The two quarterbacks got the ink but it was the Seattle Seahawks defense that was the difference in Seattle's 29-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Sunday night spotlight game of the week. In the first of two regular season matches between the presumptive favorites in the NFC West it was all Seattle at Century Link Field in downtown Seattle. A slow start before a lightning delay of more than an hour was long forgotten at the end of the game
San Francisco came into the game with dynamic quarterback Colin Kaepernick and a revitalized passing game featuring new wideout Anquan Boldin. The Seahawks defensive backfield shut down Boldin completely on the way to the victory. Boldin ended the night with one catch for seven yards. Kaepernick, after going wild against Green Bay last Sunday was held in check. He ended the night 13 completions in 28 attempts for 127 yards, but was intercepted three times. He gained 87 yards on the ground but was never the factor that the 49ers needed him to be if they were going to be competitive against their main rival.
The Seahawks held San Francisco to only 13 yards on the ground by anyone besides Kaepernick. Frank Gore, who has had huge nights against Seattle in the past, was held to 16 yards on nine carries.
Seattle's Russell Wilson didn't have gaudy numbers either but they were better than Kaepernick's when the game was in doubt and good enough with the strength of Seattle's defense in support. He finished eight completions in 19 attempts for 142 yards and one score. He was intercepted once. Marshawn Lynch was the bell cow on the ground, gaining 98 yards on 28 carries. He scored once.
The fourth quarter was largely a vocal celebration for the Seahawks defense, known to be one of the most talkative in the league. Richard Sherman, in particular, strutted his stuff in front of Jim Harbaugh who coached him in college and for whom he feels disdain.
Assuming the two teams play well in the interim, this sets up quite a rematch in San Francisco on December 8th. Tonight's game was chippy throughout and two teams that don't like each other (and two coaches who can't stand each other) makes for a tasty post-Thanksgiving treat. Pete Carroll stirred the pot by challenging a call long after the game had been decided. When the challenge was successful Carroll celebrated in San Francisco Head Coach Jim Harbaugh's face. That will likely not be forgotten in the Bay Area.