When a football team wins 19-17 against a team widely considered to be the best in the league at this moment, which is what the San Francisco 49ers did in beating the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, there are a number of things that the team needed to well. The first is playing top-notch defense, and the 49ers did just that. Not far behind is that the team must have sound special teams play.
In what has been a very good year for the 49ers’ special teams unit, they were once again a key reason for another San Francisco victory. Last season, David Akers was not the picture of confidence as each time he went in to for a field goal attempt, you never knew if he could connect or shank his kick wide.
This season, Phil Dawson has been the model of consistency. Against the Seahawks, Dawson was a perfect 4-for-4 in his field goal attempts which were from 23, 48, 52 and 22 yards out, the last one being the game-winner. Needless to say, each one of Dawson’s made field goals were necessary with the final margin of victory.
Another important but under-the-radar offseason signing that improved the 49ers’ special teams was that of Kassim Osgood. Against the Seahawks on Sunday, Osgood once again proved his worth in the first quarter, taking advantage of a breakdown in the Seahawks’ punt unit to block a Jon Ryan punt.
On the final kickoff of the game, the 49ers special teams unit once again came up big as Raymond Ventrone, another offseason signing, came up with a big tackle to prevent the Seahawks from starting their final drive in good field position. Special teams play is only visible to many fans when it directly has an impact on a game. Luckily for the 49ers, their special teams unit was up to the task on Sunday.