Seahawks 7-6-3-3 — 19
49ers 0-0-3-0 — 3
Seahawks Huge Road Win Quieted Doubters and Raised Questions About 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers championship window may have come to a complete shut on Thursday night. Yes, the 49ers are still 7-5, and, yes, they still have franchise pillars Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick – but maybe not for long. With wins by the Lions and Seahawks on Thanksgiving, which propelled each team to 8-4 and the Cowboys losing, but remaining in the hunt at 8-4, the 49ers have taken a serious step backwards in terms of playoff positioning.
Before the game started, Heavy predicted that the Seahawks defense, which got Bobby Wagner back tonight – the Russell Wilson of the Seahawks defense – would hold Kaepernick to under 200 total yards of offense. Not only did that prediction come true, but Kaepernick didn’t surpass 100 passing yards until “garbage time” late when the game was all but over. Kaepernick’s legs were also not a factor tonight as he did not attempt one rush, nor did the 49ers call one designed quarterback run.
The game was never really close. The Seahawks outgained the 49ers with 379 total yards to 164 with 157 of those yards coming on the ground – 104 by Marshawn Lynch. The 49ers didn’t cross mid-field until the second-half, and even when they entered Seattle territory, barely did anything with their momentum.
The Seahawks are now 1.5 games behind the 9-2 Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West race with a 2-1 record within the division and a head-to-head victory against the Cardinals. Three of the Seahawks final five games are against NFC West opponents with games at home against the Rams and 49ers.
Including the postseason, the 49ers have now dropped three straight games to the Seahawks, and one full game behind the Seahawks and Lions for the NFC’s last playoff spot.
Richard Sherman’s 2nd Interception Sealed the Game
The 49ers offense struggled for most of the night. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Kaepernick threw his 2nd interception of the night to Richard Sherman who made an athletic play to haul in his 2nd of the night.
Both Teams Traded Field Goals In the Third Quarter
The Seahawks received the second-half kickoff and proceeded to put together an 11-play drive that went 65 yards in 6:55. For the third time tonight, the Seahawks failed to finish a drive in the red zone with a touchdown and settled for a 35-yard field goal by Hauschka.
The 49ers answered their drive by putting together a long one of their own lasting 6:59. It was their first drive of the game that entered Seattle territory. After a 12-play, 59-yard drive, the 49ers settled 40-yard field goal by Phil Dawson, cutting the lead to 16-3.
A Second Turnover Didn’t Cost the 49ers More Points Going Into Halftime
After the 49ers special teams unit almost blocked Jon Ryan’s punt, Perrish Cox fielded and returned the kick from the 49ers 30-yard line. After a 9-yard return, Cox coughed the ball up at the 49ers 40-yard line and the Seahawks recovered. The Seahawks subsequently went three and out.
At the half, the Seahawks maintain their 13-0 lead. Wilson finished the first-half 9-for-14 for 163 yards and a TD. Kaepernick finished 7-for-16 for 55 yards and an INT. The Seahawks nearly tripled the 49ers’ offensive output in the first-half with 202 total yards to 71.
49ers Defense Stepped Up to Prevent Seahawks Touchdown
Russell Wilson did his best Fran Tarkenton impersonation when he connected on a 63-yard pass to Tony Moeaki that set up the Seahawks for a 1st-and-Goal situation inside the 2-yard line.
The 49ers defense made a stand on three consecutive plays and the Seahawks settled on a 21-yard Steve Hauschka field goal to extend their lead to 10-0 with 11:07 remaining in the first-half.
Colin Kaepernick’s Interception Led to Seahawks First Score
Colin Kaepernick started the game 1-for-5 with his lone completion to Michael Crabtree, who gave everybody a brief scare after temporarily came out of the game. On his 5th pass, Kaepernick threw an interception near mid-field to Richard Sherman, setting up the Seahawks with good field position on the 45-yard line to start with on their third drive.
The Seahawks took advantage driving 45 yards on seven plays in 4:00. Russell Wilson hooked up on a pass with Robert Turbin out of the backfield for 13 yards to put the Seahawks up 7-0.
Will the Seahawks’ Road Struggles Continue Against the 49ers?
By now, everybody has heard of the crazy press conference that Richard Sherman and Doug Bladwin’s cardboard cut out had this week to essentially protest teammate Marshawn Lynch’s $100,000 fine for not talking to reporters.
Pete Caroll’s Seahawks are a much more free and open bunch than their divisional rivals. Jim Harbaugh – whose job security has been one of the ongoing storylines in the Bay Area for the last year – runs a much tighter ship. Although philosophically these two teams couldn’t be any more different, they are still cut from the same cloth.
Since the 49ers hired Harbaugh immediately after the 2010-11 season ended, this game has blossomed into the NFC’s version of the AFC’s Ravens vs. Steelers rivalry. Harbaugh and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s Pac-12 histories, their hand-picked mobile quarterbacks – Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson – and those stingy defenses that constantly mirror each other, it’s no surprise these two teams have won the last two NFC Championships.
Including January’s NFC Championship Game, the home team has won all five games since both coaches were hired. Let’s see if that trend continues.