Seahawks boot 49ers from NFC West penthouse
The 49ers got thoroughly beat Sunday night in Seattle, losing the highly anticipated game to the Seahawks 29-3 and several starters in the process.
The San Francisco defense stood tough nearly all night, but got stretched thin as 36 minutes of Seattle offensive possession wore them down.
Special teams made plays, but the offense was non-existent against the Seahawks defense.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh summed up the loss:
49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Video: CSN Bay Area
“It wasn’t our finest hour.”
No it wasn’t.
Seattle held the 49ers to 207 yards on offense rendering Frank Gore (nine carries for 16 yards) and Anquan Boldin (one catch on two targets) ineffective.
Vernon Davis had three receptions for 20 yards but was later sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Colin Kaepernick completed 13-of-28 passes for 128 yards, but was also picked off a career-high three times and lost a fumble.
Kaepernick was the team’s leading rusher with nine carries for 87 yards, but this was his worst outing as a pro.
A Phil Dawson field goal was all the points the 49ers could muster.
Penalties killed the 49ers: 12 flags for 121 yards including a safety on a Bruce Miller hold in the end zone and an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Aldon Smith for throwing a punch.
And yes, the noise from CenturyLink Field’s 12th man was a factor surely accounting for one false start and one delay of game in the first quarter.
The first quarter also saw a suspension of play for an hour due to lightning strikes in the area.
The defense stood tall, recording three sacks and nine tackles-for-loss holding the Seahawks to 290 yards, but penalties and Kaepernick’s turnovers put them in bad field position.
Adding injury to insult, nose tackle Ian Williams broke his left ankle and is out indefinitely while rookie safety Eric Reid left the game with a concussion. Ray McDonald also exited the game, but x-rays on his ankle were negative.
Reid forced the only 49ers turnover by intercepting Russell Wilson, yet Marshawn Lynch dominated rushing 28 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns while adding three catches for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Glenn Dorsey filled in admirably for Williams quickly sacking Wilson while Smith got to him twice and Ahmad Brooks added one more. NaVorro Bowman led the 49ers with 11 tackles.
Craig Dahl — who later subbed in for Reid — blocked a punt in the first quarter, but the Seahawks recovered.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman shut down Boldin and picked off Kaepernick. On covering Boldin, Sherman said post-game:
“They came to play, we just executed. … I wanted that challenge. I did my best to contain him.”
Again, penalties killed the 49ers.
It was also clear that Frank Gore is hitting a rough age for running backs. The 30-year-old failed to break the 50-yard mark for the second consecutive game.
The receiving corps stood out because none were able to beat the Seahawks’ one-on-one coverage.
Expect a turnaround next week against the Colts, as Harbaugh-led squads rarely have back-to-back bad games.
This was the worst the 49ers have looked since the last time they played in Seattle: Happy Birthday Pete Carroll.