The San Francisco 49ers were thumped at CenturyLink Field in Week 13, losing to the Seattle Seahawks by a final score of 43-16. The 49ers drop to 2-10 with the loss, and remain tied with the Oakland Raiders for the worst record in the NFL. The previously 2-9 Arizona Cardinals won and move a game up on the two of them, as well as up on the 49ers for third place in the NFC West.
There were some positives to take from the game, but the 49ers were never really in it. The teams exchanged punts in the first quarter before the Seahawks drove down and took a 6-0 lead on a Jaron Brown four-yard touchdown. Seattle added a 52-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett, and later a Doug Baldwin touchdown to jump out to a 20-0 lead. The 49ers managed a late field goal and trailed 20-3 at halftime.
Things went further south after a big Lockett return to open the third quarter. The 49ers managed a pair of scores in the second half, but the defense could not slow down Seattle sufficiently, and it became an exchange of scores. The 49ers looked to add a final score late, but Nick Mullens threw an interception to Bobby Wagner that was returned 98 yards for a touchdown.
I did say there were some positives. DeForest Buckner had two sacks, raising what was already a career high to nine on the season. If he gets one more sack, he’ll be the first 49ers defender to secure double-digit sacks since Aldon Smith had 19.5 in 2012. Ronald Blair added a sack and is up to 4.5 on the season.
On offense, Dante Pettis was the big standout. He entered the day with 185 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Against the Seahawks he put up 129 yards and two touchdowns. Who knows how much we qualify as “garbage time stats,” but he executed well, and that’s worth something. He is building some solid momentum.
Speaking of rookies, Jeff Wilson got a big opportunity. Matt Breida’s ankle is bothering him and he aggravated the injury a couple times. Wilson rushed for 61 rushing yards and added 73 receiving yards. He had a fumble that probably should have been reversed, but otherwise had a strong day. He is likely going to get plenty more work the next four weeks, and is making a case for a roster spot next season.
Nick Mullens deserves some credit as well, even if it was garbage time. He threw for 414 yards, which is the most ever by a 49ers QB in Seattle. It was not a great performance, but it certainly offered up plenty of yards!
Up next: vs. Denver Broncos
The 49ers host a Broncos squad that is starting to roll. Denver has won three straight to improve to 6-6. Their offense is an inconsistent mess, but that defense is stout and will present a huge challenge to the 49ers offense. Nick Mullens made some mistakes but had a solid enough game that I don’t think we see him benched this week. But Denver’s defense presents another big challenge.