After two weeks of fourth-quarter meltdowns and communication breakdowns, the Seahawks shut down San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Boomers are back, baby.
Just don’t tell that to the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom. The bounce-back performance by Seattle’s secondary in Thursday night’s 20-3 victory over the 49ers was simply what its come to expect of itself, particularly against its NFC West rival.
“We’re just playing our style of football,” Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said. “I don’t think it’s anything incredible or incredibly specific.”
After two weeks of fourth-quarter meltdowns, the Seahawks found relief against a familiar foe, once again shutting down San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who threw for just 124 yards and seemed to hit more innocent bystanders on the sideline than he did open receivers.
SEAHAWKS AT 49ERS »
The Seahawks also sacked Kaepernick six times.
“Guys played with some fire,” Sherman said.
On this night, Sherman was again Kaepernick’s kryptonite. In the Seahawks’ last trip to the Bay Area, Sherman had two interceptions in a 19-3 Seattle victory on Thanksgiving Day last year.
Thursday night, Sherman shadowed 49ers receiver Torrey Smith on all 42 snaps that Smith was on the field, and Kaepernick avoided Sherman’s side of field the way a toddler avoids a monster in the closet.
Smith, targeted only once, didn’t have a single catch and afterward tweeted: “Unacceptable … that was sorry.”
Kaepernick now is 1-6 in his career against the Seahawks.
In those seven games, he has just two touchdown passes, seven interceptions, a 52 percent completion rate and a 55.9 quarterback rating.
Kaepernick’s erratic arm did do some damage. In the first half, he sailed a pass out of bounds that hit a 49ers trainer in the head.
Later, he threw a pass that skipped out of bounds and drilled a cameraman in the back.
On the next play, Kaepernick nearly hit a San Francisco cheerleader who was standing 10 yards out of bounds.
“They played better than us tonight. That’s the bottom line,” Kaepernick said.
The analytics website Pro Football Focus this week had ranked Sherman as the 82nd-best cornerback in the NFL. Sherman said after the game that that didn’t bother him.
“I followed their No. 1 guy, didn’t let him have a catch, but I’m sure I’ll have a negative grade (from PFF) because they don’t grade things like that,” Sherman said.
“There were certain plays where we got sacks because (Kaepernick) was looking at my guy. Whenever you try to track stuff like that, there’s always flaws. So I don’t worry myself with that.
“I know I’m playing good football and I think it’s recognized around the league.”
The Seahawks have won four in a row against San Francisco, outscoring the 49ers a combined 56-13 in the past three games.
And in three of their past six meetings, the Seahawks have held the 49ers without a touchdown.
“We’ve had our struggles with Seattle,” 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said. “It’s hard to get by this. It is. I’m not going to stand here and lie. It is Seattle and we haven’t really had much success against them this past couple years.”
The Seahawks had blown fourth-quarter leads the past two weeks in losses to Cincinnati and Carolina, and mending those issues was a focal point this week.
“We showed we could finish through four quarters,” Seattle safety Kam Chancellor said.
“It was good to get us back to doing what we do, and that’s playing ball, playing with one another and playing hard and physical.”
|The Seahawks thoroughly shut down the 49ers on Thursday night in a fashion similar to their game last season at Levi’s Stadium on Thanksgiving night:|
|164||Total net yards||142|
|100||Net yards passing||81|
|64||Net yards rushing||61|
|4 of 11 (36 percent)||Third-down conversions||1 of 11 (9 percent)|
|24:41||49ers’ time of possession||21:55|