Instant reaction: Seahawks destroy 49ers 19-3

That was a complete demolition job.

I’m not averse to admitting when I’m wrong. I pondered yesterday whether the Niners were better placed to deal with a loss tonight. They have a vanilla schedule the rest of the way — starting next week at 1-10 Oakland. I thought whatever happened, they still had a chance to keep moving.

Not after this wretched display.

This is a broken team. The kind you expect to see when a coach is on the way out. The Seahawks have beaten Jim Harbaugh’s Niners handsomely in the past, but never in their own backyard. Never with this level of comfort. They simply had no answer. It was embarrassing to watch a once potent offense ‘dink and dunk’ their way to Colin Kaepernick’s second interception. Who is this? What have you done with the 49ers? Then I realized — this is what they’ve become.

That’s the owner of the franchise there, taking to Twitter minutes after the game finished. You know something’s amiss when that kind of apology is necessary.

Coinciding beautifully with the turmoil in San Francisco is the re-emergence of Seattle as a genuine contender. On the evidence of the last two games — the Championship Seahawks are back. The defense is playing lights out. The offense is moving the ball enough. The key players from last year are making big plays. It’s clicking at the best possible time.

They still have to go to Philadelphia next week — a 9-3 team who rolled over the Cowboys today. They too will feel they’re moving in the right direction. If the Seahawks can go there and win, it’d be a huge statement. That’s a discussion for another day. Let’s discuss the positives from this one tonight.

— Russell Wilson was at his elusive best. This was a classic performance — extending plays, taking zero risks and making chunk yardage with nice improvisation. Tony Moeaki is a real find and Luke Willson had another good performance. Marshawn Lynch had over 100 yards. The offense is doing what it needs to do right now. Wilson is the perfect quarterback for this team.

— If anyone ever wondered what the point was of Richard Sherman’s, errr, “performance” after the NFC Championship game, this was it. Hardly any quarterbacks have tested him this year. And in the biggest game of the season, Kaepernick couldn’t help himself. He had to chance his arm. How could he let that post-game interview go unpunished? The result tonight was five throws at Sherman, no completions and two interceptions. The only touchdown was a result of Sherman’s first pick — masterful technique on the sideline vs Brandon Lloyd. Has one piece of goading ever been so effective? Imagine the frustration this must bring to the Niners. Byron Maxwell also only allowed one completion for seven yards.

— The score read 19-3 for the second week in a row. And for the second week in a row it could’ve been much more. A ridiculous flag on Robert Turbin negated a perfectly clean Paul Richardson touchdown. Seattle squandered a first and goal at the one-yard-line. It was a similar story last week. While the defense is coughing up only three points a game, it doesn’t really matter.

— The penalty situation was incredible tonight. For the most part it wasn’t a refereeing issue. Seattle was very sloppy overall, giving up too many neutral zone infractions and needless holds. The call on the Richardson TD, however, was incredibly harsh. Fourteen penalties is way too much and can act as an equalizer on a night where you’re the better team. They have to be better here.

— The pass rush was rock solid again. Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Bruce Irvin all had sacks. The most impressive thing might be the interior rush. Jordan Hill had perhaps his best game as a Seahawk. DeMarcus Dobbs was also terrific against his old club. Kaepernick never ever settled and looked as flustered here as he usually does in Seattle. That was a big key to the game that we discussed yesterday. He finished with a rating of 36.7 and 121 passing yards. The Niners also had just 64 rushing yards — highlighting the importance (again) of Bobby Wagner’s return.

— Seattle also faced some familiar problems. They were 1-5 again in the redzone and just 5-14 on third down. When you’re dominating like this in back-to-back weeks and not seeing an improvement, this is probably an issue that won’t be solved until the off-season. It’s a big deal that Seattle is winning emphatically despite those numbers.

The Seahawks move to 8-4. I can’t imagine San Francisco will play this badly in Seattle two weeks on Sunday. But what a satisfying Thanksgiving for the 12th Man.


  1. Adam S

    Heck Yeah! Beauty! I almost didn’t watch because I wasn’t sure if it was possible, I was in a box on the 50 yard line in KC for that brutal gashing by Jamaal Charles. Also, cheers Rob for staying up so late back in Yorkshire

  2. redzone086

    Wow they made Capernick look terrible. He clearly didn’t want to challenge the Hawks corners and regressed as he moved through the game. Nice to see the Hawks defense put together another complete game.

  3. AlaskaHawk

    Nice win. Defense looked great, shut down the run and also had a decent pass rush. Sherman was great with two interceptions. Offense alternated between brilliant and crazy bad plays but they did enough to win. Go Seahawks!

  4. Colin

    Oh, that was just too good. Too good. Once again, the great Harbaugh can’t crack the code of Pete’s defense. He never has, he never will.

  5. Cysco

    This is one of those games where the score doesn’t tell the whole story. This could easily have been 33+ to 3.

    Great effort all around. It’s really great to see people coming back from injuries. If there’s any doubt this team needs to resign Wagner, the last two games should answer the question.

    I really like the continued use of the TE in the offense. It’s something we’ve been screaming for and it was probably our biggest weapon today. Now, if we could just solve the short yardage plays and the redzone. The “let’s run Lynch up the gut into a stacked box” play doesn’t work. And, this team can be downright painful to watch when they get inside the 10.

    Ultimately, can’t complain though. The seahawks just embarrassed their biggest rival on national tv on their field. Given the 49’rs owner’s tweet, heads are going to roll in santa clara. Go Hawks!

    • williambryan

      Yep, every time we get first and goal I always grimace.

      • Phil

        Yeah, but Bevell’s call on the TD pass to Turbin was a good one. I don’t remember many formations with both Lynch and Turbin in the backfield on the same play. When Lynch went in motion to the sideline, it looked like the 49ers forgot that Turbin was still in the backfield and their coverage was busted. But, I’d like to see more of this innovation in the red zone.

      • Robert

        On 1st and goal from the 1 yard line, I wanted to see Gilliam at TE and Takufuqu at FB. Bevell gets too cute. Just smash it down their throat. But do NOT line up RW in shotgun and particularly do NOT line up in shotgun with empty look. That is simply retarded strategy. Beast AND RW combine to form a dual threat. Play off of that!

  6. lyon

    Still incredibly frustrating how much this offense struggles in the red zone but still, hard to be mad on a night like this!! The d was all over Squidword and Sherm was happy to gobble up his awful throws. Lastly, I hope all of Bevell’s haters were watching on the TD throw to Turbin. Not one soul thought that ball was headed to Turbin. Great design.

    • Ben2

      Squidword- hilarious comp!

  7. Cysco

    Some other observations on the day.

    I don’t think Dallas is going to make the playoffs.
    The Seahawks could be in the best position ever if they get in and go up against the NFC South “champ”
    I really hope we don’t go up against Detroit. I like that team too much.

    • Rob Staton

      Seattle is one Atlanta home win away from being right in the thick of the NFC West race.

      On Monday they could be one game off first place. The Falcons have sucked all year, but they have meaningful football to play even at 4-7. Interesting game for Arizona on Sunday.

      • Bruce M.

        Agree, but that damn defense is very very good. It can cover for a lot of Stanton mistakes….but here’s hoping…

        • Rob Staton

          True. I’d like to see Atlanta get a lead because I’m not sure Arizona are built to chase a deficit.

          • Chris J

            Looks like we’re going to find out! Atlanta currently running riot!

            • Rob Staton

              Atlanta their own worst enemy so far. That pick six breathing life into Arizona.

              • Chris J

                Never in doubt in the end… Game well and truly on. I know i thought the Arizona game was our toughest test but next week @ Philly could very well go a long way to defining which way our season goes!

      • mrpeapants

        atl is goin beat az 27-17

      • Vin

        How crazy would it be for the hawks to go to N.O. as the Wildcard? Talk about a role reversal, and possibly sweet revenge. I cringe at the thought because despite their record, the Saints can be really good on any given Sunday. I’d personally rather face ATL or even Carolina. Go Hawks!

        • Rob Staton

          I’d take Atlanta in a wildcard game any day of the week. One of the softest teams in the league.

          • Robert

            True that…I’m thinking: Tun The Table!

            • Robert

              Better yet: Run The Table!

    • OHawk

      It amuses me somewhat that we could be the defending Super Bowl champs with the #1 wild card spot going on the the road to face a 7-9 division winner in the playoffs.

      Makes me really start rooting for the Falcons to come out on top in that division so we can avenge a play-off loss. Way to much mojo for a Saints win in that situation.

    • Steeeve

      It’s a nice idea, but I’d still rather have a home game against a good team than a road game against Atlanta or NO. It’s so hard to win 3 road games, especially when you throw in a couple of cross country trips.

      • neil

        It was great to get that win. Before the game I really thought the team would finish 9-7 or 10-6 if they were lucky. Now however maybe a miracle will happen and we win out. But that ‘s not going to happen unless they get the penalty situation fixed. SF got 5 first downs on penalties alone. Not good!!

  8. JeffC

    I have to disagree with you. Sf didn’t play as badly as Seattle just flat out dominated them and imposed their will. I don’t care if you put Steve young in there, they still get spanked bad.

    • Arias

      That sounds like some pretty vast hyperbole. Steve Young is a hall of fame passer and arguably the best mobile qb of all time. He’s definitely the most accomplished. Colin Kaepernick is not. I don’t see Young not seeing the wide open Lloyd on that missed play or throwing that first pick. We might have still won but I see Young sustaining at least one drive, especially when we repeatedly could not finish off those red zone drives in the 2nd quarter that would have made a scoring drive by them much closer. Young could be much more difficult to contain than Kaepernick because he was a far more dangerous passer who would use the whole field.

  9. Darnell

    Jordan Hill is playing very good under the radar football.

    Kudos to you Rob, as I believe he was someone you liked pre-draft.

    • Pauld

      Hill was an outlier in that Schneider/Carroll didn’t try to outsmart the entire NFL at the top of the draft. They picked him right about where he was expected to go. Imagine how well we would have been set up if we drafted Bitinio/Landry Rds 1 & 2. We have may still been been able to get Richardson/Britt who haven’t distinguished themselves imho.

      • AlaskaHawk

        You called that one right PaulD. Should have started with Bitinio and Landry and then filled in with subs. However I’m not too down on Britt. He has been playing okay as far as I can tell. Of course it helps that RW can scramble.

    • Rob Staton

      Really liked him at Penn State and it’s good to see him flashing the same level of interior rush recently.

      • EranUngar

        Sorry, I can’t help myself.

        For months before the draft i kept saying J. Mathiews and i was told over and over that there is nothing exciting about him.

        No Bitinio for me. J Mathiews !!!!!!!!

        Size, heart, smart, speed, hands….RED ZONE.


        • Arias

          But let’s face it if Jordan Matthews played here he wouldn’T have anything close to the , production he’s had in Chip Kelly’s offense. He also has benefited greatly from Sanchez trading over at QB since Foles seemed top far prefer Maclin whereas Sanchez has made Matthews his first read when he looks to.on.throws.

        • Rob Staton

          And I’m still more than happy Seattle passed. He’s playing well in Philly but they throw it a ton and have a very different offense to Seattle. Very different offense.

          • EranUngar

            I thought you’d say that. No way to to find out for sure.

            It’s funny, with the constant crues for a big target, there’s this rookie that posted amazing numbers in college, showed grit and determination since he was drafted, has all the attributes we keep wanting (size, speed, hands, winning contested catchs), ends up being the no. 1 target for his QB during his rookie season and posting very impressive numbers.

            And yet, we are glad we passed on him because he plays for a pass happy team? really? would we pass on C.J. for the same reason?

            Maybe picking Bitinio is also dead wrong because he excels with a team that doesn’t play ZBS?

            Or maybe i’m an idiot. It won’t be my first time with that title…lol

            • Rob Staton

              You’re taking my point out of context.

  10. CC

    Moeaki and Lem have been huge late season signings! Moeaki can catch and block – a poor man’s Zach, which I think has made it easier for Willson to just play, knowing all the pressure isn’t on him.

    With Lem back it seems like the offensive line played a bit better. Again, an experienced guy made a bit of a difference in the line play. They weren’t great, but they gave Russell more time, and the o-line penalties were way down tonight – big difference.

    The DBs played so well tonight, the D line made Kaep uncomfortable and Mr. Sherman messed with his head all game long.

    We will have to score more points at some point – Philly can score on special teams and in the running game – it could be a tough trip.

    But for the next few days, I’m going to enjoy another PRIME TIME win by the Seahawks! They’re coming into form.

    • redzone086

      The oline did play a clean game tonight and I normally rip on them. I saw our all pro left tackle just get pure beat again tonight on a few occasions but for the most part they played a pretty clean game. Britt continues to stop his feet in pass protection I just don’t understand why hee has no feel for pass protection and feet placement.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Watching Okung he always is the first offensive linemen to jump back into pass protection after the snap. It’s a good thing but with the way the refs pick on us it could also be called a false start – and it happens pretty consistently.

      • Arias

        Okung has never been an All Pro left tackle his entire pro career thus far and it’s doubtful he ever will be. He’s been voted to the pro bowl once but that’s quite a bit less prestigious than All Pro.

  11. Germpod

    I know two games is a small sample size, but Wagner’s presence may have a much bigger impact than I realized. The two games he’s been back…total domination.

    • Arias

      You have to factor that Kam’s return has coincided with Wagner’s after sitting out two games and he’s been the healthiest he’s felt all season.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I’ve always said the middle linebacker position and safeties are key. That’s just based on number of tackles per game and season. Middle linebacker will always have the highest number of tackles, so we need not only Wagner but a really good replacement if he gets hurt.

  12. williambryan

    The penalty situation is a real problem, but I’m with coach Pete on this. 3 penalties on SF?!? Yes seattle shoots itself with the presnap penalties but it’s often said a penalty COULD be legitimately called on any and every play. With that in mind all we can ask for is the game to be called evenly. That isn’t happening. This in conjunction with the USC stat Carroll brought up is rather troubling.

    • Alaska Norm

      I missed the use stat.

      • Phil

        Alaska Norm – Apparently Carroll told the TV team that his USC national champions were heavily penalized in the years that followed their success and implied that the same thing was happening after the Seahawks’ success. Nothing unusual in my mind — when you are the champs, you are not gonna get the breaks you might get as an underdog … Even in the media, the Seahawks seem to have fallen from last year’s darlings to this year’s devils ..

    • AlaskaHawk

      Let me add that some of those nuetral zone infractions are cause not only by Kaps cadence but also the way he flexs his hands. He could be called for drawing them offsides.

      • Alaska Norm

        That’s interesting. Human nature I’m sure… Nothing intentional but frustrating none the less. I watched the game with two rabid San Francisco fans and even they were laughing at some of the calls. One a ex D1 collage player who knows the game.

  13. Mylegacy

    The D is back!

    Just thinking of the super stars: Wagner, Chancellor, Thomas, Sherman, Bennett and Mebane then the stars: Maxwell, Wright, Simon (a new star but I’m positive he’ll be a super nova soon), Avril, Irvin (really starting to grow). That’s 11, actually terrific players.

    When he’s healthy – Mebane – along with Wagner, Chancellor and Thomas give the team an amazing constellation of celestial big bodies up the middle. (OK Thomas isn’t a big body – he just plays like a run away train).

    Both Wagner and Chancellor healthy is so wonderfully delicious – wow – just wow!

  14. Jake

    Let’s put Kaepernick’s rating of 36.7 in perspective: a quarterback who does nothing but spike the ball will have a rating of 39.58.

    And Kaepernick’s stats were pumped up by completing checkdowns in end-of-half drives that never seriously threatened to score.

    • Phil

      Maybe the 49er fans will start calling for Kap to be replaced …. how about RGIII to the 49ers? Just kidding …

  15. Phil

    Nice to see the half-time story about RW’s involvement in Seattle Children’s Hospital “Strong Against Cancer” fundraising campaign. They are trying to raise some big $$ to fund additional clinical trials of some promising immunotherapy cancer treatments. See for more information.

  16. Volume 12

    What a dominating performance by the D! Love to see this team getting back to the suffocating D we know and all love. Couple things here… 1.Penalties dont really matter. I know,I know but if u look at the fewest penalized team in the league it’s… Jacksonville. Seattle leads the league and is followed by Denver, New England, not sure after. 2.Yeah the red zone offense reared it’s ugly head again, but I can’t help but feel this Team is going to get hot at the right time down there, because I think the play action passing in the red zone will become a factor again. Also how sweet would it be to have an Isaac Blakeney who seems like a raw Plaxico Burress to throw it up to down there? 3. A healthy Kam,Bobby,and the underrated Maxi make all the difference. And I agree whoever said it, but I think Simon is going to become a shut-down corner, Can’t help but think Sherman and Baldwin’s great presser played into this somehow. Sorry for the rant, I’ll keep my posts shorter from here on out. GO HAWKS!

    • Pauld

      But it is the timing — when they are called that is excruciating. Have you forgotten our first Super Bowl appearance? The critical piece is not the total penalties but the margin vs the opposition. Keep in mind we have lost all four games by a play or two. I have taken to looking to the bottom of the screen for a flash of yellow after our big plays. I delaying celebrating until the coast is clear. And it’s not just the calls but the spots (CMichael/Moeaki). I wonder if they keep a stat: touchdowns called back by ticky-tack fouls. If so, we would be setting some kind of league record.

  17. Volume 12

    I agree PaulD,the pre-snap penalties are frustrating and drive killers. Yup every big play or momentum changing play the norm has become to look for or expect the flag. But at the same time I wouldn’t expect them to change their style of play. Changing the topic here, Rob have you gotten the chance to look at Colorado st hb Dee Hart?

  18. Volume 12

    Watching the Arkansas@Mizzou game, and that Arkansas lb Martrell Spaight #47 is a fantastic looking prospect! Really like this kid. Seems like he might be a physical freak? Could be a real nice late Rd addition, even though lb isn’t a big need.

  19. Adam S

    Hey Rob,

    what’s the development of chris matthews looking like? Is there any chance he’ll be ready to break out into the big body over the middle threat the ‘Hawks need?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s hard to say without being at practise. He didn’t look great in pre-season. I’m not overly optimistic here.

  20. Alaska Norm

    After watching yesterday’s game, still no change in my belief that the biggest need is a big target for RW. Either a tight end or big body Reciever. Even with the Lynch situation up in the air I just feel they can use a stable of backs to at least somewhat fill the need. As it stands now in those third and goal situations even Marshawn can’t score with the box stacked against the run. Without at least a little fear of a big target teams are just plugging up the line.

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I saw this suggestion floating in the ether and I’m surprised nobody else has brought it up. Maybe it’s that absurd, or is it…

      Use Richard Sherman as a WR in the red zone.

      At the very least, his presence on the field would cause a major disruption in an opponent’s defensive scheme. At the most, he’d be that indefensible big bodied red zone WR this team truly needs.

      • Arias

        I absolutely agree he needs to be part off the red zone package. Desperate Times call for desperate measures and this is the one gasping hole in our game that needs a jolt for us to go the distance this year. Why the hell not?
        It’s not like JJ Watt hasn’t been used effectively at tight end in the red zone this year since he played the position in college, he could help his team score just Like I’m sure Sherm could.

    • Rob Staton

      A big target is an absolute must for next season.

  21. House

    I think Jordan Hill is starting to scratch the surface of his potential and that’s a good thing for us at DT. WR/TE is going to be a need for us. Moeaki has looked pretty good in his 3 games with us. Maybe seeing how he does will make him a cheap re-sign.

    We used a waiver claim for Loucheiz Purifoy (Colts) yesterday. From what I’m reading, several ppl ate saying consistency was his biggest issue and SEA’s coaching/players could make him something special. From video I’ve seen of him, he reminds me of Thurmond. We had to place Kevin Pierre-Louis on the IR

    • Rob Staton

      Purifoy had so much potential at Florida but he lacked focus. Let’s hope the light switches on in Seattle.

  22. Cysco

    Rob, have you ever taken a look at Kent State’s Casey Pierce? He’s kinda interesting. 6’4 tight end who was a two way player in high school (QB & DE). He lettered in Basketball and Football.

    He looks like he has good body control and descent athletic ability. He was a walk on at Kent St. and worked his way up to have the best season for a TE at Kent St. since the late 90’s.

    Here’s a good example of his athletic ability

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t Cysco — I’ll check out the link.

  23. neil

    Awhile ago I took a little flak on this ste for saying I believed the officiating was biased against the hawkes this year. I believed the officials were told not to give the hawks the benefit of doubt in close calls. I don’t believe the Nfl wants to see Seattle in the super bowl again this year. They don’t have a big enough fan base across the country. The Nfl would much prefer the 49ers, cowboys, packers etc. I am glad Carroll has come out and bolstered my opinion.

    • Rob Staton

      Still not sure here Neil. What reason is there for the NFL to be biased against Seattle? A lot of Seattle’s penalties are avoidable. The refs didn’t jump offside or tell Marshawn to taunt the Niners defense.

  24. UKhawk

    Hi Rob, et al

    Been looking thru non-high round, bigger target receiving prospects on Draft Breakdown such as Sean Price, Chris Gallon, Alonso Russell and am really liking WR DeAndre Smelter (G Tech) and TE Jesse James (PSU). Let me know your thoughts on these guys and any others you may like if you have a chance. Thx

    • Volume 12

      Couldn’t agree more ukhawk. I really like Smelter too.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve not watched James, but Smelter carries some intrigue. Not sure he’s as tall as listed and he’s biggest in the lower body it seems. As a later round flier I’d take a chance. Not a Demaryius or Stephen Hill but one to monitor at the combine.

  25. Volume 12

    Hey Rob, I was wondering what you think of Miami te Clive Wolford? Personally I really like him, he kinda gives off a Julius Thomas type vibe skill wise. He’s got good size at 6’4, 256 labs., former basketball player, extremely competitive, really good run blocker, team leader/highly respected, and I also think he’s going to run a lot faster at combine/pro day than what people think. Thoughts?

    • Rob Staton

      I’ll check him out.

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