The Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers in a Thursday Night Football division match-up to ease their way into second place in the NFC West…for now.
SEATTLE STIFLES SAN FRANCISCO 20-3
The NFL Network must be shaking its head at their scheduling luck week 7 as two of the four teams that make up the NFC West faced off Thursday night in a rather uneventful game that may have revealed and decided more than the final score alone confirms. On the surface (and you’re probably hearing it already from many sources not named Fanosis), the Seahawks appear to be back and the defense can now be feared again as they had been the previous three seasons. In so many words (even their own), the Legion of Boom is the same as it ever was, and passing on them is a “play at your own risk” proposition.
Some of it, perhaps even all of it is true, but only to a point. Remember, Kam Chancellor returned after game 2. Before Thursday night’s game they were 2-and-2 with him back.
As a fan, what I saw in the San Francisco’s 49ers week 7 performance was the equivalent of a smaller dog putting its tail between its legs when the big dog showed up. I saw no fire whatsoever in Kaepernick’s face, I saw no clue in coach Tomsula’s post-game interview, and by halftime I was certain there would be no late-quarter comeback because I saw little-to-no desire for it in the collective body language. In fact, with less than a half-hour to game time, I didn’t see many fans either. It was rather pathetic…but enlightening.
The truth of the matter may simply be that not one, but neither team is the team that it was when this game was a rivalry, and that wasn’t long ago. As good as Seattle’s defense is, no way in hell were they 8 first downs-to-9 punts good (throw in one field goal and that was ‘Frisco’s entire evening), and even after all the passes that sailed aimlessly to nowhere in particular or into the soggy turf, the 49ers — who had not had one sack since week 4 — managed to get 5 sacks and 2 INTs from the winning quarterback, Russell Wilson. Against Arizona or St. Louis, that’s most likely a loss.
Wilson completed the game 18 of 28 for 235 yards, 1 touchdown, and the 2 INTs and QBR of 84.6, while Colin Kaepernick went 13 of 24 for 124 yards, 0 TDs or INTs, and a disheartening QBR of 68.8. The good news is that running back Marshawn Lynch looked a lot like Marshawn Lynch, carrying 27 times for 122 yards and 1 touchdown, the first score of the game coming on the opening drive, and the first of only two touchdowns in the game. The previous week’s hero, tight end Jimmy Graham was barely noticed this week, catching two balls for 31 yards without a score.
The highlight of the game was the second and final touchdown, a 43-yard pass to Tyler Lockett, which was slightly but dangerously under-thrown to the speedy special teams sensation with less than three minutes to go in the first half. Seattle took a lead of 17-0 into halftime. San Francisco’s only non-punt possession of the night stalled and they settled for a 35-yard field goal by 40-year-old veteran kicker Phil Dawson. Seattle added a field in the fourth, and that was that for the second half scoring. 49er coach Tomsula called timeouts late in the game apparently to get the ball back, only to punt them away on fourth down…So much for “going down swinging.”
How two scramble-able quarterbacks get sacked a total of 11 times in one game is beyond my simple mind, but all-in-all, it was the kind of game you walk away from for a moment, overstay where you went, and return only to realize you didn’t miss much at all, especially if you’re a ‘niners fan…and speaking to ‘niners fans, it’s getting dangerously close to the moment in the season where it hits you; the Kaepernicking part of your life is likely coming to an end. The “record” 126 million dollar contact (61 million supposedly guaranteed) is only that in the language of NFLspeak. The truth is, in lawyerspeak (or major league baseball) it would be called a 1-year 13 million dollar contract with six 1-year options. In short, they can cut Colin from the team anytime in the off-season before April 1st, 2016 and not be obligated to pay him one additional dime — reason enough to scramble around and attempt to make plays regardless of what the coach says, no?. The way it’s currently going, I’d say the writing’s [appearing like in a horror flick]on the wall, and week 8 brings no easier tasks as San Francisco faces another atrocious defense in the St. Louis Rams.
Seattle faces the Dallas Cowboys in week 8, and probably up to game time, the jury will be out on the status of Dez Bryant. The new quarterback, Matt Cassel, will be dissected during the week, and not just by the Seahawks — oddsmakers, too!