SAN FRANCISCO -- Special teams coordinator Brad Seely walked out of the 49ers' locker room "really proud" of his units' efforts in Thursday night's 13-6 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
That included Ted Ginn Jr.'s familiar prowess on returns, David Akers' 2-for-2 showing on field goal attempts and, most impressive, the 49ers' suffocating coverage of Andy Lee's punts.
"They stepped up and knew they needed to improve," Seely said. "Their mindset was to get the job done."
Lee's final punt soared 66 yards before Tramaine Brock tackled Leon Washington after a 5-yard return at the Seahawks' 11-yard line with 1:36 left. Lee's first punt was downed at the Seattle 4-yard line by Dashon Goldson.
"It was lights out on the coverage teams," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "And Ted Ginn had a great game."
Ginn averaged 23.3 yards on three punt returns and 20.5 yards on two kickoff returns, stirring memories of last season's opener in which he scored fourth-quarter touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns against the Seahawks.
"It was fun to see Ted get in the flow of things, and he really helped the field position," Seely said. Linebacker Aldon Smith said his right hip escaped serious injury despite a Paul McQuistan chop block on the Seahawks' final snap. While Smith was engaged high by tackle Breno Giacomini, McQuistan's helmet hit Smith's hip in the end zone, a penalty that would have resulted in a safety if the 49ers accepted it.
Smith, who injured his left hip in the exhibition opener, sacked rookie quarterback Russell Wilson two snaps prior to the chop block. It was Smith's first sack in three games and gave him a team-high 5½ this season. Safety Goldson got his second interception of the season, and it came on Seattle's ensuing series after Delanie Walker's go-ahead touchdown. Goldson fielded a deep pass by Wilson, who got drilled by linebacker NaVorro Bowman after releasing the ball. Tight end Vernon Davis didn't catch a pass for the first time in 59 games. But Davis did provide a key block on Walker's third-quarter touchdown catch. "Vernon made a great block to get me around the corner, and once I got around the corner, I figured I could get in the end zone," Walker said. The Seahawks had at least four drops as Wilson completed 9 of 23 passes for 122 yards and a 38.7 passer rating. His elusiveness impressed the 49ers. "I felt like I was back in high school or college, the way he runs around and makes plays for them," defensive lineman Justin Smith said. Right guard Alex Boone sensed when the 49ers took control: "We had a long drive in the third quarter. We just kind of felt them start to give up a little bit, and they knew we were just going to keep running the ball on them." A lingering shoulder injury forced wide receiver Mario Manningham to miss his first game of the season. Manningham was limited in practice all week and tested his shoulder in pregame stretch. Kyle Williams (one catch, 18 yards) replaced Manningham on two-receiver sets with Michael Crabtree. Alex Smith was 14 of 23 for 140 yards. His first pass resulted in a 14-yard completion, accounting for Randy Moss' lone catch. Left tackle Joe Staley made his 23rd consecutive start after receiving medical clearance for a concussion he sustained Sunday. Running back Brandon Jacobs suited up for the first time this season but did not play. Akers extended his franchise record by making a field goal in a 23rd consecutive regular-season game, or every game he's played in a 49ers uniform. Frank Gore joined Roger Craig as the only 49ers running backs to notch 300 receptions. Gore's five catches (51 yards) gave him 302 career receptions. Craig had 508. Justin Smith said of Seahawks' rusher Marshawn Lynch (19 carries, 103 yards): "He's the toughest dude I've tackled since (2003 Ravens All-Pro) Jamal Lewis." Ex-49er Braylon Edwards didn't catch either pass thrown his way, including one in the end zone that was well defended by Patrick Willis and Goldson. Prior to the game, Edwards tweeted: "This isn't business. This is personal."
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