The Seattle Seahawks had a customary slow start against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon. But as they should against a one-win team, they took care of business after halftime.
Russell Wilson threw touchdown passes to tight ends Nick Vannett and Jimmy Graham in the second half as the Seahawks pulled away from the 49ers for a 24-13 win to improve to 7-4 on the season.
Wilson also ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter, a score set up by a big interception in San Francisco territory by Bobby Wagner, his second pick in what has been a possible award-winning season for the star linebacker.
Here’s a breakdown of each quarter of Seattle’s win.
Seahawks 0, 49ers 0
The story from the get-go was the wind, which made Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., look a lot like the notoriously blustery Candlestick Park, the 49ers’ old home on the bay in San Francisco. The opening kickoff had to be re-kicked after the ball blew off the tee just before San Francisco’s Robbie Gould connected with it, and the second try ended up out of bounds. Seattle didn’t have any luck with the wind either. Russell Wilson’s first pass attempt came up short to Jimmy Graham and was picked off by 49ers safety Eric Reid, and on Seattle’s second drive, Blair Walsh was wide-left on a 48-yard field goal attempt. That left Walsh at 17 for 23 on field goal attempts this season, including misses on five of his last 10. A positive for the Seahawks was wide receiver Paul Richardson (38 yards receiving), who had a pair of catches for Seattle first downs. Running back Eddie Lacy also had one of his most productive quarters for the Seahawks, rushing for 26 yards on five carries for an average of 5.2, including a long run of 11.
Notable: Seahawks tight end Luke Willson, who headed to the locker room in the middle of the quarter to be evaluated for a concussion, was deemed questionable to return, per sideline reporter Jen Mueller on the 710 ESPN Seattle broadcast.
Seahawks 7, 49ers 3
As has been the case on many of the initial scores for Seattle in their games this season, the defense had a big hand in the Seahawks getting on the board Sunday against San Francisco. Star linebacker Bobby Wagner picked off 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard early in the second quarter, giving the Seahawks the ball deep in San Francisco territory. Two plays later – a 14-yard run by J.D. McKissic and a 2-yard keeper into the end zone by Wilson – Seattle had jumped into the lead. San Francisco was able to get three points just before the break on a 38-yard field goal by Robbie Gould, which came after the 49ers picked up 47 yards on seven plays inside the final two minutes of the second quarter. That was it for offense in the first half, however. Other than their two combined scores, Seattle and San Francisco’s drives resulted in 11 punts, two interceptions (one each) and a missed field goal (Seattle).
Notable: Willson, Seattle’s No. 2 tight end who left in the first quarter, was ruled out for the rest of the game with a concussion. Rookie lineman Ethan Pocic found himself in the trainer’s tent late in the second quarter, with Mark Glowinski preparing to enter the game for him at right guard.
SEA – Russell Wilson 2 run, 13:23 (Blair Walsh kick, 7-0 SEA)
SF – Robbie Gould 38 FG, :04 (7-3 SEA)
Seahawks 14, 49ers 6
The Seahawks briefly found themselves in a nail-biter after San Francisco opened the second half with a 42-yard field goal at the end of a 10-play, 51-yard drive. Seattle responded quickly, however. Wilson completed passes of 23 and 24 yards on back-to-back plays to Doug Baldwin and Tanner McEvoy, respectively, and a 6-yard pickup by Lacy put the Seahawks in the red zone. Wilson then found Nick Vannett for a 17-yard score to put the Seahawks ahead 14-6 with 6:33 to go in the frame. That was the first touchdown catch of the second-year tight end’s NFL career, as Vannett was seeing more playing time than usual as Seattle’s second tight end after Willson was knocked out of the game in the first half with a concussion. On the Seahawks’ next drive, a pass interference call in the end zone committed against Baldwin gave them the ball at San Francisco’s 1, and they remained on the doorstep of another score as the third quarter came to a close.
Notable: San Francisco’s Marquise Goodwin, the team’s leading receiver this season, was deemed questionable to return due to a foot injury, though he did make it back on the field in the fourth quarter.
SF – Gould 42 FG, 9:19 (SEA 7-6)
SEA – Nick Vannett 17 pass from Wilson, 6:33 (Blair Walsh kick, SEA 14-6)
Seahawks 24, 49ers 6
Against a San Francisco team that had been held to 15 points or less six times in its first 10 games this season, Seattle pretty much put the game away on the first play of the fourth quarter, a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham from Wilson. That was the eighth TD catch of the year for Graham, tying him for second in the NFL with Detroit’s Marvin Jones Jr., just one behind leader DeAndre Hopkins of Houston. The 49ers briefly appeared to have a game-changing play on a punt to Seahawks returner Tyler Lockett with about 5 minutes left, as the 49ers picked up a loose ball and took it to the end zone. It was ruled that the ball hit a San Francisco player’s helmet first instead of being touched by a Seahawks player, however, and Seattle took over at the 49ers’ 45. Walsh tacked on a 34-yard field goal for Seattle’s final score of the day, and Jimmy Garoppolo connected with Louis Murphy as time expired for a 10-yard touchdown pass for San Francisco.
Notable: Beathard couldn’t finish the game after taking a hard hit from Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett late in the fourth quarter. Garoppolo took over at quarterback for the final few plays.
SEA – Jimmy Graham 1 pass from Wilson, 14:57 (Walsh kick, SEA 21-6)
SEA – Walsh 34 FG, 3:27 (SEA 24-6)
SF – Louis Murphy 10 pass from Jimmy Garoppolo, :00 (Gould kick, SEA 24-13)