Deon Butler, welcome to Seattle.
The rookie out of Penn State proved he was worthy of his third-round selection last April, when he made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch while being covered by defensive back Keith Smith. The pass and catch went for 32 yards down the right side of the field and put the Seahawks at the San Francisco 15 with just 12 seconds left in a tied game.
Two plays and a time out taken by each team later, Olindo Mare boots a 30-yard field goal and the Seahawks pull out a three-point victory at home over the 49ers, 20-17.
After both teams exchanged punts within the final minute of the game, Seattle (5-7) capitalized on a defensive holding penalty committed by San Francisco free safety Dashon Goldston that put the Seahawks in 49ers territory at the San Francisco 47.
The following play found Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck hitting Butler.
For San Francisco (5-7), the spread/shot gun was used heavily and, while effective, it came at a price.
Running back Frank Gore had just 14 total touches, with nine of them coming on the ground going for a collective 25 yards. Of those nine carries, one resulted in a costly fumble that was lost at the Seattle 22. The fumble, caused by Jordan Babineaux, was recovered and returned to the San Francisco 41 by Josh Wilson with a little over nine minutes to go in the game.
Seattle then took the ball all the way down to the 49ers’ two-yard line, where, on fourth-and-two, Olindo Mare nailed a 25-yarder to put Seattle up 17-14.
On the ensuing possession, the 49ers turned to Joe Nedney to tie things up with a 34-yard field goal after tight end Vernon Davis and wide receiver Michael Crabtree failed to haul in passes from Alex Smith on second-and-four and third-and-four, respectively, from the Seattle 16.
Smith finished the game with 310 passing yards and two touchdowns, with Davis being the main beneficiary, bringing in six balls from his quarterback for 111 yards and a score. The touchdown was Davis’ 10TH on the season and set a single-season record for 49ers’ tight ends.
Seattle was plagued with another sub-par performance from starting running back Julius Jones. Jones had 64 total yards on 25 touches.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck faired better against the 49ers, completing 25 of 34 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns. The first score came with 3:48 on the clock in the first quarter when he threw a seven-yard pass to Deion Branch in the middle back portion of the end zone, while Hasselbeck’s second scoring strike came on a eight-yard screen to Justin Forsett out of the right side of the backfield with 10:06 left in the second quarter.
Next week Seattle heads to Houston to take on the Texans. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00pm Eastern.