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Sunday, November 07, 2004 - Page updated at 06:12 P.M.
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Hawks use offensive surge to cruise past 49ers 42-27

The Associated Press

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SAN FRANCISCO - There was nothing complicated about the Seattle Seahawks' game plan. Just a whole lot of Darrell Jackson and Shaun Alexander.

Jackson caught two long touchdown passes from Matt Hasselbeck, and Alexander rushed for 160 yards and two scores in the Seahawks' 42-27 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Jackson had five catches for 114 yards, and Koren Robinson also caught a TD pass for the Seahawks (5-3), who stayed atop the NFC West with their second straight victory following three straight losses.

Coach Mike Holmgren stopped that skid with a simplified game plan last week, and Seattle didn't need much trickery to extend the woeful 49ers' worst start since 1979. Hasselbeck was 17-for-28 for 285 yards while the Seahawks marched to 453 yards of offense, with Alexander's shifty running setting up Seattle's passing game.

Tim Rattay passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns for the Niners (1-7), who wasted an impressive offensive performance with dismal defense in their fourth straight loss to Seattle.

Jerry Rice caught one 5-yard pass, but wasn't a factor in Seattle's game plan. The relatively sparse crowd at Candlestick Park gave an ovation to the longtime 49ers star in perhaps his last game in San Francisco — though Rice would be interested in returning to the Niners next season.

Jackson was questionable for the game with a sprained ankle, but he caught a 33-yard scoring pass in the first quarter and a 39-yarder in the third, sprinting past San Francisco's secondary to haul in Hasselbeck's perfect throws.

Both teams moved the ball easily in the first half, and San Francisco took a 24-21 lead on Brandon Lloyd's 39-yard TD catch early in the third quarter. But Robinson and Jackson caught TD passes later in the quarter, and linebacker Anthony Simmons clinched the win with a 23-yard interception return for a score midway through the fourth period.

Lloyd had four catches for 75 yards after teammates Fred Beasley and Barlow criticized him earlier in the week for a lack of professionalism and team spirit. Lloyd showed plenty of emotion this week, waving a towel on the sideline and screaming at officials.

After weeks of ineffective offense, the 49ers put together several strong drives against the Seahawks. Kevan Barlow rushed for an early score and Curtis Conway leaped at the goal line for a 28-yard TD catch later in the half.

But Seattle also excelled, with Alexander capping two long second-quarter drives with short TD runs.

And though Rattay played well, the 49ers still can't run the ball. Barlow had just 61 yards, leaving San Francisco near the bottom of the league after years as a top rushing team.

Seahawks cornerback Ken Lucas was carted off the field in the first half after getting the wind knocked out of him.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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