For all the tight sets and the amount of people crashing around the ball on inside handoffs, it looked like both teams played inside a telephone booth.
Seattle’s average per rush: a woeful 2.9, which was better than SF’s 2.7. Only 13 of the game’s 116 plays went past 10 yards, leading one to wonder if both coaching staffs were just very familiar with each other’s style. (It's possible, but doubtful considering the lockout and the addition of Jim Harbaugh.)
For Seattle, the lack of potency stems from new quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Middle pressure on their weakened offensive line reduced his accuracy. Though he finished 7-for-11 in the first half, the 'Hawks netted only 25 throwing and 37 in all.
In contrast, the Alex Smith of the Niners was a little more effective than Jackson, but not much. Harbaugh obviously went very conservative in his first game. Frank Gore rushed the ball 11 times for 29 yards, and the Niners racked up 128 in all through two quarters. But the ineffectiveness in the red zone came back to haunt them. Better performance in that area would have resulted in four more points (four more per TD compared to FGs), which would have made it 20-0 after two.
In the third quarter the Seahawks turned into a better team. They had more plays and more yards and closed to within 19-17 early in the fourth quarter. Part of that could be blamed on a 55-yard TD catch and run by Danny Baldwin, which appeared to come off blown 49er coverage.
Nonetheless, the Niners prevailed. A big factor came in the fourth quarter, with a 15-play, nine-minute drive that, though the Niners again failed to score a TD inside the Seahawks’ 5-yard line, did put them up by two scores, 19-10.