Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks following their 13-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says the Niners got the best of the Seahawks in a physical battle, “For most of the season, the Seahawks (4-3) have been the punishers. They sent the Dallas Cowboys begging for league intervention after a 27-7 whipping in Week 2. They sacked Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers eight times in a half. They were too much for Cam Newton and Steve Smith. If you can depend on anything with these Seahawks, it’s that you will feel them for several days after the game, and their defense will eventually shut you down, one bruise at a time. Not in this game. With an array of well-designed run plays, including lots of traps, the 49ers opened holes against the Seahawks that we haven’t seen all season. Frank Gore ran for 131 of San Francisco’s 175 rushing yards, and he averaged 8.2 yards per carry. The Seahawks entered the game ranked No. 2 in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing just 70 yards a game. They hadn’t given up more than 87 in a game this season. ‘I’m not pleased with what we did on defense,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. ‘That’s really unfortunate. I think we’re better than that.’ “
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps the 13-6 result from San Francisco, “No last-minute comeback. Not this time as the team with a penchant for last-minute drama never got the ball in the 49ers’ half of the field in the fourth quarter, let alone within striking distance. ‘We found ourselves in the midst of a slugfest here tonight,’ Carroll said. And all Seattle could manage was a pair of first-half jabs as Steven Hauschka kicked two field goals. In the second half, the 49ers were the only ones connecting. They ran the ball with impunity and drove the ball inside the Seattle 20-yard line on each of their first three possessions in the second half. It didn’t seem to matter how many times the Seahawks got the ball in the final period, it was hard to imagine them ever scoring.”
O’Neil notes the struggles the team’s wide receivers had in yesterday’s loss to the Niners, “Golden Tate was targeted more than 50 times a year ago, and he didn’t drop a pass. On Thursday night in the Seahawks’ 13-6 loss to the 49ers, he dropped two. One was a potential game-changing play in the first half and the other a critical third-and-two in the second half. That prompted the Seahawks to use Braylon Edwards more at split end in the second half, though Tate was back on the field in the fourth quarter. Tate wasn’t alone as there were five dropped passes by four players. ‘We’ve got to figure out a way — as a receiving group — to go up and get balls to help us,’ Tate said. ‘It starts with myself. Before the half, I’ve got to come down with one of those. A huge first down. I have to catch that. The team relies on me to catch that, and do what I do best — gain some yards. Honestly, I take it personally, this loss. I feel like I could have done something to put us in a better position to win this game at the end or get a lead.’ “
O’Neil also names Marshawn Lynch his player of the game in his two-minute drill, “Marshawn Lynch rushed for 103 yards, the third time this season he has hit the century mark. In the past 44 games, the 49ers have allowed an opponent to rush for more than 100 yards in three games, and Lynch is responsible for two of those three efforts.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks were beaten at their own physical style of game on Thursday night, “Behind a physical running attack and a stingy defense, the San Francisco 49ers showed that they are not ready to relinquish their title as the heavyweights of the NFC West, pounding the Seahawks, 13-6, at Candlestick Park…San Francisco entered the game as the top rushing team in the league, averaging 176.8 yards rushing a contest. ‘It was disappointing because we didn’t stop the run like we wanted to,’ said Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill, who finished with a team-high nine tackles. ‘But there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Holding them to 13 points is nothing to be embarrassed about.’ “
Williams also notes the wide receivers’ miscues from Thursday night, “Seattle went into halftime leading 6-3, but dominated play in the first half and could have been ahead by more. ‘I feel like I definitely should have made one of those, and that’s all we needed,’ Tate said. ‘We needed one of those to be caught, and we would’ve scored or got a field goal before the half. And we would’ve taken the momentum into halftime.’ “
The Sports Network provides their game recap from the 49ers’ 13-6 victory, “Frank Gore provided most of the yards for the 49ers (5-2) as he totaled 131 yards on 16 carries and added five catches for 51 yards to help the team bounce back from last week’s rout at the hands of the Giants. Alex Smith was 14-for-23 with 140 yards, one touchdown and one interception while David Akers kicked a pair of field goals for San Francisco, which moved into the top spot in the NFC West with the victory. ‘I was expecting a close, physical game because that’s how both our games were last year,’ Smith said. ‘I didn’t expect a big stat game, but this was a really tough one that we had tonight. This is a very satisfying win for the whole club.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald passes along a few thoughts following the Seahawks’ 13-6 defeat in the Bay Area, “The 49ers won the special teams battle thanks in large part to the play of 49ers punter Andy Lee, the Seahawks average starting field position was their own 15-yard line, the worst for any team this season according to ESPN Stats & Info. Facing the 49ers defense, that would make for an uphill battle for even the best NFL offenses. And the Seahawks are not one of the best NFL offense (Captain Obvious, reporting for duty). The 49ers, meanwhile, enjoyed pretty good field position in no small part thanks to the ability to get return yardage out of Tedd Ginn Jr., who had 70 yards on three punt returns.”
Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com says the Seahawks are still in “tremendous shape” following last night’s division loss to the Niners, “They still have a gigantic secondary that allowed nothing deep on Thursday night. They still have a powerful force at running back that can run on even the best defenses. They still have a precocious young quarterback with a strong arm, quick feet and a flare for the dramatic. They are learning how to win. That is one of those incalculable vagaries that statheads hate because it’s difficult to define. Heck, it might not really exist. But if it does, it sure seems to fit this team. Sometimes it takes a few opportunities before a young team learns how to overcome adversity. Playing on the road on short rest against last year’s division winner certainly counts as adverse conditions. Dropping five passes might define the term. The Seahawks are a work in progress, but that doesn’t mean they need to be years away from big-time success.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his “Rapid Reaction” after Thursday night’s game, “What I liked: Both teams ran the ball better than expected despite facing run defenses that have been extremely stout since last season. The 49ers’ Frank Gore and the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch each topped 100 yards rushing. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw down the field without fear and put his receivers/tight ends in position to make big plays (they did not make nearly enough of them). Seattle’s offensive line rose to the occasion, clearing holes in the running game while giving Wilson enough time. The 49ers’ offensive line answered by springing Gore for big gains repeatedly. Niners return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. helped swing field position in the 49ers’ favor multiple times.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his game recap from San Francisco and offers his “Game at a glance“, naming the 49ers’ Gore his player of the game, “What is it about the Seahawks that seems to bring out the best in this guy? He has had two 200-plus yard rushing performances against them in the past, and already had run for more yards against the Seahawks (1,079 in 12 games) than any other team. Thursday night, Gore ran for 131 yards on just 16 carries – for an 8.2-yard average. ‘They did a great job,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. ‘They schemed beautifully and Frank ran great. But we need to do better.’ “
Tony Ventrella has his game recap with postgame reaction from Carroll, Wilson, defensive end Red Bryant, linebacker K.J. Wright, and wide receiver Ben Obomanu.