket. To his credit, Lance led a 13-play, 80-yard scoring practice that culminated in an 8-yard pass to Samuel. Then he ran for the two-point conversion with 1:20 to go. Lance finished 9 of 18 for 157 yards and two touchdowns and had seven carries for 41 yards.
Jimmy Garoppolo: It’s not his fault that he got injured, but before Garoppolo left the game there were problems after an almost flawless opening. Garoppolo was 6-for-6 for 70 yards on the drive that culminated in Dwelly’s scoring pass. Subsequently, there was no more touchdown and he missed a number of shots. One, intended for Kittle, was intercepted by Quandre Diggs of Seattle. After opening practice, Garoppolo was 8 of 17 for 95 yards and intercepted the remainder of the half.
Robbie Gould: The 49ers kicker suffered a groin injury, apparently during warm-ups, and was unavailable. This left punter Mitch Wishnowsky to handle the kicking duies. With a chance to give the 49ers a 10-0 lead in the first half, he pushed a 41-yard attempt to the left. Go ahead and assume the 49ers will try kickers this week. Wisknowsky was also on the sidelines on an extra point attempt after Samuel’s catch and 76-yard run.
Dr. Kirkpatrick: In his first game with the 49ers, Kirkpatrick received a 23-yard pass interference penalty on the third and -10 as he defended Tyler Lockett who put Seattle on the 49ers 18-yard line. Two plays later, Alex Collins scored on a 14-yard rush for a 28-13 lead in Seattle with 12:07 left.
Trent Canon: The 49ers comeback specialist missed a punt deep in the 49ers’ territory with 5:16 left in the third quarter. He jumped on the ball, tried to push it forward, then lost it again, with Seattle’s Dee Eskridge recovering on the 49ers 14-yard line. That set up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Freddie Swain in the left corner of the end zone for a 21-7 lead in Seattle. Cannon returned the ensuing kickoff just seven yards away.