In three games this season, Tarvaris Jackson has had a chance to engineer a game-winning drive for the Seattle Seahawks.
And three times, Jackson and the Seattle offense have failed.
Jackson got that opportunity with 2 minutes, 52 seconds remaining Saturday and the Seahawks trailing the San Francisco 49ers, 19-17.
He needed only four plays to guide the offense into San Francisco territory. But on third-and-3 from the 49ers’ 48, Jackson tried to scramble down the right sideline for the first down and was stripped from behind by 49ers linebacker Larry Grant. San Francisco safety Donte Whitner recovered at his team’s 36.
After Seattle’s defense forced a three-and-out, Jackson got the ball back with 41 seconds remaining and another chance to march his team into field goal position for the win.
But the Seahawks failed to get a first down. On fourth down, Jackson’s last pass of the game sailed far over tight end Zach Miller’s head and out of bounds.
Jackson entered the game with an 85.5 passer rating in the fourth quarter, and he has become efficient at managing games down the stretch when his team is ahead. However, leading Seattle to come-from-behind victories is still a work in progress.
“That’s something that we’ve got to get better at,” he said. “Obviously, we’re pretty good at finishing the game with four minutes left and being able to run the football. But when it comes down to us being able to throw the football in an obvious passing situation and go down and put points on the board at the end of the game, we haven’t been able to do that the whole season.
“I don’t know what we’ve got to do, but we’ve got to get more on the same page and be able to execute better in that situation.”
Jackson’s fumble was his ninth of the season, and his sixth one lost.
He finished the game with an 82.9 passer rating, completing 15 of 28 throws for 163 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions.
His passer rating for the season rose slightly, to 79.5.
BLOCKED PUNT ALMOST WINS GAME
For a few minutes on Saturday, Seattle reserve linebacker Heath Farwell was in line to be a hero.
With about seven minutes remaining in the game, the former Pro Bowl special-teamer broke through the middle of San Francisco’s line and blocked an Andy Lee punt.
The play set up a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run that put Seattle ahead 17-16.
“We needed a big play,” Farwell said. “We were hoping it was going to be the game-winner.”
It wasn’t, because the 49ers answered immediately with a six-play drive that ended with David Akers’ game-winning 39-yard field goal.
Farwell said the Seahawks had noticed on film that a San Francisco lineman liked to release quickly, presenting a path to the punter.
“It worked out like the way it did in practice,” he said.
Farwell made the Pro Bowl in 2009. He was cut by Minnesota at the end of training camp this year and joined the Seahawks in mid-October.
It was Seattle’s second blocked punt of the season. Doug Baldwin blocked a punt two weeks ago against St. Louis, and Michael Robinson returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.
San Francisco tight end Delanie Walker got kneed in the face by Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill and had to leave the game with a jaw injury. Walker went to the hospital but flew home with the team. Niners kick returner Kyle Williams suffered an apparent head injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Seattle’s Michael Robinson during the fourth quarter and had to leave the game. Seattle receiver Ben Obomanu suffered a strained knee in the fourth quarter. San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis was inactive with a hamstring injury, and receiver Ted Ginn Jr. was held out because of a lingering ankle injury. Larry Grant started at inside linebacker for Willis and finished with 11 tackles. NaVorro Bowman led San Francisco with 12 tackles. Safety Kam Chancellor led Seattle with 10 tackles.
Don Ruiz contributed to this report