Seahawks beat 49ers 37-18 despite leg injury to Russell Wilson
Five minutes into the second half on Sunday, the only doubt about the outcome of Seattle’s game against San Francisco would be how many points the Seahawks won by.
Then with a 15-yard penalty for an illegal tackle and one awkward twist of Russell Wilson’s left leg, the question became how much Seattle might lose.
Wilson left the Seahawks’ 38-17 victory in the third quarter after he was taken down by the back of his shoulder pads, a so-called horse-collar tackle. San Francisco linebacker Eli Harold was penalized on the play, but Wilson was forced to leave a game because of injury for the first time in his five seasons with the Seahawks.
Wilson returned to finish the series, completing the only pass he threw. He was fitted for a knee brace on the ensuing possession and seemed to lobby to re-enter, but rookie Trevone Boykin finished the game.
Wilson’s health is the No. 1 issue facing Seattle after Sunday’s game. He was already playing with a sprained left ankle, and the Seahawks will play on the road against the New York Jets next week before getting a week off.
As for Sunday’s game, the result was more straightforward. The 49ers managed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to make the game look a little more respectable, but it was decided in the first half.
Christine Michael rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns, including a 41-yard score the first time he touched the ball on Sunday. The 49ers ran for 25 yards – as a team – in the first half and never did reach the end zone.
Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin and tight end Jimmy Graham each reached 100 yards receiving by the time the first half ended. The 49ers had 102 yards of total offense in the first half.
So much for the Seahawks’ penchant for playing nail-biters because this week they went out and laid an old-fashioned whupping on San Francisco.
The Seahawks scored two touchdowns before the 49ers gained a first down. They gained three times as many yards the San Francisco in the first half, and the 49ers’ only points of the first half came courtesy of a Seattle turnover that gave the 49ers the ball at the Seattle 30. That was deeper into Seattle territory than the 49ers managed on their own.
• Seattle recorded its first takeaway of the season in the third quarter when linebacker Bobby Wagner intercepted a tipped ball, setting up Seattle inside the San Francisco 20.
• The Seahawks scored 37 points, more than they totaled in all but one game in 2015.
• Seattle has won five consecutive regular-season games against the 49ers, and six in a row if you include the NFC Championship Game in January 2014.
Seattle scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, which was twice as many as the Seahawks managed the first two games combined. Christine Michael scored each of them, first on a 41-yard run that capped a three-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Michael scored on a 4-yard run to cap Seattle’s second drive. It was the third time in the past 35 regular-season games that Seattle scored two touchdowns in the opening period. Two of those games have come against the 49ers. Seattle outgained the 49ers 171 yards to 27 in the first quarter.
14:17 – Christine Michael 41-yard run (Steven Hauschka kick). (Drive: 3 plays, 75 yards, 0:43.) Score: Seahawks 7, 49ers 0.
4:08 – Michael 4 run (Hauschka kick). (Drive: 14 plays, 62 yards, 8:24). Score: Seahawks 14, 49ers 0.
Seattle lost its third fumble of the season. Allegedly. Tight end Jimmy Graham was ruled to be down by contact on the field, but a replay review determined that the football was coming out before Graham’s left forearm hit the ground. That gave San Francisco the ball at the Seattle 30. It was deeper into Seahawks territory than San Francisco ever drove the ball. The 49ers wound up scoring on a 22-yard field goal. The Seahawks scored the final 10 points of the period, giving them 24 points at halftime. It matched the third-most first-half points the Seahawks have scored in any regular-season game going back to the start of the 2013 season.
9:44 – Phil Dawson 22-yard field goal. (Drive: 5 plays; 26 yards; 1:58). Score: Seahawks 14, 49ers 3.
7:53 – Jimmy Graham 18 pass from Russell Wilson (Hauschka kick). (Drive: 4 plays, 73 yards, 1:48.) Score: Seahawks 21, 49ers 3.
1:13 – Steven Hauschka 33-yard field goal. (Drive: 7 plays, 42 yards, 2:39.) Score: Seahawks 24, 49ers 3.
Tyler Lockett gained 62 yards on one punt return, which was more than double the 30 yards that the 49ers gained on offense the entire period. Lockett’s punt return set Seattle up for its first field goal of the period. Bobby Wagner recorded Seattle’s first takeaway of the season on the 49ers’ ensuing possession, intercepting a tipped ball that he returned to the San Francisco 20, setting up another field goal. Of course those two field goals were sandwiched around a knee injury to Wilson that will be the No. 1 question for Seattle after this game.
6:53 – Hauschka 33 field goal. (Drive: 6 plays, 12 yards, 4:08.) Score: Seahawks 27, 49ers 3.
2:29 – Hauschka 22 field goal. (Drive: 7 plays, 16 yards, 3:34.) Score: Seahawks 30, 49ers 3.
The 49ers finally found the end zone. Of course, it was on their 11th possession of the game after they’d fallen behind by 27 points, but darned if the 49ers didn’t put together something resembling a professional possession on a 75-yard drive highlighted by a 34-yard run by Carlos Hyde. The 49ers’ first 10 possessions gained 132 yards and totaled three points. Their final two drives gained 122 yards yards and scored 14 points.
12:59 – Doug Baldwin 16 pass from Trevone Boykin (Hauschka kick). (Drive: 7 plays, 58 yards, 3:37.) Score: Seahawks 37, 49ers 3.
7:53 – Carlos Hyde 8-yard run (Dawson kick). (Drive: 11 plays, 75 yards, 5:03.) Score: Seahawks 37, 49ers 10.
1:01 – Hyde 8 run (Dawson kick). (Drive: 8 plays, 47 yards, 2:44.) Score: Seahawks 37, 49ers 17.