Nobody wants to play a tough division rival twice in three weeks, with a tit-for-tat game against a top NFC contender in between. But that's, unfortunately, the fate the Seahawks were given with their 2023 schedule, facing the 49ers in Week 12 and again in Week 14.
Their first matchup was anything but impressive, as they lost 31-13 in a game ruled by Christian McCaffrey, costly turnovers, and a lack of protection for Geno Smith, resulting in six sacks for a loss of 48 yards. An unexpected shootout followed up that lackluster performance with the red-hot Dallas Cowboys, although that game also ended in another defeat.
But it was a more thrilling showing for Seattle, which was on a two-game losing streak, which provided some hope they would be able to hang with the 49ers this past Sunday.
Some of that dream was dashed when news of Geno Smith missing the game was announced along with the other inactives. Although he has been far from perfect this season, it's never ideal to have your backup come in on short notice against the division leader in hopes of not being swept.
That was unavoidable, though, despite their best efforts to remain competitive for the entire 60-minute game. Now they'll be preparing to take on another NFC leader next week against the Eagles; quite an unfavorable way to kick off the season's final four games.
Drew Lock filled in for Geno Smith better than expected
After Geno Smith was named the Comeback Player of the Year for the 2022 season, he hasn't been able to repeat that performance this season and has continued to be a contributor factor in some of the Seahawks' more noteworthy losses.
That wasn't the case against the 49ers on Sunday since he was ruled out just a few hours before kickoff, allowing Drew Lock to finally get his first start since joining the team through the Russell Wilson trade a few years ago.
The once-presumed starter came out swinging, matching the 49ers' quick score with one of their own, throwing a beautiful 31-yard pass to D.K. Metcalf in the end zone. It was an impressive start against a team that dominated the Seahawks only two weeks before, but the early momentum quickly left and never returned.
Lock helped lead the offense to a field goal before halftime, keeping the game within reach as San Francisco led 14-10. They wouldn't score again until the end of the third quarter when Lock threw a 25-yard touchdown to Colby Parkinson to bring them within five points of their rivals.
The final three drives would end in two interceptions and a punt, essentially ending their chances of walking out of Levi's Stadium with a win. And as disappointing as that was, Lock's performance was a valuable asset in how the young quarterback could fare against a formidable opponent in Smith's absence or if Pete Carroll ever decided to make a change at the position.