The offense and special teams grade out to B’s after winning in San Francisco 24-13, though a better effort on the ground could have boosted the grades.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Seattle’s 24-13 victory over the 49ers on Sunday was hardly artful, featuring a Russell Wilson interception on the first play and what might have struck some fans as unexpected troubles putting away a team that has won just three games since 2015.
But the Seahawks insisted they never expected the victory to come without some work. Ultimately, Seattle got what it needed and did so on a short week — some had wondered if this was a dangerous game coming as it did on the road following a Monday night game against a team that had a bye. So we’ll take that into account as we hand out some grades.
The Seahawks were sloppy and out of rhythm offensively throughout the first half, but as has become their custom — frustrating as it might be — they smoothed out the edges in the second half to pull away.
Wilson appeared late on a couple of throws and quick to move a couple of other times in the first half while Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson each had drops of passes that would have given Seattle first downs.
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Wilson also seemed bothered by the wind early — it was listed as 12 mph at kickoff. His first pass, which was into the wind, was intercepted.
But Wilson looked more like his usual self in leading touchdown drives of 71 and 63 yards the first two times Seattle had the ball in the third quarter to break the game open. He was 12 for 15 passing for 148 yards and two touchdowns in the second half.
The revamped offensive line — featuring Luke Joeckel back at left guard and rookie Ethan Pocic making his first start at right guard after playing in place of Joeckel — didn’t allow a sack, the first time that has happened since a victory at Baltimore late in the 2015 season, 31 games ago.
This game represented maybe Seattle’s best chance the rest of the season to get the running game going as the 49ers came in ranked 31st in the NFL, allowing 133.5 rushing yards a game.
Seattle finished with 90 yards rushing on 30 attempts, probably not quite the dominant effort it had in mind.
Still, coach Pete Carroll seemed happy with it, saying Eddie Lacy — who had 46 yards on 17 carries — “ran hard’’ and “ran tough.’’ And he hinted Seattle now has found its backfield trio with Mike Davis expected back to join Lacy and J.D. McKissic.
That leaves Thomas Rawls — who didn’t have a carry but was on the field for a play early — the odd man out, a topic whose implications will be worth exploring down the road.
If Bobby Wagner isn’t playing as well as any defender in the NFL, it’s hard to imagine anyone better.
Wagner was everywhere early, including making the interception in the second quarter that led to Seattle’s first touchdown and gave the Seahawks the lead for good.
This was the second game without cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor with Shaquill Griffin also out with a concussion. Once again, there wasn’t a real noticeable drop-off with the Seahawks giving up little to the 49ers offense, especially when it mattered.
The Seahawks were often able to pressure C.J. Beathard in the first half with just a four-man rush and got solid play from a number of different defensive linemen. Quinton Jefferson had maybe his best game as a Seahawk while Marcus Smith had one sack in the first half — which forced the 49ers out of field goal range.
A week after the Seahawks had just four quarterback hits against Atlanta they had 13 against the 49ers.
The Seahawks also set a goal this week of containing Carlos Hyde. Seattle mostly did as Hyde had just 9 yards on eight carries in the first half and 47 on 16 overall.
Blair Walsh didn’t do anything to quell concerns about his kicking, missing a 48-yarder in the first quarter. It was the fifth miss in his past 10 attempts at that point. He came back later to make a 34-yarder.
Otherwise, this was a pretty good day. The coverage was again led by Justin Coleman and Neiko Thorpe and Jon Ryan uncorked a season-best 74-yard punt.