Behind a 20-point second quarter, San Francisco turned a three-point advantage after 15 minutes of play into a 30-7 halftime lead as the 49ers went on to beat the visiting Seattle Seahawks 40-21.
The 20-point outburst came in large part courtesy of the Seattle offense.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck accounted for turnovers on four consecutive possessions in the quarter. The 12-year veteran threw two interceptions, lost a fumble after getting sacked and couldn’t complete a pass on fourth-and-four from within San Francisco territory.
Taking over possession was Alex Smith. In his first game since suffering an injury and later bench after Week Seven, the San Francisco quarterback connected with wide receiver Josh Morgan for a 15-yard score with 8:11 remaining in the second quarter and, on the next drive, with running back Brian Westbrook for a 62-yard touchdown. The scores came in between two Jeff Reed field goals.
Smith would finish the day 17 for 27 with 255 yards and three touchdown passes. He also had 12 rushing yards.
The win brings San Francisco (5-8) within a game of the NFC West division lead, currently held by Seattle (6-7) and St. Louis, who also lost today.
Opening the second half, Hasselbeck again gave the ball back to the 49ers. Facing second-and-seven from his 27-yard line, the quarterback, looking for tight end Chris Baker, was intercepted by Dashon Goldson. Racing down the field, 6-foot-2, 200-pound safety returned the interception 39 yards for a touchdown to extend the 49ers’ lead to 37-7 after a Jeff Reed extra point.
Not finished, the 49ers stepped in front of a Hasselbeck pass on the Seahawks’ next possession, this time it was cornerback Nate Clements’ turn; however, San Francisco’s offense stalled and was forced to punt.
When all was said and done, four separate San Francisco defenders had picked off Seattle’s quarterback.
With two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Deon Butler hauled in a two-yard touchdown reception for the Seahawks – his fourth on the year – but was carted off the field after possibly breaking his leg.
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