Seattle — The game took on a Super Bowl like atmosphere, all the way from the week leading up to it, until the parking lots cleared after the final whistle. The Seahawks took on division foe San Francisco, and it was a display of NFC West omnipotence throughout the entire game for Seattle.
This game was a very strange contest for many reasons.
Here is the complete walk through of a game not soon forgotten, a game in which Richard Sherman danced with cheerleaders, Marshawn Lynch juked, bullied, and sauntered his way to three touchdowns, a new world record was set and Pete Carroll got one inspiring birthday gift.
Lynch scored on touchdown runs of 14 and 2 yards, and added a 7-yard TD reception in the second half, Seattle agitated Colin Kaepernick into his foulest passing game as a starter, and the Seahawks conquered in a 29-3 landslide Sunday night.
“Every game we feel like we should dominate, and we did,” Seattle safety Earl Thomas said.
The game was postponed 60 minutes late in the first quarter when cloudbursts blew through the region. The vastly awaited matchup was chaotic as opposed to dramatic, but Lynch more than did his part.
Lynch finished with 135 total yards, together with 98 yards rushing, to make up for quarterback Russell Wilson hitting on just two of his first 10 throws and Seattle’s receivers having a hard time getting open. His touchdown run on the first drive of the second half gave the Seahawks a 12-0 lead. His second TD, this one receiving, pressed the lead to 19-3 early in the fourth quarter.
This won’t be a game renowned for adeptness or implementation by whichever side. There were careless turnovers and ill-timed penalties. But that was anticipated between these revolting rivals and the darlings not just in their division, but potential NFC representatives in the Super Bowl.
And it was the Seahawks getting an initial, key lead over the 49ers.
Kaepernick was unable to get anything going in the passing game, baffled as to how to break down Seattle’s super hero like secondary. He was intercepted in the end zone in the first quarter when Earl Thomas pulled in a tipped pass planned for Vernon Davis. That was the only time the 49ers threatened to score a touchdown. Kam Chancellor intercepted Kaepernick halfway through the fourth quarter, returning the pick to the San Francisco 2 and that set up Lynch’s third TD.
Then there was Sherman, Seattle’s cocky All-Pro, who intercepted Kaepernick’s deep sideline pass for Davis with roughly 13 minutes remaining. He distinguished his first interception of the season by dancing with the Seahawks cheer squad. Steven Hauschka kicked a 37-yard field goal, and the Seahawks’ lead was 22-3 with 11:31 left.
“He should probably stay at cornerback,” Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate joked about Sherman. “I don’t see a future in that.”
As is all this wasn’t enough, with 4:15 left in the game Seahawks coach Pete Carroll throws the challenge flag, and won the Seahawks another turnover succeeding a kickoff fumble, with the Seahawks leading by 26.
Russell Wilson ended 8 of 19 passing for 142 yards, one of the poorest games in his young career. Kaepernick was 13 of 28 for 127 yards passing, and he ran for an additional 87 yards. Frank Gore was held to just 16 yards on nine carries, and Anquan Boldin, who disgraced Green Bay last week for 13 catches and 208 yards, was targeted just once in the first three quarters. His only catch came with 9:40 remaining, for a whopping 7 yards.
The 49ers finished with five turnovers and no touchdowns in a game for the third time since the start of 1979 season.
“I don’t think any of us are proud of our performance,” San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said.
Leading 5-0 at halftime after a madcap first half of delays and points coming via safety and a field goal, Seattle started the second half pounding the ball with Lynch. He rushed on the first four plays, and when Seattle faced third-and-12, Wilson scrambled and allowed time for Doug Baldwin to get open downfield for a 51-yard reception to the 20. After a penalty pushed the Seahawks back to the 14, Lynch took an inside handoff and dashed virtually unscathed for his first touchdown of the season.
Seattle stretched the lead later in the half thanks to a unthinking personal foul penalty from Aldon Smith, smacking the helmet of Seattle’s Breno Giacomini after the play once Zach Miller and the Seahawks were stopped short on third-and-28. Given one more chance, Wilson waited in the pocket against blitzing safety Craig Dahl on third-and-4 to catch Lynch wide open in the left flat. Lynch took a few steps toward the end zone, went to a standstill, and as a final point crossed the goal line, expanding the lead to 22-3.
Seattle played the final three quarters deprived of starting left tackle Russell Okung, who suffered a lower leg injury. San Francisco lost nose tackle Ian Williams to a broken ankle and safety Eric Reid to an apparent head injury.
The Seahawks (2-0) will face the Jacksonville Jaguars at Century Link next week.