By John Boyle
Seahawks win 42-13, clinch playoff berth
Can’t say I saw that one coming, but did anyone? Very, very impressive showing for Seattle against one of the NFL’s elite teams, and with that win, Seattle improves to 10-5 and locks up at least the No. 5 seed. If the Seahawks win next week and SF somehow stumbles against Arizona, Seattle would win the division, and if the 49ers and Packers lost, Green Bay plays Minnesota, Seattle could get the No. 2 seed, though that’s pretty darn unlikely.
Back with some quotes from the locker room in a bit.
Seahawks lead 28-6 at halftime
So here’s a question I’ll just put out there… After the 49ers won in New England, a lot of folks were calling them the best team in the NFL. Now the Seahawks, fresh off blowouts in their last two games, are beating up those same 49ers. So could the Seahawks, the Seattle freakin’ Seahawks, be the best team in the NFL right now? Now I’m not talking about their overall body of work over the course of a season, but just right now, as in, if any team was facing another one on a neutral field next week, who would you pick? Might not be quite as crazy as it sounds.
A few quick stats from the first half:
Russell Wilson was 8 for 9 for 98 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 14 yards on four carries. Marshawn Lynch had 64 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, and he also had one catch, a 9-yard touchdown.
Seattle out gained SF 185-108 and had 11 first downs to the 49ers’ six.
No really, we were kidding about the Seahawks scoring 50 again
I mean, this can’t keep up right? And just how good are these Seahawks anyway? Well for now, they’re looking pretty darn impressive, and now have a 28-3 lead over a 49ers team a lot of people were calling the best in the NFL after they went to New England and escaped with a victory last week.
Seattle’s last touchdown was a six-yard pass from Wilson to Anthony McCoy. That was Wilson’s 23rd touchdown pass this season, which puts him No. 2 all-time for rookie QBs, three behind Peyton Manning, who had 26 in 1998.
49ers turn interception into three points
Russell Wilson’s second home interception this season wasn’t really his fault (the ball hit off Robert Turbin’s hands, then was caught by San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis) but it did prove costly for the Seahawks. Seattle’s defense did a good job of mitigating the damage by stopping the 49ers, but San Francisco did manage a 33-yard field goal to make it 21-3.
Seahawks heading for another blowout?
If this is Richard Sherman’s last game for a while (he had an appeal of a four-game suspension heard Friday and will likely learn his fate early this week), he’s certainly making it count.
Sherman broke up a third-down pass in the end zone, but was kicking himself for not coming up with an interception. It all worked out pretty well for him, however, because Red Bryant blocked the ensuing field goal attempt and Sherman took it 90 yards to give the 21-0 lead.
Dating back to the first quarter of their win over over the Jets, the Seahawks are on a 100-0 run at home.
Lynch again. Seahawks lead 14-0
Hey, look who’s on a 50-point pace again. I kid, I kid. The Seahawks aren’t going to score 50-plus for the third week in a row (are they?) but they certainly are looking good against one of the NFL’s best teams.
After Seattle’s defense forced another punt, Russell Wilson led an 86-yard drive that included a near-drop-turned-spectacular-juggling catch by Doug Baldwin for a 43-yard gain. Wilson, who is four for four today for 77 yards, hit a wide-open Lynch for a 9-yard score to cap the drive.
Lynch gives the Seahawks an early 7-0 lead
That didn’t take long, did it? The 49ers went three-and-out to open the game, and the Seahawks got the ball in great field position, the result of a nice Leon Washington punt return, plus a 15-yard penalty after the return. Of note on that drive, the 49ers, just like Buffalo last week, took a shot deep at rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane on their first play, and just like last week, Lane was with the receiver in good coverage, leading to an incomplete pass.
And the Seahawks quickly took advantage of that short field, scoring on two plays. First Russell Wilson hit Zach Miller for 11 yards, then Marshawn Lynch scored on a 24-yard run. A couple interesting notes on that run, for one, we saw the Seahawks in the pistol formation (quarterback not under center, but not as deep as a traditional shot gun). Also, it appeared Lynch could have cut inside at the end and use a Doug Baldwin block to score untouched, but he seemed to intentionally run over the would-be tackler rather than take the easy route. In other words, he did exactly what you’d expect Lynch to do.
Well this should be a fun one. The Seahawks and 49ers are an hour from kicking off what should be an exciting game, and one with plenty at stake for both teams. The Seahawks can clinch a playoff berth with a win tonight, plus, they’d really like to beat San Francisco having lost four in a row to the defending NFC West champs. San Francisco, meanwhile, can clinch the division tonight, though this isn’t quite a must win for the 49ers seeing as they can wrap up the division next week with a home game against the hapless Arizona Cardinals.
Inactives are out, and there is one surprise for Seattle, which will be without starting left guard John Moffitt. No reason has been given for Moffitt’s status as of yet, and he was not listed on this week’s injury report. The Seahawks will also be without cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Marcus Trufant, who were both questionable with hamstring injuries. Receiver Sidney Rice (knee) was also listed as questionable, but he will play.
The big news for the 49ers is that star defensive lineman Justin Smith is inactive because of an elbow injury. Smith had started 185 straight games heading into this week.
CB Marcus Trufant
CB Walter Thurmond
CB DeShawn Shead
G Rishaw Johnson
G John Moffitt
T Mike Person
DT Jaye Howard
QB Scott Tolzien
WR AJ Jenkins
S Trenton Robinson
RB Jewel Hampton
LB Clark Haggans
G Joe Looney
DT Justin Smith