Instant reaction: Seahawks destroy Niners

September 15th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

As the game neared it’s conclusion, Al Michaels uttered these eternal words…

“A major beatdown. Major.”

For all of the scratchy, mistake riddled harshness of the first half — this was a beatdown. A beatdown just as comprehensive as the previous meeting between the teams.

Perhaps a better comparison is the Dallas game in week two last year. A far from flawless Seahawks display, but ultimately a complete physical destruction of the opposition.

Seattle broke San Francisco’s will. They made Colin Kaepernick look hopeless. They ran all over a much vaunted defensive line and linebacker group. They shut down Anquan Boldin. Vernon Davis couldn’t finish the game. They didn’t run the ball all night.

This wasn’t about Russell Wilson heroics, gadget plays or fortune.

It was just football.

And on tonight’s evidence, Seattle is better at football than San Francisco.

And they’re better at football without Russell Okung, Percy Harvin, Chris Clemons and Brandon Browner.

As good as Kaepernick looked last week against Green Bay, he looked completely lost in this one.

Sure, his supreme athleticism allowed him to make a few plays with his legs.

As a passer? He couldn’t get anything going.

Part of that was the brilliance of the pass rush. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril played just like two snubbed free agents missing out on the big bucks. Clinton McDonald, re-signed just this week, played like a job was on the line.

The secondary suffocated the 49ers. Richard Sherman had a classic Sherman pick — baiting the throw and making the interception look easier than it was. Walter Thurmond was a sensation. The rest played their part too.

On a night when Wilson struggled for rhythm and had to rely on Paul McQuistan blocking his blind side, the running game really stepped up to the plate. The offensive line to a man deserve huge applause (despite a few too many penalties, particularly from Max Unger). Marshawn Lynch was the key benefactor and without doubt the best offensive player on the field.

Tonight was a sign of how far Seattle has come. Gone are the days when a crucial injury meant the collapse of an entire game plan or even the end of a season. They took the loss of Okung to turf toe in their stride, adjusted, and destroyed the Niners.

Later this evening Colin Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh will give two more pointless interviews to the media, snarling out three word answers. They’ll need a lot more words to explain this one in private.

They better hope they don’t suffer a similar fate to the Cowboys last year.

They never recovered from their ass kicking in Seattle.

85 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks destroy Niners”

  1. A. Simmons says:

    Jim Harbaugh owns Pete Carroll is pure horse puckey. When Jim Harbaugh was beating Pete, Pete was in rebuild mode both here and at USC. Now we’re starting to see what Carroll can do once he has built the talent up.

    That was an awesome shoe of dominance. I still can’t believe our defense is playing like they are and we still get to bring Browner, Clemons, Irvin, and Jordan Hill to help out later on. We have Harvin coming back on offense. It’s ridiculous.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It was a football massacre.

    • bjammin says:

      Well said. This pass rush will be frightening in two weeks if everybody comes back and they’re bringing pressure from all sides. Irvin/Clemons/Avril/Schofield/etc will really help chase down more of the mobile qbs. The scary thing about this game is the defense was brilliant and the offense was decent, particularly the run, but with the passing game/running game and d clicking (not to mention special teams turnovers) there will be more blowouts. Awesome.

  2. Colin says:

    Wow. Just when you can’t believe if this team can get any better, they do. They don’t play their best, and yet they kicked the holy living S*** out of the media darling 49ers.

    Unreal. I’m giddy with joy to hear what excuses Harbaugh will softball up.

    • Bryan C says:

      It just is astounding how good this team can be with all the players back. Can you imagine this what it will be like with 2 more stud pass rushers?

  3. Jon says:

    I am truly worried about our offense next week. Will They even be able to get any points, or will every other play be a defensive TD.

    • Michael says:

      Aren’t we playing the Jags in the Clink next week?

      I’m not terribly concerned about next week.

      • Jon says:

        This comment was intended to mean the devensive TD would be a Hawks TD. And yes I said it very poorly as it was past 1 am where I am at. Oops, oh well, ment for humor did not come across.

    • Belgaron says:

      The Jag defense will be a HUGE boost of confidence for the offense, Okung could take the week off and they’d still rack it up.

  4. Nolan says:

    How cold was lynch pausing on the one yard line

  5. Mylegacy says:

    The Hawks remind me of my wife on our honeymoon – a thing of beauty!

  6. Jeremy says:

    Yes, I agree with everything here, but…it was in Seattle. They did what they were supposed to, win. And the niners did what they were supposed to, lose…(so says the 49er fan I watched the game with)!! Haha, that’s just hilarious, a 49er fan admitting they were supposed to lose in Seattle tonight. Were they supposed to only score 3 points too? Or turn the ball over 5 times? Get sacked 5 times? I go to K.J. wright here, the Forty Whiners and their whiny fans. I love it!!

    • Belgaron says:

      Mmm week 14, assuming it is a game that still matters (i.e. division and home field not already locked up). Seahawks will potentially be +Browner +Clemons +Okung +Irvin +Harvin, maybe even +Michael on offense if he’s earned his stripes. Not to mention the offense will have figured a few things out. Home field will definitely give them a boost but not enough to match a fully armed and operational ‘Hawk Juggernaut.

      There are definitely some tough away games on the schedule, but tonight we should all be feeling very optimistic. These guys know how to win ugly, not its time for some win masterpieces…bring on the Jags and Texans.

      And who’s not going to enjoy the prospect of 49ers losing to the Colts next week at home?

  7. Mark says:

    Great win. I’m left wondering if Walter Thurmond could take Brandon Browner’s job. Maybe Pete Carroll sees him as being too valuable in the nickle corner role. You have to think he makes a tempting alternative when Browner is up for a new contract after this season.

    • Belgaron says:

      I really like what Browner brings, he throws haymakers and puts feisty WRs on their backs. Seahawks have a nice mix at DB right now.

  8. Bob Dole says:

    Can I officially nominate the nickname “Big Homeless” for Michael Bennett

  9. PatrickH says:

    PC/JS need to figure out a way to re-sign Mike Bennett next year. He seemed to be in the Niners’ backfield on every snap that he’s in.

  10. Michael says:

    If you didn’t know any better and someone told you this was Avril’s first game action all year you would tell that person they’re crazy, or high, or just flat out lying… How the hell did we get this guy for 2yr/13MM??

    • Belgaron says:

      He was at the wrong place at the wrong time as far as teams and their caps and the free agency market. Plus many wondered if he was over-rated playing next to those other guys on the Detroit D-line…but Seattle’s gain.

    • Bryan C says:

      Can you imagine the difficulties we are going to have trying to pay all of our guys over the next 2 years?

      • Rugby Lock says:

        But what a problem to have…

        • Miles says:

          I seriously don’t think it’s going to be as much of a problem as people are making it out to be. The Ravens just signed Joe Flacco to a $100 million dollar contract but didn’t they just sign Elvis Dumervil to a big contract too? Last time I checked, we don’t have any $100 million dollar contracts, and not all of our players are un-expendable.

          • Michael says:

            Also people forget that two of the player we are going to “need to pay” are already making pretty good money. I am of course talking about our pre-CBA first rounders Earl Thomas and Russell Okung. They will get raises, but it’s not like it will be with RW and Sherm who are currently making peanuts.

      • Cysco says:

        this is why continuing to draft well is so important. Need to replace veteran deals with rookie deals so that you can afford to pay the elite guys.

  11. Michael says:

    “This wasn’t about Russell Wilson heroics, gadget plays or fortune.”

    Speaking of gadget plays, did anyone else scratch their head at a few of the 3rd down passing play-calls? Looked like they were trying to get too tricky more than a couple times. Of course none of them blew up in our faces too bad, and our domination in every other aspect was so absolute that it didn’t matter. Just nit-picking I guess.

    Holy crap did the pass rush wake up! Would have been 8 or nine sacks if anyone other than Kaepernick/Vick/RG3 was back there.

    • Belgaron says:

      Can’t wait until week 6, these guys are going to need a nickname to go with LoB.

    • SunPathPaul says:

      I agree there were some weird play calls on offense. Seemed like they were trying to surprise the 9ers, but none of them worked out… Just keep it simple and straight I feel- our players will out shine theres!

      • bjammin says:

        End of first half drive was just weird. Running out the clock while you’re at the 50 with time to score. Weird.

        • Colin says:

          Needs to be remembered that Seattle was without R. Okung and would be receiving the 2nd half kickoff. There was no need to rush.

  12. adog says:

    a big difference is saw from the carolina game and this game…was the read option. It seemed to back off the linebackers and secondary just enough for the running game to get past the line of scrimmage. I know that nbc kept giving us the stats that says the read option is not used that often, however i think it opens up the middle of the field even when it is used sparingly.

    • Aaron says:

      The numbers back you up on that. I saw a breakdown of the 4 or 5 teams that use the read option the most, and of those teams, the Seahawks used it by far the fewest times last season, and were by far the most successful with it in terms of yards gained per play.

      • Don says:

        I absolutely loved when Wilson froze Aldon Smith with the read option. Right play at the right time, and it made the 49′ers best player look foolish.

  13. Aaron says:

    My biggest initial take away from tonight was the consistent penetration Michael Bennett got rushing from the inside. It’s been a long time since Seattle had that type of pressure up the middle with just a four man front. In fact you might have to go all the way back to Jacob Green. And we all know, that’s just what the doctor ordered for this team.

    As others have pointed out, our pass rush is going to be downright sick in a few weeks. The best part about it is that when we get Clemons and Irvin back, we’ll be able to get all of our best pass rushers on the field at the same time for the most part (with Irvin playing SAM and Bennett playing at three tech, – where he had so much success tonight.)

  14. A. Simmons says:

    It was such an awesome game. Total domination.

  15. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    That was one of the best team defense performances I can remember. Relentless pass rush from the line, shut down cover in the secondary and excellent run support and sideline pursuit by the LBs.

    Specifically, on the line, I can’t wait for Avril to get fully involved with the defense; he looked every bit as quick as I remember him in DET. Impressive to get a sack, a fumble and a batted pass in his first game as a Hawk. But the standout upfront for me was Bennett. He was consistently the first defender to move off the snap and often beat his man on the first step. Just tremendous penetration and relentless pursuit, a force unto himself. Against any other QB, his performance tonight would generate another 1-2 sacks. The only reason he didn’t get 2-3 is because Kaepernick is uniquely big, strong and fast and extremely hard to bring down. I’ll be very happy that we’ll have Irvin back when we play SF in Candlestick on Week 14. SEA will need his speed and strength to keep Kaep in check at home (I’m thinking of the final preseason game against OAK where Irvin ran down an even faster Pryor in the backfield, forcing him out of bounds for a loss).

    Utter domination by the secondary. Sherman walked his talk tonight, and made his case for #1 CB in the League. Thomas and Chancellor once again showed they’re the #1 safety tandem. So impressed with Thurmond. He’s finally living up to the potential he flashed at Oregon, back when he was rated as a 1st round talent (until he ripped up his knee). Losing VDavis hurt the 49ers for sure, but even when he was in the game, SEA did a good job of shutting him down. Speaking of TEs, I thought VMcDonald looked good for SF – once he learns their offense and gets some playing time, he’ll be formidable.

    At LB, nice run defense by Wags and MSmith, but absolutely love Wright at WILL. He’s really starting to pick up that position,and practically owned the weak side against SF tonight.

    On offense, what can I say about the O line? Such a gutsy response to Okung’s injury. When he left the game, I thought SEA was in serious trouble – losing the team’s #1 lineman playing opposite Aldon Smith (perhaps the #1 defensive player in all of football). That kind of thing can cripple a team, and full on change the course of a game. And for a while, Smith took advantage – 2 sacks, 4 tfl. He ran circles around McQuiston. But Cable solved that problem by bringing the TE over to double team him. Even though SEA had to commit 2 players to stop Smith, the rest of the line stepped up big time, carrying out their assignments in the run game, which rebounded nicely (a bigger compliment considering SF has the best LB corps in the NFL). Bevell fed Lynch the ball early and established the run game. Pass protection wasn’t as good, but considering the pressure SF can put on a QB, it wasn’t terrible. I was slightly disappointed RW couldn’t take more advantage of SF’s decimated secondary (especially after loosing Reid). But anytime you can rack up 29 points against a defense like that, you’re doing something right.

    This was a great win against an arch rival. Hard, smash mouth football going right at the strengths of the other team, and flat out beating them at it.

    • Madmark says:

      If you dismiss the errant snap and the 2 holding calls I thought Unger did alright but the guy that really stood up for me was James Carpenter who did a great job on Justin Smith. I’d always thought he should have been a guard instead of a tackle. Richard Sherman and the Secondary definitely lived up to the hype that has been thrown on them this off season. The free agents on the defensive line came thru in a big way.
      Offense, I still see Wilson throwing the ball high in the beginning of the game maybe its just the adrenaline playing out. The penalty problem is slowing this offense down and it needs to be address. You can’t sustain drives putting yourself in 3rd and 24. I really hope they get the false starts and holding calls work out soon.

      • sdcoug says:

        Thrilled as anyone with the game last night, and this will be a bit of a nit-pick…but man it drives me crazy when players can’t understand the time/place/situation to celebrate. I can’t shake the image of Rice spinning the ball and drawing a 15-yd penalty AFTER making a great chains-moving catch in a very close game. We just can’t kill drives like that and not have it bite us at some point

  16. Michael says:

    I thought Unger had a pretty poor performance in this one (and certainly wasn’t great in Carolina either). Another early snap that could have easily resulted in a turnover, plus a hold (don’t usually see a ton of those called on centers…) and I distinctly remember one play where he got absolutely demolished by Justin Smith and RW’s speed and quick reaction were the only thing that prevented a sack. I will be keeping a close eye on Unger going forward.

  17. Hawkspur says:

    If ever a game made it worth clocking a grand total of 90 minutes sleep before getting up for work, this was it. I’m intrigued to see if Kaepernick can have any measure of success against this defense at Candlestick. Can’t wait for that game already.

  18. Miles says:

    I totally agree with everything everyone has said. This was a phenomenal win and we’ll celebrate it all the way to week 14. The Hawks seemed dominant in all phases of the game.

    But we’re going to have to talk about the big negative eventually. Looks like Russell Okung has turf toe. Turf toe is not an easy injury to recover from. I hope he can recover in two or three weeks but sometimes tur toe can take several weeks to recover from. I trust Bevelll can devise ways to diminish the role of a weaker left tackle, but it’s never good when a potential all-pro left tackle goes down with an injury. At a time when it seems we’re on the road to getting healthy, this big injury happens. I hope Okung can make a swift speedy recovery.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Next man up.

      Time for Alvin Bailey to show the hype was justified.

      • A. Simmons says:

        Bowie and Bailey both have potential. It will be interesting to see them play.

      • Aaron says:

        As I was watching, I made the comment that I was surprised they didn’t use Bailey or Bowie as the replacement for Okung. I wonder if they will have enough confidence in them after possibly giving one or both reps in practice with the O-line starters. I would prefer that to using McQuistan out of position. But I guess Tom Cable knows which is best.

      • Rugby Lock says:

        Highly doubt you’ll see him starting… If Okung can’t go then big Red will be there… at least against the Jags. Almost like a bye week!

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          That’s the perfect opportunity to get him experience – against a poorer defense where his mistakes (if he makes any) won’t be costly.

          • Miles says:

            When you’re playing left tackle, any mistake could be costly because it could lead to an injured starting quarterback (knock on wood).

          • Rugby Lock says:

            It’ll be Big Red for sure. They’ll just scheme to help him out where they didn’t have to with Okung.

  19. JeffS says:

    Isn’t anyone worried about yet another very slow start by Wilson?

  20. MeanMachine says:

    What a contrast in halves. I wanted to beat the crap out of something, someone, anything in the first half. Especially when Okung went down, that was a dark moment for me. But the Hawks never waivered and showed there true colors, as did the 9ers. Couple of other points that have not already been covered.

    Anyone really miss MRob the fooball player? I know we all love him as a person but it’s obvious they made the right call.

    Same with McQuinstin, the glue of the line as Cable calls him. I thought he might get cut because of his salary but it’s obvious why we kept him. A commendable job under the worst conditions. I hope we don’t have to play him at LT again! Ever!

    Sydney Rice is really dissapointing. For the highest paid player on the team he is a joke. That spinning ball crap just about made me lose it.

    Sherman is my favorite player on the team. Dancing with the stars might be in his future! What a cool cat!

    • Colin says:

      I thought the spinning ball call was terrible. The refs knew damn well it wasn’t ‘taunting’, as he’s been doing that move for years. They were calling every little tiny thing last night.

      • Miles says:

        The most egregious penalty was the phantom hold on Giacomini near the end of the first half. But no matter, Seahawks kept on rollin’ anyway. That’s what’s so special about this team.

      • CC says:

        I saw Sid do that last week and the ref eyeballed him – he almost got it then. So, why did he do it again. Don’t be bigger than the team, get up toss the ref the ball and go back to the huddle! Let’s hope we can get this crap stopped.

        • sdcoug says:

          I posted this above…but whether it was ticky-tack or not…I just wish players would have a better understanding (or maybe a touch more humility?) of certain situations. You just crossed midfield at a time our offense was struggling to gain a foothold, against a tough opponent…and you back us up 15 yrds. Drive killers man.

  21. CC says:

    Last year the two FAs I wanted the Seahawks to pick up were Bennett and Avril. I went through the sack and pressure stats and compared to FA and thought – yeah those are the guys. I emailed my pals and told them the same thing. But we all agreed the chances were almost 0 – I never thought that TB or Det would let them get away, and if they hit the market someone would pay them a lot of money. And then, like that, they were Seahawks! I squealed with joy. Last night, as I watched Bennett push the middle, crash the end – and watched Cliffy speed around the end – I squealed again! We have ourselves a pass rush!!! This wasn’t just any O line, this was one of the best in the league – one that at times, I covet – and there were our guys taking it to them! Scofield and McDonald also got in the act. Fantastic game by the D! Cannot wait to get Clem back as well – I’m okay letting him get a few snaps or no snaps next week – and bring it for Houston. WE HAVE A PASS RUSH!

  22. James says:

    Rob…. I am so glad you are different than many Seahawks fans on other blogs or those calling the nattering-nabob talk shows. I grew up in Alabama and have never gotten used to the Seattle sports fan who makes excuses when their teams lose and criticize them when they win. If you want championships, demand championships. Make excuses only when you win (ie, lucky to beat a very good team) and criticize when you lose. Never tolerate anything other winning and fire anyone who doesn’t produce championships.

  23. Barry says:

    The results from last night were great. For many reasons, but because we knew it would be a tough game but we have dominated them before. And we saw both of those factors last night. What happened in a hard tough game down the stretch as a team we dominated.

    For me the play of the game was the TFL by Schofield. The score was still close, the 9ers were driving, we subbed in Schofield and instead of being a detriment on a run play Schofield blows up the play. He completely reacted dipped inside a probowl tackle and took down the runner before the back had a chance to even get close to the edge.

    That play said so much. It said we have 3 guys who can play the rush end and penetrate, and soon will have 5. A very telling story about teams who can go far is how deep your D line is and how much pressure you can bring off the end. Remember that 16-0 Patriots team, there’s a reason they didnt go 19-0

    • Barry says:

      I also believe that Aldon Smith wasn’t much of a factor after old Breno got inside his head and got the 15 against him. If I’m correct on that, that more then makes up for the holding calls

      • Rugby Lock says:

        Breno seems to have that affect on people… :)
        Of course I recall reading a story by Boling about him where he said he wanted to be know as “that guy” :)

  24. Michael says:

    After re-watching, I have picked my favorite negative play of the game. It actually ends up as a first down completion, but holy crap did Big Red do a number on Iupati!

    Check it out: http://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/809259398.gif?1379353878

    • A. Simmons says:

      Red took a Pro Bowl guard and threw him aside like a child. That was awesome. Damn. I love this team.