Russell Wilson threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett late in the first half, Marshawn Lynch jumped the pile for a 1-yard score, and the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-3 on Thursday for their fourth straight win in this rivalry.
The Seahawks whipped San Francisco (2-5) in Levi’s Stadium on a Thursday in prime time 11 months after Richard Sherman chomped turkey on the field here last Thanksgiving night following a 19-3 victory.
Wilson completed 10 of his first 12 passes and finished with 235 yards passing. He was sacked five times to push his NFL-leading total to 31.
Lynch ran for 122 yards despite vomiting on the sideline in the first half as Seattle (3-4) won its first road game in four tries, avoiding another fourth-quarter collapse.
In a game lacking its usual intrigue with both teams trying to save their seasons and with Pete Carroll missing coaching nemesis Jim Harbaugh, Wilson made the key plays and Colin Kaepernick struggled once again facing Seattle.
It wasn’t that they’d been beaten by superior talent, they’d been imprecise in their assignments, and victims of miscommunication. And it left opposing receivers alone in open spaces to pick up big yardage.
But in the 20-3 win over San Francisco on Thursday, the Seattle secondary was in full lockdown mode most of the night.
Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 13 of 24 pass attempts and was sacked six times – 3 1/2 of those by Michael Bennett.
By keeping Kaepernick under pressure, the Seattle front seven made work easier for the secondary.
“That’s our D-line, those guys play hard,” said safety Kam Chancellor. “They’re relentless.”
A blown coverage that allowed a touchdown pass to Panthers tight end Greg Olsen on Sunday forced the Seahawks secondary into some serious self-examination.
After that loss, they gathered in a tight cluster to hash out what the problem had been.
“The biggest thing was acknowledging we were at fault,” said cornerback Cary Williams. “We had to be certain to figure out how we could get better and make sure that situation didn’t happen again.”
The focus, Williams said, was on communication. “We knew we had a mental bust and that happens in football, but we had to overemphasize getting it right for this week.”
With the pressure on Kaepernick, the Niners managed just one third-down conversion in 11 attempts. Their 142 total yards averaged out to a scant 3.2 yards per play. Their punts (9) outnumbered their first downs (8).
“We focused on communicating a lot,” Chancellor said. “That was the biggest thing with us getting back to who we are. We had to communicate across the board and be in the (right) place.”