Seattle comes up short 17-19
Heading into the game I had a feeling the Seahawks were going to lose a close game. I sure wish I had been wrong like I have been many times before.
Unfortunately, from the beginning of the game it was clear that the Seahawks were unable to match the 49ers intensity on Sunday.
I’m not upset a by this loss at all, in-fact I feel better about it than I did when the Seahawks beat the 49ers 29-3 in Seattle earlier this year. It might seem odd to think that a loss can give me more faith in the team than a decisive victory but it is the truth.
This time around the Seahawks were playing on the road, in a hostile environment, against an opponent who was pretty near full strength (at this point in the season everyone has a player or two missing) who played their best football game.
By the time the final snap was taken the Seahawks came up just short despite not playing anywhere near the way that they are capable of even though they were hampered by the officiating crew.
I’m not saying the officials cost the Seahawks the game but they definitely helped the 49ers.
Don’t take my word for it though, here is a tweet from Former NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira:
Regarding your tweets, in the SF game, it shouldn't have been forward progress & Crabtree wasn't down
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) December 8, 2013
The Seahawks clearly recovered the fumble but instead the 49ers kept the ball and ended up with a field goal. At the very least that swayed the game by 3 points.
But I digress, the Seahawks still had more than enough chances to win the game yet they just didn’t capitalize.
Russell Wilson had a mediocre night. It was apparent from the beginning of the game that something just wasn’t right with his game. On 3rd & 2 Russell Wilson held onto the ball and allowed himself to be crushed by Navarro Bowman for a sack.
I’m not sure if he was so focused down the field that he never saw the giant linebacker running straight at him or if he just froze. Either way that isn’t the type of play we are used to seeing from Russell.
Also, Wilson wasn’t taking his check down receivers when the deeper routes were being taken away.
He always preaches about staying on track from down to down but early in the game he had Jermaine Kearse open on a short drag route that would have picked up about 5 yards on 2nd down but instead tried to force a ball deeper and threw an incompletion bringing up a third and 7.
The next play he lost track of the play clock and was called for a delay of game.
Late in the game Wilson was rolling left and missed a wide open Golden Tate by throwing the ball too low. A decent throw would have resulted in a first down but instead the Seahawks had to punt in the 4th quarter from their own 35.
Usually Russell Wilson makes that throw look easy.
Speaking of Golden Tate, he really put the team in great position when he returned a punt 38-yards to the 49ers 27 yard-line midway through the 4th quarter. The Seahawks offense managed just 14 yards on 6 plays before kicking a go-ahead field goal.
If they could have punched that ball in and force the 49ers to score a touchdown on their final drive I think I would be writing about the NFC West Champion Seahawks tonight.
It just wasn’t meant to be.
Every time Seattle’s running game started to get something going it seemed like the play was called back by a penalty.
Russell Okung had a holding penalty that negated a run early in the game that killed a drive and Michael Robinson grabbed a defenders face mask late in the game that not only wiped out a big run by Marshawn Lynch but completely killed a drive.
If it hadn’t been for penalties Marshawn Lynch would have run for over 100-yards against the 49ers.
I would like to take a moment to celebrate Luke Willson‘s first career touchdown. I thought it was funny that on the sidelines Russell Wilson went over and handed him the football. I imagine he must have said something to Luke along the lines of, “Hey Rook, you’re going to want to hold on to this.”
Willson also lead the Seahawks in yardage and had the longest two receptions of the game by either team.
It wasn’t too long ago that every time I saw Byron Maxwell take the field on defense I would cringe. When he entered the league he was suspect in coverage at best.
In a very short time he has really learned how to cover to the point where I would say that he could start in almost every secondary in the NFL.
He even had the Seahawks only interception in the game.
The most devastating thing about the game was seeing KJ Wright limping on the sidelines. After the game head coach Pete Carroll announced that Wright had broken a bone in his foot, and injury that takes 6 weeks to heal.
That means if we see KJ play again this season it will not be until deep in the playoffs.
Malcolm Smith did a solid job filling in for Wright which gives the Seahawks a lot of hope that they can over come Wright’s injury.
The Seahawks had trouble getting to Colin Kaepernick. They were unable to sack him until the 4th quarter.
I noticed the 49ers offensive line getting away with a lot of holding but Dan Quinn should have dialed up a few blitzes to pressure Colin into making mistakes.
It is always tough to lose a game but in the big picture I think it was good for the team.
The last time I said that the Seahawks responded by winning 7 games in a row.
It will only 6 wins in a row to hoist the Lombardi Trophy now.