When Seahawks needed a penalty they got a no-call
The Seahawks already have set a franchise “record” for penalties this season with 131 infractions.
It was a penalty that was not called against Seattle, however, that had coach Pete Carroll scratching his head afterward as he looked back at a third-and-goal play at the end of the first half Saturday.
“It’s a really unusual situation that happened right there,” Carroll said.
The Seahawks had the ball, third-and-goal at the San Francisco 1.
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The officials had just taken an extended break to view a replay of Marshawn Lynch’s second-down run, confirming that he was tackled short of the goal line. On the third-down play, there was confusion on the line after the snap as a handful of players on both sides reacted as if the play had been whistled dead.
“Our guys thought we false-started,” Carroll said.
Specifically, they thought left tackle Paul McQuistan flinched. The play was designed to be a handoff, but when Tarvaris Jackson got to the point to make the exchange, there was no running back. He curled back and ran toward the end zone on a bootleg only to be knocked out of bounds for no gain by cornerback Carlos Rogers. Seattle kicked a 19-yard field goal on fourth-and-one and took a 10-3 lead into halftime.
Seattle was penalized six times in the game, but ended up wishing it had been penalized a seventh time so it would have another shot at a touchdown on third-and-six instead of the confusing quarterback scramble in which only half the team was blocking.
Carroll said some players indicated they heard a whistle. Jackson, though, said he did not hear one.
Carroll indicated he was not pleased with the officiating, but wouldn’t elaborate.
“I’m really upset about the officials,” Carroll said. “I can’t tell you, I’m not going to talk about it, but I am. There was a couple things that happened there that didn’t need to happen and made a difference in the game.”
The Seahawks’ special teams unit set up Seattle’s only touchdown of the second half as Heath Farwell blocked a fourth-quarter punt that gave Seattle the ball at the San Francisco 4.
That was the exception in the second half, though. Seattle started four drives inside its own 20, all coming on kickoffs that Leon Washington brought out of the end zone only to be tackled before getting to the 20.
“Leon was trying hard,” Carroll said. “We backed way up from the goal line, and he’s still coming out.”
As for the 49ers?
“They were effective today,” Carroll said. “We weren’t able to neutralize that.”
Farwell’s blocked punt was Seattle’s second this season, and it came because the Seahawks noticed linebacker Blake Costanzo released quickly off his block.
“It’s something we saw on film and worked on it all week,” Farwell said.
Marshawn Lynch’s 107 yards rushing were extraordinary. Not for him necessarily, because it was the sixth time in eight games he rushed for 100 yards. But for San Francisco, it was remarkable.
The 49ers had not allowed an opposing running back to rush for 100 yards in a game since Green Bay’s Ryan Grant did it in November 2009. Lynch’s 107 yards on 21 carries ended that 36-game streak.
Lynch’s 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter extends his franchise record to 11 consecutive games with a touchdown.
As the 49ers prepared to go for it on fourth-and-two in the second half, coach Jim Harbaugh was clearly animated during a timeout as he addressed the offense. Afterward, he admitted it was all for show.
“It was a little bit of gamesmanship,” he said, smiling. “I was trying to direct it to the offensive line … in case anybody was looking. We had a play-action pass called.”
The 49ers completed a 16-yard pass to Vernon Davis to get the first down.
Lockette rhymes with rocket
Ricardo Lockette is a former NCAA Division II track champion, and as a rookie receiver, he just might be the fastest player on Seattle’s roster. Of course he’d make an impact quickly.
In his first game as a Seahawk, Lockette caught a 43-yard pass on Seattle’s second play from scrimmage as he got behind cornerback Rogers and the safety providing help over the top.
Lockette was signed as an undrafted rookie out of Fort Valley State.
He had spent most of this season on the practice squad, and was signed to the active roster before Seattle’s game at Chicago.
He was active for the first time against San Francisco. His 43-yard catch matched Seattle’s sixth longest completion of the year.
Seattle Times staff reporter Joshua Mayers contributed to this report.