In a performance befitting defending Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks rolled to a decisive 19-3 victory over the 49ers on Thursday night in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
With the win, the Seahawks move to 8-4, placing them in a three-way tie with Detroit and Dallas for wild-card positioning in the NFC. The 49ers, meanwhile, tumbled to 7-5.
The Seahawks dominated the proceedings, leading from the end of the first quarter onward and never getting any real serious challenge for the 49ers, whose offense faltered in spectacular fashion. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed just 16-of-29 passes for 121 yards, and he was picked twice by cornerback Richard Sherman, ever a Niners nemesis. Seattle also blunted San Francisco’s ground game, allowing just 64 yards on 18 carries.
By contrast, the Seahawks were able to attack with the pass and the run. Quarterback Russell Wilson (15-of-22, 236 yards, one TD) had major success keeping plays alive with his feet. On several occasions, his persistence led to dump-offs to wide-open targets leading to big gains, most notably on a 63-yard second-quarter reception by tight end Tony Moeaki. On the play, Wilson spun away from a blitz and scrambled away from his pursuers.
Tailback Marshawn Lynch (20 carries, 104 yards) set the tone in the ground game for Seattle, with his long rush of 33 yards setting up one of the four field goals from Steven Hauschka.
The game’s lone touchdown came in the opening period, with Wilson hitting uncovered tailback Robert Turbin in the flat for a 13-yard touchdown. The drive was set up by Sherman’s first pick of Kaepernick on a throw wide of receiver Brandon Lloyd.
As it turns out, that was all Seattle needed. From there, the Seahawks added to their lead little by little against a rival rendered fangless in its biggest of the game of the season.