Seahawks roll past 49ers in noisy Seattle 42-13
Red Bryant remembers the early years of his career, when the
Seattle Seahawks struggled to win only four and five games in his
first two seasons.
Getting a 10th win on Sunday night and a trip to the postseason
was special to the Seahawks’ big defensive end.
”Who has been playing better than us the last few weeks?”
Bryant questioned. ”This is the National Football League and you
don’t get any gimmies. We work hard to win. … It’s hard to win in
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 routed the San
Francisco 49ers 42-13.
Richard Sherman returned Bryant’s 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 appeared to care about the weather, 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
”We knew we were capable of doing this. We had no doubt. Even
in Week 1, we knew that we had the talent to do what we’re doing
now,” said wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who had two touchdown
receptions. ”It took time because we’re a young team. We had to
mature. We had to grow together, build that chemistry, build that
trust out there on the field. That’s the most important
Seattle surged into the playoffs on the strength of its sixth
win in seven games, putting up dizzying offensive numbers that no
one thought would continue against the top scoring defense in the
NFL but did.
Seattle has outscored its last three opponents 150-30. The 42
points were the most allowed since Jim 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.
”We just try to play really good football and see what happens
at the end,” Carroll said. ”We have been scoring and doing a nice
job of it and it would be great If we can keep it rolling.”
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 upset the 49ers in San
The Seahawks, 7-0 at home, delayed San Francisco (10-4-1) from
celebrating a division title. They turned Harbaugh’s 49th birthday
into a miserable evening.
”If you had told me this would be the outcome I wouldn’t have
believed it,” Sherman said. ”I would say you’re making this
Wilson hit Lynch on a 9-yard TD in the first quarter, Anthony
McCoy for a 6-yarder late in the first half, and Doug Baldwin on 4
and 6 yard TDs in the second half.
Wilson has 25 TD passes, one behind Peyton Manning’s NFL rookie
record of 26. He finished 15 of 21 for 171 yards. His only
incompletion in the first half was a deflected pass that Patrick
Wilson’s counterpart, 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 intended 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
”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.
”We can’t make excuses,” 49ers’ safety Donte Whitner said.
”We understand: We lost the football game; we lost an ugly
NOTES: Lynch finished with 111 yards on 26 carries, his third
straight game over 100 yards vs. the 49ers. … Seattle was 11 of
13 on third-down conversions, a season-high. … The 49ers were
held to 82 yards rushing, just the third time this season he was
held under 100 yards.
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