The San Francisco 49ers saw their chances of grabbing a playoff spot vanish after suffering a third straight loss last Sunday, this time at the hands of their fierce rivals, the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers played well for the most part of the first half and had a deserved 7-3 lead at the break but were completely shut down in the second half, thanks to impressive displays of the Seahawks defense and the powerful Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for a touchdown late in the third quarter to give his team a very important 17-7 victory.
As it had happened in the last weeks, San Francisco’s offense, and particularly the quarterback Colin Kaepernick, was well below par in this game against Seattle. Kaepernick completed just 11 of 19 pass attempts for 141 yards, with no touchdowns, and he rushed for another 46 yards. The quarterback was under heavy pressure throughout the game and the offensive line was unable to conveniently protect him, and he ended up being sacked six times. Injuries have had a great impact in the outcome of the 49ers games and overall season, and this game was a great example of that, as they lost three more players to injury: veteran running back Frank Gore, middle linebacker Chris Borland (who was named the NFC defensive rookie of November) and also Gore’s backup, running back Carlos Hyde.
In a game where the defense and the running game once again stepped up and dominated, the Seahawks grabbed another crucial victory to, not only keep their postseason hopes alive and well, but to potentially secure the first seed in the NFC for a second consecutive season. Russel Wilson didn’t have his best game of the season, as he completed only 12 of his 24 pass attempts, throwing for 168 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, but those numbers were good enough to grab the victory and put an end to the 49ers’ postseason chances. The question now is whether the Seahawks can keep this winning streak going into the final two games of the season, at the Arizona Cardinals and at home against the St. Louis Rams, and secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, something that seemed completely out of reach just four weeks ago, when this very same team was 6-4. Seattle fans once again might be buying a Super Bowl ticket.