Hark back a few weeks ago to my column about the NFC West and you’ll find that I was highly optimistic about the Seattle Seahawks winning the division. It didn’t take a genius to come up with that. The Seahawks have an epic defense, a very strong running back, and an athletic quarterback to get the job done. I did point out that it wasn’t going to be easy, that within the division the San Francisco 49ers were a team to fear.
Last night Seattle and the 49ers met head to head and it wasn’t pretty for San Francisco. The Seahawks kept Colin Kaepernick solidly in check, holding the San Francisco phenom to 127 yards passing, and more importantly, intercepting him three times along the way. It was the poorest performance of Kaepernicks career and his limited ability to throw the ball was a major factor in the Seahawks win.
Not that Russell Wilson had a great night either. The San Francisco defense was equally good in holding Wilson in check. A mere 142 yards and a touchdown, along with one interception, is all Wilson could manage.
The difference in this game was turnovers and the running of Marshawn Lynch. The Seattle running back kept pounding away and though he didn’t have any flashy plays he racked up 98 yards on 28 carries. A steady productive workhorse. The 49ers on the other hand, had Frank Gore come up with 16 yards on 9 carries. Kaepernick actually led with 98 yards but when your quarterback is your leading rusher you’ve got problems.
The Seattle Seahawks had an alternative when Wilson was kept under wraps: Marshawn Lynch. The 49ers had no answer for that. Which just goes to show that when your young and flashy quarterback is the center of attention you have to be able to get back to fundamental football and run the rock. The Seahawks did it and the 49ers didn’t and that made the difference in the game.