Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com

San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree catches a pass against Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell on Sunday.

49ers say Crabtree made impact in win over Seattle

Published: Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 - 9:09 pm

– Richard Sherman doesn’t think Michael Crabtree’s addition to the 49ers’ passing attack affected Sunday’s outcome.

“It didn’t make a difference,” the Seahawks cornerback, famous for his ability to agitate, insisted after the game. “It didn’t make a difference at all.”

The 49ers disagreed.

“First game, they rolled a lot of coverage to me,” said wideout Anquan Boldin, Sherman’s main adversary in the teams’ two meetings this year. “Having Crab back, we had different looks – it was allowing me to go one-on-one with certain guys. That’s why you see a difference.”

Crabtree’s numbers were merely OK. He had four catches for 40 yards on eight targets and drew two holding penalties against the Seahawks, who were penalized nine times for 85 yards. But he also had two drops, and the 49ers’ only turnover of the game, an interception thrown by Colin Kaepernick, was intended for Crabtree.

But if his presence helped Boldin, then Crabtree had a huge game. In their earlier meeting, the Seahawks held Boldin to one catch for seven yards, then crowed about it afterward.

“They got nothing done. What were their numbers? What did Anquan do tonight?” said Seattle coach Pete Carroll on Sept. 15.

Sunday, Boldin led all receivers with six catches for 93 yards. He also had the 49ers’ two longest receptions – 27 and 20 yards – both of which came with one-on-one coverage from Sherman. And that was due, at least partly, to the fact the Seahawks couldn’t dedicate their coverage to Boldin, as they did in Week 2.

“There (have) been times throughout the year where Anquan’s gotten doubled and Vernon’s (Davis) gotten doubled on the same play,” coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Michael’s presence out there – and everything he’s done and everything he’s shown he can do since coming back – that’s another guy, high-level guy, that’s got to be accounted for.”

Harbaugh said he knew Crabtree was feeling like himself a week ago against the Rams when he heard the wide receiver – as wide receivers tend to do – squawking on the sideline about insufficient passes being thrown in his direction.

“I turned around at one point, and he’s like, ‘What do I have to do to get the ball?’” Harbaugh said with a smile. Harbaugh’s reaction to the complaint: “All right, Crab’s back.”

Last year, Crabtree became the first 49ers receiver since Terrell Owens (in 2003) to surpass the 1,000-yard mark. He finished the regular season with 1,105 yards.

Boldin is on pace to finish with 1,126 yards this season. He also surpassed 11,000 yards for his career Sunday.

And for the second consecutive game, Boldin’s fiery play seemed to fuel the 49ers’ offense. Asked about the physical play with Sherman and others, Boldin said: “That’s the way that I play. If guys want to pretend to be tough, then I look forward to it. Talking – that’s just what they do, you know what I’m saying? So I let my play speak for itself.”

Notes – Harbaugh complimented the Candlestick Park crowd for creating what he said was a playoff-type atmosphere against Seattle.

“They know football,” he said. “They know what’s at stake in these games, and it was great to have that support.”

• Harbaugh has added cleats to his game-day attire. Why?

“The first thing that prompted it was that scuffle I was trying to break up in Tennessee,” he said. “I had no traction.”

• Crabtree is looking for his first touchdown catch of the season. Entering Week 15, only two 49ers – Boldin and Davis – have touchdown catches.


Read Matthew Barrows’ blogs at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320.

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows



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