Monday, December 9, 2013 @ 12:56pm
Seahawks fan Keri Salemme was stunned to be given a card Sunday at Candlestick Park as Seattle squared off against the Niners, telling her essentially to sit down.
"I just got yellow carded by the 49ers. Sorry for being a #seahawks fan? #FortyWhiners" she wrote on Instagram.
In contrast, Seahawks fans were on their feet throughout last Monday night's overwhelming win over New Orleans at CenturyLink Field.
"Not only was it encouraged, it was expected," says Seahawks season ticket holder Michael Simeona.
What do you think of these cards?
Monday, December 9, 2013 @ 11:42am
Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright is expected to miss the rest of the regular season and a portion of the playoffs after sustaining a foot injury during Seattle's loss to the 49ers on Sunday.
That was the word from coach Pete Carroll, who told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Brock and Danny" Monday that Wright will soon undergo surgery to place a screw in the broken bone in his right foot.
K.J. Wright was having the most productive season of his career before breaking a bone in his foot Sunday. (AP)
Wright was having the most productive season of his career and coming off one of his finest games as a pro before sustaining the injury. Carroll said he took the news hard when he was told by the team's medical staff about the severity.
"He was as emotionally as you can get, and he lost it a little bit down there when they told him what they thought it was, and they were right," Carroll said. "Anyways, we move ahead. That's how that goes. It's unfortunate. He's had a great season. He's been a huge factor to us."
Wright wrote on his Twitter account Sunday night that he hopes to be back in time for the playoffs.
His injury will be the latest test of the depth on Seattle's defense, which has played at times this season without one of its best pass rushers (Chris Clemons), its middle linebacker (Bobby Wagner) and two cornerbacks (Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond).
Malcolm Smith more than capably filled in for Wagner earlier this season and he made four tackles – including one for a loss – after replacing Wright on Sunday. O'Brien Schofield has played both "Leo" defensive end and strong-side linebacker this season, and Carroll said he will do more of the latter in light of Wright's injury.
"We have a starter in O'Brien, so that's good to have him ready to go in case we need to do something else," Carroll said.
Seahawks will wait and see on Unger
|• Recap | Stats | Photos | Postgame interviews||• O'Neil: What We Learned||• O'Neil: Seahawks get an important reminder||• O'Neil: Should Seahawks have let 49ers score?||• Henderson: Late-game lapse dooms Seahawks||• Henderson: Seahawks' penalties loom large|
"We know what it is, we've just got to see how it responds during the week," Carroll said. "It's something that one of our guys has had before, played with it. So we'll find out how it is particularly for him ... That will take us all the way through the week."
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson played through a torn pectoral muscle in 2011, missing one game after the injury and then playing in the remaining 10.
Lemuel Jeanpierre, who has started three games this season in place of Unger, finished Sunday's game once Unger was injured.
• Carroll didn't have an injury update on WR Percy Harvin, other than to say the team hopes he can practice Wednesday.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Monday, December 9, 2013 @ 1:30am
SAN FRANCISCO – For three and a half quarters, the Seahawks did what they've so often been unable to do.
Their defense had bottled up Frank Gore – a thorn in Seattle's side for much of his career – up until when San Francisco lined up for a first-and-10 play trailing 17-16 with under 5 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
We just got outplayed on that play," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of the 51-yard run by San Francisco's Frank Gore, which set up the 49ers' game-winning field goal. (AP)
"They had run the play a few times during the game and we stopped it," coach Pete Carroll said after Seattle lost 19-17 at Candlestick Park, "but that time it got away."
Gore certainly did, first taking the handoff and running off tackle to the left before cutting back to his right and running by the second and third levels of Seattle's defense. He wisely stayed in bounds when he was tackled, thereby limiting the time Seattle would have on the ensuing and final possession.
No one in the losing team's locker room knew exactly what happened on that play, only that is was the game's defining moment. Seattle was ahead 17-16 at the time, having just kicked a field goal that changed the game's lead and capped a shift in its momentum. One defensive stop may have iced the game for the Seahawks. Instead, one defensive miscue helped lose it for them.
"I can't tell you who was out of position or what," said safety Kam Chancellor. "All I know is we had a bust on that play."
|• Recap | Stats | Photos | Postgame interviews||• O'Neil: What We Learned||• O'Neil: Seahawks get an important reminder||• O'Neil: Should Seahawks have let 49ers score?||• 'The Pete Carroll Show': Wright to have surgery||• Henderson: Seahawks' penalties loom large|
Gore burning the Seahawks is nothing new, however. After all, he has more rushing yards against Seattle in his nine-year career than any other team. And a year ago, the lasting image of the Seahawks' loss to the 49ers in San Francisco was Gore breaking off long runs against a defense that didn't seem to have a clue how to stop him.
This was different, though. Gore had all of 54 yards Sunday before that big run, and San Francisco hadn't gained more than 9 yards on a running play up until that point.
"We did a good job of holding them, limiting them for the most part," said middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, "but they got that big run at a crucial time, and that hurt us."
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Sunday, December 8, 2013 @ 9:02pm
By Danny O'Neil
SAN FRANCISCO – Seattle's second loss of the season wasn't decided by a field goal.
The 49ers' 22-yard chip shot of a kick may have accounted for the final margin of the Seahawks' 19-17 loss, but it wasn't the difference in this game.
That would be the 85 yards of penalties against Seattle, including 45 in the third quarter alone, and the punt the Seahawks had blocked in the first half. And more than anything, this game came down the fact that Seattle's offense couldn't turn impossibly good field position into anything more than a field goal in the fourth quarter while its defense picked the worst possible moment to allow its longest run of the year.
This game wasn't a heartbreaker nearly so much as a reminder of both how thin the margin between victory and defeat so often is in the NFL and the type of games Seattle can expect going forward.
"They're a really good football team," coach Pete Carroll said. "They called for you to play great to beat them."
And Seattle didn't play great. Not on Sunday at Candlestick Park. They had their moments, Russell Wilson efficiently guiding the offense on a pair of first-half touchdown drives and posting a passer rating of higher than 140 in the first half. The defense was resilient, forcing San Francisco to settle for three field goals in the first half and then cornerback Byron Maxwell intercepting a pass near the goal line to unplug a 49ers scoring threat in the third quarter.
But that wasn't enough on an afternoon when the 49ers dug in their heels and made the kind of home-field stand you'd expect from a team that had won the division the past two seasons and played for the Super Bowl a year ago.
"It was kind of just a slugfest," Carroll said. "That's what it felt like."
And for the first time this season, the Seahawks were the ones trying to shake out the cob webs after the game. After three straight blowout victories – including a Monday-night showcase against New Orleans – this was a reality check.
"You win some, you learn some," receiver Doug Baldwin said afterward.
Consider this a lesson on the importance of penalties, which has been a problem for this team for three years running. So as much as you might want to complain, you can't say it came out of nowhere.
Same for the punt Seattle had blocked. The 49ers blocked one against Seattle in the Week 2 meeting.
And for the scoring chance Seattle wasted when Tate's punt return set up Seattle inside the San Francisco 30 in the fourth quarter and the Seahawks couldn't more than a single first down before kicking the go-ahead field goal.
All of that added up to leave the Seahawks vulnerable to a single defensive lapse, because for more than 50 minutes on Sunday, Seattle had kept the 49ers' power running game in check.
The Seahawks didn't allow a run longer than 9 yards in the first half, and Frank Gore had only 50 yards rushing entering what turned out to be the 49ers' game-winning drive. In fact, Seattle was one play from getting off the field only to let San Francisco convert a third-and-short with a run to Bruce Miller and then on the next play hand it to Gore, who ran 51 yards. It was the longest run Seattle had given up this season and it set up San Francisco for the game-winning field goal.
|• Recap | Stats | Photos | Postgame interviews||• O'Neil: What We Learned||• O'Neil: Should Seahawks have let 49ers score?||• 'The Pete Carroll Show': Wright to have surgery||• Henderson: Late-game lapse dooms Seahawks||• Henderson: Seahawks' penalties loom large|
"We're not worried about anything," Sherman said. "Obviously, we'd love to get the win, but it doesn't really change anything for us."
That's one way of looking at it, and it's not necessarily wrong. If Seattle wins two of its final three games, the Seahawks will clinch both the division title and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs and this loss in San Francisco won't mean anything.
But on the other hand, it was a reminder that the gap between Seattle and the rest of the conference might not be the 20-plus-point victories the Seahawks had grown accustomed to as they reeled off wins against Atlanta, Minnesota and New Orleans.
There were six lead changes Sunday in a game that didn't make you question everything Seattle has accomplished so far this season, but did serve as a pretty powerful reminder that the Seahawks' success so far doesn't guarantee them anything but the opportunity to play in more bare-knuckle bouts against playoff-caliber opponents like Sunday.
"Being able to face this adversity is only going to be able to help us further down the line when we get into the playoffs," Baldwin said," because we're probably going to have a game like this coming up here shortly. So it's going to build character. We haven't had a tough one in recent weeks ... and I think the only positive we can take out of this is it's going to make stronger for later down the line."
Sunday, December 8, 2013 @ 6:47pm
SAN FRANCISCO – Penalties have been the norm for the Seahawks, a tradeoff of the unrelenting physicality with which Seattle plays.
They were something else on Sunday.
"The penalties, they killed us today," defensive lineman Michael Bennett said from the visitors' locker room after the Seahawks lost 19-17 to the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
There were nine of them assessed in all against the Seahawks, which is actually one fewer than their season-high mark. The 85 yards they lost because of them wasn't a season-high, either, in fact marking the seventh time Seattle's penalties have added up to at least 80 yards.
"They got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game and that helps you," cornerback Richard Sherman said after the Seahawks were flagged nine times Sunday. (AP)
"We expected to blow them out, but they got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game and that helps you, especially on third down," cornerback Richard Sherman said. "We will see them again and it will be a different result."
Sherman was issued two holding penalties, including one that was declined and another that gave San Francisco a fresh set of downs on third-and-11 in the second quarter. The 49ers ended that drive with a go-ahead field goal.
Cornerback Byron Maxwell was also called for defensive holding.
"I'm sure there was a lot of complaining about the pass defense from their end of it, and I think some calls went that way," Carroll said.
Seattle's offense was responsible for four on the team's nine penalties, among them an offensive pass interference on what would have been a 16-yard catch by Golden Tate as well as a facemask called against Michael Robinson that negated a 20-yard Marshawn Lynch run. The latter was especially costly, a 35-yard swing that resulted in the Seahawks facing a first-and-25 from their own 23.
"The penalties really hurt us offensively," quarterback Russell Wilson said. "They really got us off schedule."
Wright breaks foot
Before they lost the game, the Seahawks lost a starting linebacker for what will likely be the remainder of the regular season. K.J. Wright broke a bone in his foot, an injury that Carroll said should keep him out for roughly six weeks.
"We're really disappointed in that. He was really upset about that," Carroll said. "That looks like a six-week type of injury. They've already diagnosed it. So we'll have to live with that one."
Linebacker is one area where Seattle could seemingly absorb the loss of a starter. Malcolm Smith has started five games this season, including two straight when Bobby Wagner was out with an ankle injury. He played well enough in those games to merit consideration to remain in the starting lineup even when Wagner returned.
Smith had four tackles – including one for a loss – after replacing Wright.
Willson comes up big
The Seahawks entered April's draft determined to come away with Luke Willson, a tight end out of Rice who was a backup and had all of nine catches during an injury-plagued senior season.
|• Recap | Stats | Photos | Postgame interviews||• O'Neil: What We Learned||• O'Neil: Seahawks get an important reminder||• O'Neil: Should Seahawks have let 49ers score?||• 'The Pete Carroll Show': Wright to have surgery||• Henderson: Late-game lapse dooms Seahawks|
"Luke has shown us this ability to catch and run. He's fast," Carroll said. "It was a huge play for him, but he did some nice stuff in general."
The Seahawks were trailing 9-7 late in the second quarter when they ran a play-action pass that left Willson wide open over the middle. He made one defender miss en route to the end zone and his first career touchdown.
He had earlier given Seattle's struggling offense a spark, picking up 29 yards on third down to extend a drive that would end with the Seahawks' first touchdown. Willson finished with three catches for 70 yards.
"That was cool to come out of my shell a little bit as a rookie," he said, "but it would have been a lot nicer if we got the 'W', too."
• C Max Unger sustained a strained pectoral muscle and was replaced for the remainder of the game by Lemuel Jeanpierre.
• S Jeron Johnson pulled a hamstring. Carroll said the injury was to the hamstring opposite the one that has given him problems throughout the season.
• Seattle had a punt blocked for the second straight game against San Francisco.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Sunday, December 8, 2013 @ 3:40pm
By Danny O'Neil
SAN FRANCISCO -- The game was decided by the 49ers kicking a 22-yard field goal with 26 seconds left.
It's this 19-17 loss at Candlestick Park that the Seattle Seahawks will truly be kicking themselves over, though. For the penalties that cost them 80 yards in the first three quarters alone. For settling for a field goal after Golden Tate's punt return gave them the ball inside the San Francisco 30-yard line in the fourth quarter.
And most of all, they will be kicking themselves over the fact that Seattle gave up the longest run it has allowed all season -- a 51-yard gain by Frank Gore -- at the worst possible moment: With 5 minutes left in a game that Seattle led by one point.
The result put the 49ers in position for Phil Dawson's game-winning field goal which snapped Seattle's regular-season winning streak at seven games and its division winning streak at six.
Seattle ran one play on its final drive, Russell Wilson getting picked off on a desperation heave toward Jermaine Kearse, which wrapped up a thrilling game in which there were six lead changes.
The significance: Seattle had its six-game winning streak in the division snapped, and failed to clinch the NFC West. The Seahawks must win two of their final three regular-season games to be assured of winning the NFC West.
Play of the game: Frank Gore ran for 51 yards in the final 5 minutes, the biggest play of the game both in terms of the yardage gained and importance. It put the 49ers in position for their game-winning field goal and was the longest run allowed by Seattle this season.
Turning point: Colin Kaepernick's 8-yard run on a designed keeper didn't win the game. That was Phil Dawson's 22-yard field goal with 26 seconds left. It didn't put the 49ers in position for that game-winning kick, either. But coming with just over 3 minutes left in the game, it gave the 49ers a first down, allowing them to bleed the clock after Seattle had exhausted its timeouts.
Player of the game: Frank Gore rushed 17 times for 110 yards, the first back to surpass the century mark since Tampa Bay's Mike James did it in Week 9. Gore is the fourth back to gain more than 100 yards on the ground against Seattle this season.
The good: Seahawks' Steven Hauschka made a 31-yard field goal with 6:20 left to give Seattle a 17-16 lead. It was his 18th consecutive field-goal conversion, second-longest streak in franchise history. Marshawn Lynch's second-quarter touchdown was his seventh in the past eight games. Tight end Luke Willson caught a 39-yard pass in the second quarter for his first career touchdown. He had two receptions on the scoring drive, accounting for 68 yards on the 72-yard drive. Russell Wilson was 8-for-11 passing in the first half for 144 yards and a touchdown. His rating: 145.1. Cornerback Byron Maxwell picked off a third-quarter pass, ending what had been a promising drive for the 49ers. The Seahawks had two sacks in the fourth quarter.
The bad: Seattle gained 64 yards on offense in the third quarter and lost 45 yards because of penalties in that period alone. San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis scored on an 8-yard pass with 10 seconds left in the first half, it was only the 49ers' second touchdown in the last 14 quarters against Seattle. The Seahawks scored 11 in that same span. The Seahawks had a first-quarter punt blocked by Kassim Osgood, the second time this season San Francisco blocked a Seattle punt. Craig Dahl blocked a Seahawks' punt back in Week 2. The 49ers scored first on a field goal with 5:04 left in the first quarter. It was only the fourth time this season the Seahawks did not score first.
The ugly: Lynch had two runs nullified by penalty, first on a holding penalty by Russell Okung in the first quarter and then a 20-yard run negated by a facemask penalty against fullback Michael Robinson in the third quarter. The Seahawks allowed six points in the first quarter, which matched the total points they'd given up in the opening period of the previous six games combined.
Seattle: Linebacker K.J. Wright left with a foot injury in the second quarter and did not return. Center Max Unger left the game with a chest injury after three quarters. San Francisco: Cornerback Eric Wright suffered a head injury in the third quarter.
Seattle: WR Percy Harvin, RB Christine Michael, CB Brandon Browner, OL Michael Bowie, OL Caylinn Hauptmann, DE Benson Mayowa, DT Jordan Hill. San Francisco: WR Quinton Patton, CB Tarell Brown, DT Quinton Dial, G Mike Iupati, WR Jon Baldwin, TE Garrett Celek, DT Tank Carradine.
Sunday, December 8, 2013 @ 11:15am
By Danny O'Neil
SAN FRANCISCO – No suspense for Seattle's game-day roster on Sunday as receiver Percy Harvin and cornerback Brandon Browner were inactive.
For the 49ers, they will have offensive tackle Joe Staley available after he left last week's game because of a knee injury. Guard Mike Iupati, however, remains out because of a sprained knee.
Seahawks inactives: WR Percy Harvin, RB Christine Michael, CB Brandon Browner, OL Michael Bowie, OL Caylinn Hauptmann, DE Benson Mayowa, DT Jordan Hill.
49ers inactives: WR Quinton Patton, CB Tarell Brown, DT Quinton Dial, G Mike Iupati, WR Jon Baldwin, TE Garrett Celek, DT Tank Carradine.
Saturday, December 7, 2013 @ 1:32pm
By Jim Moore
As it turned out, picking the Saints to beat the Seahawks last Monday was idiotic. I thought the Saints would win 20-17, and the Seahawks won 34-7.
Now the Seahawks face the 49ers on Sunday, and I've had a heck of a time trying to make a prediction. I've waffled so much that I was late with a reply to Danny O'Neil, who asks us to fill out these little NFL thingies every week to get our predictions on the Seahawks' game.
I've boiled it down to this:
Reasons to pick the 49ers:
San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree, the 49ers leading receiver in 2012, recovered from an Achilles tendon surgery to make his season debut last week. Unlike in the 49ers' Week 2 loss to the Seahawks, he'll be in action against Seattle on Sunday. (AP)
1. Home-field advantage.
They haven't lost to the Seahawks in San Francisco since 2008. San Francisco won there last year 13-6.
2. Vegas favors San Francisco by 2½ points.
Those guys in Vegas are occasionally wrong but are usually right. However crazy it seems that an 8-4 team would be favored over an 11-1 team, be careful if you're actually wagering, thinking it's a slam dunk with Seattle.
3. Michael Crabtree's return opens up the 49ers' offense.
The Seahawks' defense now has to focus on Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin and Crabtree while remembering to gang up on Frank Gore too. And just like Russell Wilson with the Seahawks, Colin Kaepernick is a versatile threat.
4. The 49ers are the two-time defending NFC West champions.
When you're trying to take the crown away, it's a battle. The reigning champ will not give it away easily. You might get it, but it will be a knockdown, drag-out before a changing of the guard takes place. That's my psycho-babble take on it anyway.
5. The 49ers are the more desperate team.
They need a win to make sure they're in the playoffs. If they lose, they fall to 8-5 and are no guarantee for a wild-card spot. Even if the Seahawks lose, they'd be 11-2 and maintain a two-game lead over the 49ers in the NFC West race and one-game lead over New Orleans or Carolina in the race for the NFC's No. 1 seed.
Reasons to pick the Seahawks:
1. Their championship opportunity mantra.
Pick a Seahawk, any Seahawk, and he'll tell you that each week is a "championship opportunity." The Seahawks approach each game the same way, lessening the potential for a letdown or a hiccup. Even if I look at it as a game they don't really need to win, they do.
2. The banged-up 49ers' offensive line.
Left tackle Joe Staley strained his MCL against the Rams last week and returned to practice on Thursday, but he can't be operating at 100 percent. Right guard Mike Iupati is also injured and likely won't play. The Rams sacked Kaepernick four times, and the Seahawks have more sacks on the road than they do at home.
3. Russell Wilson.
In the last three games, he's been off the charts. Last year he was starting his fifth game ever in San Francisco. He said that 75 percent of the playbook was available to him. Now he's completely unleashed, and we know what an unleashed Wilson is capable of doing -- all kinds of damage.
4. Colin Kaepernick.
He has completed just 50 percent of his passes against teams with winning records this year. And he's 0-2 against the Seahawks. He might be a tick faster than Wilson in a 40-yard dash, but the best QB in Seahawks' franchise history has it over him in every other way.
5. As Michael Grey reminded me, simply put, the Seahawks have the better team.
And that's the best point of all.
Prediction: Seahawks 23, 49ers 20 (OT)
Season record against the spread: 7-5.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website jimmoorethego2guy.com and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.