Seahawks lead 49ers 35-6 after 3 in noisy Seattle
Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, Marshawn Lynch scored twice, Richard Sherman returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for another score and Seattle led San Francisco 35-6 after the third quarter Sunday night in front of the Seahawks' rocking crowd.
Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers' offense were noticeably rattled by the noise echoing off the walls of CenturyLink Field. San Francisco was forced to take two timeouts and had a delay of game penalty in the first quarter alone as the 49ers struggled to handle the roar of the rabid Seattle fans.
With steady rain and the Seahawks' famous ''12th Man'' making simple communication almost impossible it quickly turned into a miserable night for Kaepernick and an unhappy 49th birthday for 49ers' coach Jim Harbaugh.
Lynch scored on Seattle's first two possessions, the first on a 24-yard run and the second on a 9-yard reception. It was just the third touchdown catch of Lynch's career.
And just when the 49ers finally pieced together a drive, it quickly went the other way with Red Bryant blocking David Akers' 21-yard field-goal attempt and Sherman scooping up the loose ball and sprinting untouched for a 21-0 lead.
Wilson added a 6-yard TD pass to Anthony McCoy with 1:58 left in the first half and a 4-yard score to Doug Baldwin in the third to give him 24 passing touchdowns this season. That moves Wilson into second place for TD passes by a rookie and brought him within two of Peyton Manning's NFL rookie record of 26.
San Francisco failed to gain a yard on its opening possession and Seattle took the field for the first time with great field position. A good return from Leon Washington on the punt and a personal-foul penalty on Tremaine Brock gave the Seahawks the ball at the 49ers 35.
Two plays later, Seattle struck. Wilson completed a pass to Zach Miller for 11 yards, and Lynch ran 24 yards for the touchdown.
On the first play of the Seahawks' next series, Wilson connected with Doug Baldwin for a 46-yard gain on a juggling catch to move back into San Francisco territory. Wilson then connected with Lynch out of the backfield for a 9-yard score. It was Lynch's first receiving touchdown since Nov. 27, 2011, against Washington. It was only the second time this season the 49ers have allowed 14 points in the first quarter.
San Francisco finally mounted its first substantial drive into Seahawks' territory. A personal-foul penalty against Kam Chancellor moved San Francisco into the red zone. A third-down pass from Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree went through Sherman's hands, forcing a field goal try.
San Francisco got its first break of the game when a screen pass went through the hands of Robert Turbin into the arms of linebacker Patrick Willis. The interception gave the 49ers the ball at the Seattle 16 line, but the Seahawks held to force Akers' 33-yard field goal that got San Francisco on the board.
After McCoy's touchdown, Kaepernick hit Crabtree on consecutive throws and Randy Moss for 25 yards to move to the Seattle 23 with less than 2 minutes to go in the half. K.J. Wright sacked Kaepernick for a 13-yard loss, and Akers connected on a 54-yard field goal.
San Francisco moved the ball into Seattle territory on the first drive of the third quarter. Kaepernick hit Crabtree on a terrific over-the-shoulder throw for 35 yards down to the Seahawks 32. Two plays later, Mario Manningham fumbled when Leroy Hill hit him low bending his knee in an awkward direction. Manningham injured his knee on the hit and it caused him to drop the ball on the turf allowing Kam Chancellor to recover for Seattle.
Manningham had to be helped off the field by a pair of trainers. He left the game with a knee injury and will not return.
Wilson then led Seattle on a 15-play scoring drive, capped by the touchdown to Baldwin to extend the lead to 35-6. The Seahawks have outscored their opponents 143-23 over the last three games. The 35 points scored by Seattle is the most allowed by the 49ers since Nov. 11, 2009, when Atlanta had 45.
Sherman then thwarted another 49ers' opportunity in the red zone by intercepting Kaepernick's pass intended for Moss in the end zone.