49ers fall flat get routed by Seahawks 42-13

Given the opportunity to clinch a second straight division title

on the home field of their chief rival, the San Francisco 49ers

didn’t just fall short.

They were blown out in the worst loss of Jim Harbaugh’s two

years in charge of the club.

”I think everybody is going to feel the same way that this

wasn’t good man,” Harbaugh said. ”Can’t feel like you coached

well, can’t feel like you played well after this one.”

Russell Wilson threw a career-high four touchdown passes to move

into second place for most TD passes by a rookie. Marshawn Lynch

scored two first-quarter TDs, and the Seahawks blew out the 49ers

42-13.

Richard Sherman returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for

another touchdown as the Seahawks (10-5) jumped to a 21-0 lead.

That only added to an already hyped crowd on a typically cold and

rainy December night, with noise echoing off the walls and

overhanging roof of CenturyLink Field that might have been heard

all the way across Puget Sound.

No one cared about the cold rain, not with the performance they

were seeing on the field, and not with a ticket to the postseason

guaranteed thanks to Seattle’s first 10-win season since 2007.

”When we’re on our stuff, this is the outcome you get,”

Seattle defensive end Red Bryant said. ”I’m not surprised. We knew

going into it we had a great opportunity.”

Seattle’s win delayed the victory celebration for the 49ers

(10-4-1), although it could still come next week at home. San

Francisco needs just a win over lowly Arizona to clinch the NFC

West title, but it no longer controls its route to the No. 2 seed

in the NFC. Green Bay is a half-game ahead, and the 49ers – who

came into Sunday night banged up at key spots – might not get that

extra week of rest even with a win in the finale.

Seattle will likely be the No. 5 seed in the NFC. There remains

a slight chance of winning the NFC West if the Seahawks beat St.

Louis in the season finale and Arizona can top the 49ers.

At the very least, the Seahawks relished in making Harbaugh’s

49th birthday a wet and miserable night.

”It’s not our first loss, and we’ll wake up (Monday) and we’ll

have a half-game lead on the division, and our hand will be on the

dial to take care of business next week,” Harbaugh said. ”I know

how I can expect our team to handle that.”

Seattle was the first team since 1950 to score at least 50

points in consecutive weeks thanks to its 58-0 win over Arizona and

50-17 victory against Buffalo. It seemed inconceivable the scoring

binge could continue against San Francisco, the best scoring

defense in the NFL.

But it did.

Seattle has outscored its last three opponents 150-30.

The 42 points were the most allowed since Harbaugh took over the

49ers, and the most San Francisco yielded since giving up 45 to

Atlanta in 2009. It was the perfect way for Seattle coach Pete

Carroll to snap a three-game losing streak against his rival.

”It was a lot of points again, and we’re just thrilled about

it,” Carroll said. ”Things have just changed. We have changed on

offense, and Russell has been a huge part of it and the coaches

allowing it to happen. We don’t hold ourselves to points because

the standard isn’t out there for us. We just try to play really

good football and see what happens at the end.”

San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick had already proven himself

capable of winning on the road with victories in New Orleans and

last week in New England. But Seattle is a different beast, widely

regarded by players as the loudest venue in the NFL. His

inexperience playing in such an environment showed. He was

flustered and disorganized at the line of scrimmage, letting the

noise from Seattle’s fans affect him.

Kaepernick’s forgettable night was capped when Sherman stepped

in front of his pass for Randy Moss at the back of the end zone on

the first play of the fourth quarter for his seventh interception

of the season.

Kaepernick was 19 of 36 for 244 yards with an 18-yard TD pass to

Delanie Walker with 1:40 left. Frank Gore had just 28 yards on six

carries after rushing for a season-high 131 when the teams met in

Week 7.

”Every time you are on the field you are learning something,”

Kaepernick said. ”We just have to take what we can from this game

and move on to next week.”

San Francisco played without defensive tackle Justin Smith due

to an elbow injury that ended a streak of 185 starts. The 49ers

lost tight end Vernon Davis in the first quarter with a concussion

sustained when he was knocked off his feet on a huge hit along the

sideline from Seattle safety Kam Chancellor that looked legal but

drew a penalty for hitting a defenseless receiver.

San Francisco wide receiver Mario Manningham went down with a

left leg injury early in the third quarter when he was tackled low

by Leroy Hill and fumbled.

The loss of Smith affected the entire defense. Aldon Smith was

left stuck on 19 1-2 sacks after being locked up by Seattle

offensive tackle Russell Okung.

”I think not having Justin is a huge deal,” 49ers safety Donte

Whitner said. ”Just a year ago he was up for defensive player of

the year. Not only for what he does against the run, but for what

he does against the pass. How he helps all the men out over there

also. Eating up two guys, locking to go one-on-one. He’s a huge

part of this defense, we all know it, and he’s not there right

now.”

Notes: Lynch finished with 111 yards on 26 carries, his third

straight 100-yard game vs. San Francisco. … Seattle WR Doug

Baldwin had two TD catches, his first touchdowns since Week 6. …

Seattle finished 11 of 13 on third-down conversions. … The 49ers’

previous worst defeat under Harbaugh was a 26-3 loss to the New

York Giants earlier this season.

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