Message received loud and clear Seattle.
On a day when teams found out a little bit more about what they were made of, the Seahawks proclaimed loud and clear on the second Sunday of the NFL season after beating the 49ers 29-3, “We are at the top, come and get us”. With all the hype and publicity around this game and surrounding these two teams, one team shined a lot brighter than the other under the spotlight.
After a weird and rough start for both teams early in the game including an hour delay because of weather, the halftime score indicated one very clear thing as it stood 5-0 at the break: whichever defense holds the longest wins. With both teams coming into the prime time bout boasting some of the best defenses and offenses in the game, the atmosphere was one that favored defenses for the most part. Crowd noise, rough weather, and untimely delays definitely played huge roles in determining the outcome of this game. One series into the second-half, after a dismal first-half, Russell Wilson and Co. finally began to break through. With just over 9 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Marshawn Lynch broke a 14-yard run to put the first touchdown on the board that capped a 10-play, 88-yard drive and sent the Seahawks barreling toward their second win of the season.
But it was the defense for Seattle that was so impressive over the course of the game. The first-half saw the Niners put up less than a hundred yards of total offense and zero points for the first time since Colin Kaepernick took over the starting job in San Francisco. The Seahawks eventually turned over the Niners five times in the game which is the first time that has happened in the Jim Harbaugh era. Credit is due to Kaepernick though for the job he did trying to make plays for his team when they needed them. He rushed for more yards than the rest of his team combined in the losing effort which cannot feel good if you’re a San Francisco running back. The Seahawks also held the Niners to just 207 total yards of offense which is the first time that has happened in recent memory. Overall, just a dominant performance by the now recognized best defense in the league.
One star that shined very brightly on the big stage was Pro-Bowl Cornerback and All-Pro Trash-talker Richard Sherman. He had the task of covering another pro-bowler in Wide Receiver Anquan Boldin. Boldin, who just a week ago torched the Green Bay Packers for 13 catches and over 200 yards receiving to go with two touchdowns, was virtually shut down by Sherman. Boldin managed one catch the entire game and Sherman afterwards was quick to point out to Michelle Tafoya that the catch wasn’t even while he was covering him.
“This game is all about levels and we feel like we are on another level than everybody else right now.” Sherman said after the game and after receiving not one, but TWO game balls for his performance on Sunday night.
Along with Sherman the rest of the “Legion of Boom” had an outstanding night including an interception each by Sherman, and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. The fourth member of the outspoken defensive back squad, cornerback Brandon Browner remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
With these squads commanding arguably the title of biggest rivalry in the NFL, it is easy to get caught up in hype, which is what seemed to happen to the Niners from the start. From shaving eyebrows to bad blood during college days, these teams have a genuine hate for each other and it is palpable. When asked about his former coach after the game, Richard Sherman responded with, “I went up to him and slapped him on the butt and said good game, he didn’t say anything back though. I guess sportsmanship doesn’t go both ways.” Sherman is right. With the quick and almost unnoticed departure of the 49ers star quarterback after the game and the brisk body language of Niners Head coach Jim Harbaugh post-game, it seems that some reputations, (Forty-whiners) are almost self-inflicted because of how they handle themselves.
“Alot of things were said this week that we didn’t really appreciate”, Sherman said in his post-game press conference, “We had a great game and we executed.”
For those people out there who doubted the Seahawks, the Pro-Bowler Corner had other words: Scoreboard.
“What’s the combined score of the last two games we’ve played them? Oh okay just making sure.” Sherman said jokingly after the game. “I just get tired of the notion of people saying I’m not elite. Sunday Night Football, everybody’s watching, watch this.”
When asked about the hype of the game and how much of it was real and how much was fake, Sherman replied, “The score is real and that speaks for itself.”
Statement made Mr. Sherman.
- Seahawks imperfect, but still bury Niners (seattletimes.com)
- Lynch logs three TDs as Hawks beat the 49ers, 29-3 (nwcn.com)
- San Francisco 49ers Are Helpless In Seattle (ninernoise.com)
- Seahawks rely on Lynch in 29-3 blowout of 49ers (metronews.ca)
- Seahawks swamp Niners after storm delay (scores.espn.go.com)