Similarly to Week 9, in what was supposed to be another heavyweight championship fight for the Seattle Seahawks, was instead, a reminder of how much further this team has to go. In fairness, Seattle did outscore San Francisco in the second half, and I think the hope of the regular season is for each game to serve as a building block.
But, it was hard to ignore how well-prepared San Francisco felt compared to Seattle, especially, early on in this game. They came out with a clear decisive game plan, that allowed them to march right down the field and take an early lead. Quite disheartening, considering how Seattle spent their off-season plan of attack and budget in an attempt to close the gap between them and the team that has now beaten them four straight times.
All is not lost, however. There were some good things to be taken away from this game. In fact, I feel Seattle would have been able to slow down the momentum of San Francisco early on in the first half if it weren't for a miscue between teammates.
Game-changing play for Seattle Seahawks in Week 12 defeat: Tripping over themselves
San Francisco started the game with an 11-play, 71-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. Opening drives are sometimes hard to judge as they are scripted, but the 49ers were able to run at ease and mix in the play action as a result. Seattle responded with a great kick return but had to settle for a field goal after a three-and-out.
On the ensuing 49ers possession, Leonard Williams made a huge stop on their 8th play of the drive, forcing a punt. Already running 15 plays for 119 yards compared to Seattle's 5 plays and 1 yard, it felt like the Seahawks were in a position to slow down the game and put together a nice offensive drive themselves.
However, on second down, Geno Smith tripped over Zach Charbonnet, which resulted in a 9-yard loss. To make matters worse, it placed the Seahawks at their own 1-yard line. Taking a safe check down on third-and-long, San Francisco was poised to get good field position. Starting at Seattle's 45-yard line, they pieced together another 11-play drive, resulting in a touchdown.
Trailing 14-3, getting completely dominated on both sides, it felt the game was heading towards a blowout. The lack of rhythm on offense continually put Seattle's defense in trouble as San Francisco was winning the field position battle. Later on this half, DeeJay Dallas would go on to muff a punt (surrendering 3 points; 24-3) and Jason Meyers would miss another 50+ yard field goal before halftime (which would have made the score 24-6, at halftime).
Doing themselves no favors, Seattle did respond well in the second half. They were able to piece together drives that featured Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zach Charbonnet to make this game somewhat interesting. If the officials called the pass interference where Smith-Njigba was held in the end zone, this game could have been entirely different down the stretch.
Nonetheless, the Seahawks simply didn't play good football for four quarters. On a two-game skid, they are entering a crucial point of the season where establishing an offensive identity is a must. Over the next month, we will indeed find out if the Seahawks are contenders or pretenders.