The Seahawks Patrick Kerney gets congratulated by Jordan Babineaux, top, and Darryl Tapp after sacking San Francisco s Alex Smith. Smith was sacked three times by the Seattle defense.
Elaine Thompson / AP Enlarge
SEATTLE The wind died down and the driving rains stayed away, so the Seattle Seahawks poured it on the 49ers instead.
Matt Hasselbeck passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns, Maurice Morris rushed for another score, and the Seahawks defense held San Francisco to six first downs in a 24-0 victory last night.
San Francisco s last trip to Seattle was the rain-soaked highlight of coach Mike Nolan s three seasons, with the 49ers rallying through howling winds and miserable precipitation for 21 fourth-quarter points and a stunning 24-21 victory.
An eerily similar storm hit Seattle early yesterday, but the skies cleared by game time and the Seahawks (5-4) had almost no obstacles for a consistently outstanding passing attack that thrived while Shaun Alexander sat out with injuries.
Will Heller and D.J. Hackett caught Hasselbeck s TD passes, with Hackett getting eight receptions for 101 yards as Seahawks affirmed their spot atop the NFC West with its second straight demolition of the club expected to challenge them this fall.
Seattle jumped to a 17-0 halftime lead before turning away three San Francisco drives that started in Seahawks territory. Alex Smith, who had his finest NFL hour in Seattle last season, passed for 114 yards for the 49ers (2-7), who skidded to their first seven-game losing streak in two years.
Nolan received condolences from Seattle s Mike Holmgren and dozens of players before the game. His father, former 49ers coach Dick Nolan, died Sunday after a long battle with Alzheimer s disease and prostate cancer.
Nolan then called a gutsy, inventive game direct snaps to receivers, an onside kick right after halftime, a phony fake punt, and two attempted fourth-down conversions when the game still was winnable yet nothing worked against the Seahawks sturdy defense.
For Seattle, they were playing without Alexander, who injured his left knee and ankle in last week s 33-30 overtime loss to Cleveland. He didn t practice all week, and the leg injuries only added to Alexander s broken left wrist that caused him to wear a cast for the last seven weeks.
The storm that swept through the Seattle area yesterday was nothing compared to last year.
The windstorm before the teams met in 2006 was the worst in more than a decade. Neighborhoods flooded under pelting rain. Trees and branches littered roadways, often bringing down power lines with them.
About 30 minutes before kickoff, a power surge briefly knocked out power to the large video screens at both ends of the stadium and to many of the electronic advertisements inside. The game was nearly delayed when storm drains outside the stadium backed up and the rain started to collect underneath the stadium s synthetic turf, causing pockets to bubble.