Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 24-13 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium:
The light went on for the Seahawks in the second half. In the first half Seattle’s offense was dreadful. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception on the game’s first play, receivers were dropping passes, and the Seahawks’ only score came when the defense set the offense up at the 49ers’ 16-yard line. But order was restored in the second half as Seattle sustained drives and scored on three of its four second-half possessions. The running game continued to have limited success.
Seattle’s defense clearly had San Francisco’s offense overmatched. For most of the game the Seahawks contained the 49ers’ run game and made San Francisco quarterback C.J. Beathard look exactly like the rookie he is. Seattle also managed to get pressure on the quarterback in a way it didn’t in last week’s 34-31 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, finishing with three sacks and 13 quarterback hits. The 49ers’ only touchdown came on the game’s last play when the result was already determined.
The windy and rainy conditions, particularly early in the game, seemed to affect Seattle’s kicking. Blair Walsh missed wide left on a 48-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter, and punter Jon Ryan had a couple hiccups — though he also unleashed a 74-yarder. Seahawks returner Tyler Lockett never got going the way he did against the Falcons, but neither team was given many opportunities as kickoffs went into the end zone and punts were forced to be fair caught.
The offensive adjustments the Seahawks made at halftime did the trick as Seattle found the formula that eluded it in the first half. Full credit has to be given for finally finding a way to get tight end Jimmy Graham involved in goal-line situations — Graham’s 1-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was his eighth TD catch in the past seven games. Allowing Walsh to try a long field goal in windy conditions early in the game was a questionable decision.
There’s nothing quite like a date with the 49ers to get the Seahawks back on track, as Seattle made it four straight season sweeps against its division rival. It’s important not to put too much stock in a victory over a team that is 1-10, but it was a necessary one considering the teams Seattle is chasing for a playoff spot — the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West, Atlanta and Carolina in the wild card — also won this week. The Seahawks get a real test next week when they entertain the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles.