It’s another beautiful day on Candlestick Point, site of today’s 49ers-Seahawks elimination game in the NFC West.
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First things first, before my computer even got fired up this morning, a 49ers representative came to me to refute the NFL Network report that the club is interested in interviewing Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice for the job of “team president.”
The 49ers’ current structure is such that general manager Scot McCloughan is in charge of all the football operations, while chief operating officer Andy Dolich oversees all of the business matters.
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49ers: Jamie Martin (third QB), CB Reggie Smith, S Dashon Goldson, LB Ahmad Brooks, C Cody Wallace, T Jonas Jennings, T Kirk Barton and DE Ray McDonald.
Seahawks: K Brandon Coutu, QB Matt Hasselbeck, CB Kevin Hobbs, G Mansfield Wrotto, WR Deion Branch, TE Will Heller, DE Baraka Atkins and DT Howard Green.
Seneca Wallace starts at QB for Hasselbeck, and Bobby Engram starts at WR for Branch.
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The 49ers will honor Hall of Famer Fred Dean at halftime when the 49ers play the Jets on Dec. 7, the club just announced.
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Update on Rice report: Jed York, the 49ers’ new front man, dismissed the report, other than saying if the Secretary of State called to pitch her services to the organization, he would listen.
Not to mix sports and politics, but according to fundrace.org, John York has donated $2,000 to Ohio Democrat congressman Tim Ryan, while Denise York donated $500 to his campaign. John York also contributed $250 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
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Former coach Mike Nolan on the NFL Network this morning talked again about how Jed York was the only other person in the room Monday when he was fired. From what I’ve been able to gather through sources inside and outside the building, Jed York was very emotional — perhaps even crying — when he approached Nolan about the subject of a firing. GM Scot McCloughan was on a treadmill in the team’s weight room. McCloughan was told to get upstairs in a hurry. McCloughan entered for the tail end of the meeting.
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Around the NFC West: Patriots 23, Rams 16; and Panthers 27, Cardinals 23. Both of those are finals. The 49ers can gain a game on the Cardinals with a victory.
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Eric Heitmann, Patrick Willis, Walt Harris and Michael Robinson are the 49ers’ captains at midfield. The Seahawks call tails. It’s tails. The Seahawks defer, so the 49ers will receive the opening kickoff.
–Niners take over at the 20 after the touchback.
–Baas is starting for Snyder at LG, The rest of the O-line is the same. Nineers open with two TEs, Bajema and Davis. Josh Morgan and Isaac Bruce are the starting wideouts. Gore gains a yard on first down.
–Good to see JTO has those fumbles under control, huh? He fumbles and loses 16 yards while being sacked on second down. Wow. Welcome to the head-coaching ranks, Mike Singletary.
–First-down pass of 21 yards from Wallace to Engram.
–Niners are in a 3-4 with Justin Smith playing right defensive end. On second and 15, Strickland comes into the game and Lawson comes out. Jones is stopped at the line of scrimmage, but he wasn’t tackled. He stayed on his feet and gained 14 yards.
–There are a lot of empty seats here at the ‘Stick.
–Wallace overthrows Carlson, with Lawson in coverage down the field. Seahawks have a second-and-10 at the Niners’ 25.
–Now it’s third-and-10 . . . . Wallace throws incomplete, as Engram can’t hold onto the diving try.
–Olindo Mare comes on for a 43-yard FG attempt. It’s good. SEAHAWKS 3, 49ERS 0 with 9:58 left in the first. It was a nine-play, 41-yard drive in 2:59.
–Niners start this drive at the 25. Morgan is on the field. Clearly, he has leaped over Bryant Johnson for the starting job at split end.
–False start on Vernon Davis. Hmmm.
–Davis catches a pass on first and 15. It’s a 6-yard gain.
–Niners with an unbalanced line with Vernon Davis at left tackle, and Walker in the slot. Walker catches the pass and takes it 53 yards to the Seahawks’ 21.
–Another unbalanced line with Staley at TE on the right side. Gore gains 10 yards off the right side to the 11-yard line.
–JTO fumbles again. He’s hit by Julian Peterson from the blindside as he’s throwing. Staley did not pick up Peterson — didn’t even lay a finger on him, as it looked as if he was blocking down. (Why?) Kerney returns it 50 yards all the way to the 49ers’ 27. Same old 49ers.
–The Seahawks will have to settle for a 42-yard FG attempt. He made it. SEAHAWKS 6, 49ERS 0 with 6:10 remaining in the quarter. Man, these two teams are bad. The Seahawks’ drive was four plays, 3 yards in 56 seconds.
–As the 49ers get ready to return this kickoff, O’Sullivan and Alex Smith are standing on the sideline at the Seattle 45, talking to each other.
–Rossum returns the kickoff to the 30, but Kentwan Balmer is called for holding. That’ll push them back to the 19.
–As O’Sullivan jogs out to the huddle, the small crowd here is booing him.
–On third and 4, Morgan drops it. The 49ers had three WRs on the field: Morgan, Bruce and Battle. Johnson was on the sideline next to WR coach Jerry Sullivan.
–O’Sullivan is 2 of 4 for 59 yards; while Wallace is 2 of 7 for 32 yards. O’Sullivan has been sacked twice and fumbled twice, losing one of them. This is ugly, brother.
–Lawson makes a stop behind the line of scrimmage. After a couple passes for a combined 27 yards, Lawson makes another stop for a loss.
–It’s third and 6 from the 49ers’ 35 . . . Walt Harris with a nice stop after pass to Keary Colbert. Seahawks might go for it.
–The Seahawks call a timeout with the playclock running down.
–Seahawks get the first down, as Robinson catches a pass on a slant versus Tarell Brown. It’s first down from the 49ers’ 29.
–That’s the end of the first quarter. Same old 49ers.
–On third and 6, Leonard Weaver gains 10 yards around the right side. ‘Hawks with a first down at the 15.
–Another gain of 10. Seahawks with first and goal at the 4.
–T.J. Duckett takes it in from 1 yard out. SEAHAWKS 13, 49ERS 0 WITH 12:01 remaining in the half. That was a 14-play, 63-yard drive that lasted 7:32.
–Niners take over at the 35. Have you seen any hints of passion and intensity? I haven’t.
–Johnson has replaced Morgan. He catches a 5-yard pass. Barry Sims goes down with an injury. Adam Snyder has entered to play right tackle on a third-and-5 play.
INJURY UPDATE: Seattle LB Lofa Tatupu is out with a groin injury.
–Third-and-5 . . . pass complete to Isaac Bruce for a first down.
–Dangerous pass to Johnson, but it goes for 19 yards to the Seattle 34.
–Gore busts through the line and gets down the 1-yard line. First and goal.
–Hold on. Gore is called for a facemask penalty on his straight-arm against Kelly Jennings.
–David Baas called for holding, so now the 49ers have the ball back at the 30.
–It’ll be second-and-9 at the 19 after a Seattle offsides penalty. O’Sullivan is sacked again. This time by Rocky Bernard. That sets up a third-and-16 from the 26.
–JTO shovels a pass to Davis. It’s well short of the first down.
–Nedney on to attempt a 42-yard field goal. He makes it. SEAHAWKS 13, 49ERS 3 with 7:05 remaining in the half.
–Seahawks take over at the 20. First down, 49ers in 3-4 defense. Duckett for 2 yards.
–Second down, Big Sub package with Strickland in and Lawson out. Draw play to Jones. Balmer and Franklin on the tackle for a loss of 3.
–Third and 11. Keith Lewis and Tarell Brown are in the 49ers’ dime defense. Incomplete. The Seahawks will punt. Haralson with the pressure. It was a four-man rush.
–Niners take over at their own 45 after Clements return, which consisted of a lot of running east-west and not much north-south.
–Gore runs twice for 2 yards. It’s third and 8 . . . False start on Staley. Now it’s third and 13. This team looks rag-ged.
–Davis out, Morgan in as the 49ers go with four wides. JTO under pressure. He tries to dump it off to Gore. Incomplete. More boos.
–Delanie Walker goes off the field with an apparent left shoulder injury after the punt.
–Seahawks take over at the 16 after Lee’s punt.
–Third and 10 from the 16. Willis is the only linebacker. Six defensive backs. Engram got behind Willis and Roman, but it’s off Engram’s hands, and the ‘Hawks will punt.
–After 52-yard punt, Niners take over at the 32 with 3:08 left in the half.
–Snyder is still in at RT for the injured Sims. Robinson catches a 10-yard pass out of the backfield.
–Free play after an offside. JTO hits Johnson for 7 yards. Singletary accepts the penalty, so it’s first-and-5.
–Dump-off to Gore. It’s about 1 yards short of the first down. That’ll make it second and 1 after the two-minute warning.
–INJURY UPDATE: Delanie Walker as an elbow injury, and his return is questionable.
–Another false start, this one on Johnson.
–Eight-yard pass to Gore for a first down.
–It’s third-and-4 . . . JTO tossed it over center to Gore for another first down to the 35.
–Second and 5 . . . Robinson and Jason Hill into the game. Bruce and Gore come out. Battle lines up in the backfield. JTO avoids a sack, and Hill drops the pass near the sideline.
–Niners go for it on fourth-and-4, passing up a 47-yard FG attempt. JTO throws another pick.Josh Wilson with the 75-yard interception return. There are people heading for the exits (or are they just going to get a much-needed beverage?). SEAHAWKS 20, 49ERS 3 with :31 left in the quarter.
–This, my friends, is the most pathetic performance I’ve seen in a half.
–Shaun Hill . . . SHAUN HILL is in at QB to hand off for the final play of the first half. That is Mike Singletary making a statement.
That’s the end of the first half. Folks, I’m having blog problems. It’s very slow.
–Shaun Hill and JTO were both warming up at halftime. Hill is on the sideline talking to Martz and TE coach Pete Hoener while the Seahawks are on offense. O’Sullivan is 15 yards away.
–Patrick Willis makes his first two plays of the game to force a Seattle punt. Hill put his helmet on.
–Battle with the return. And here comes Shaun Hill.
INJURY UPDATE: Rossum with a hamstring injury. His return is questionable.
–Hill with a third-down completion to Battle for 8 yards and a first down.
–Niners face a third-and-5 from midfield. . . . Hill gets it to Gore for 10 yards and a first down.
–Hill hits Davis for 14 yards. Hill is 5 for 5 for 42 yards on this drive.
–Here’s a third and 7 . . . incomplete to Bruce.
–Nedney will come on for a 40-yard FG attempt. It’s good. SEAHAWKS 20, 49ERS 6 with 4:12 left in the third quarter. That was a 14-play, 56-yard drive that wasted 7:22.
INJURY UPDATES: Barry Sims (ankle), Delanie Walker (elbow) and Allen Rossum (hamstring) are all out for the remainder of this game.
–On third and 2 from midfield, Wallace flips out a pass to Jones, who takes it 11 yards for a first down.
–Fullback Leonard Weaver beats Takeo Spikes and Michael Lewis and Willis had chances to bring him down, but failed. Weaver takes it 43 yards to the end zone. SEAHAWKS 27, 49ERS 6 with 1:50 remaining in the quarter.
–By the way. . . with Shaun Hill, the 49ers might not have much quick-strike capabilities. That last drive with Hill was the team’s longest drive — both in plays and time elapsed — of the season.
–Michael Robinson with a decent return to the S.F. 38. That’s where Hill and the 49ers will take over.
–Patrick Kerney pushed Snyder all the way back into Hill. He tossed it away for an incompletion.
–Hill throws incomplete to Gore on second down.
–It’s third and 10 . . . four-man rush, Hill runs and dives for the first down.
–Davis catches an 8-yard pass, but Davis gets called for unnecessary roughness when he shoves a Seattle player in the facemask. Davis got pulled from the game and Singletary has some words for him as he comes off. Gary Plummer on the radio: “Stupid is what stupid does.”
–Michael Robinson with 4-yard gain on third-and-1.
–Niners offense is moving slowly. . . they don’t seem to be in much of a rush. They are not in a hurry-up mode, down by three touchdowns.
–Hill dives for another first down. The clock is down to 12:20 and counting. The 49ers have the ball at the 16-yard line.
–Robinson takes direct snap and hands it to Gore for 9-yard gain. But the clock continues to tick.
–Davis still isn’t in the game. He’s not even on the sideline. Walker is out. Bajema is on the field.
–Hill throws to Jason Hill for a 2-yard TD. That’s the first touchdown of the Mike Singletary era. SEAHAWKS 27, 49ERS 13 with 9:57 remaining in the fourth quarter. That drive lasted 15 plays, 62 yards and 6:53.
–Niners defense needs a stop. It’s third and 3 . . . Morris takes the pitch to the left side and easily gets the first down. And the clock keeps ticking after the 9-yard gain.
–Little pass to Weaver on the sideline. Robinson with a big block on Walt Harris, and Weaver takes it 62 yards for a touchdown. It’s SEAHAWKS 34, 49ERS 13 with 6:10 remaining.
And, folks, your 49ers season is over. Oh, sure, there are still eight games to play. But with a 2-6 record — and in last place in the NFC West — the 49ers have been reduced to the role of spoilers.
Let the conversation continue.