Fans were expecting a showdown for the ages between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Instead, they got a blowout.
Seattle cruised past San Francisco 29-3, winning easily behind an incredible defensive effort. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor intercepted Colin Kaepernick, and Frank Gore failed to hit 20 rushing yards. Oh, and Perrish Cox fumbled on a kickoff return.
In short, it was a dreadful game for San Francisco, a team tabbed by many as Super Bowl favorites.
As for Seattle, another Super Bowl contender, things weren’t as bad. Marshawn Lynch scored three times, and Russell Wilson threw for 142 yards and a touchdown. He only completed eight passes, but it was much more than enough.
The Seahawks defense did all the heavy lifting on a huge stage, showing America why it could propel Seattle to the Super Bowl. It held Kaepernick to just 127 yards passing, and while he racked up some rushing yards, he didn’t do enough for the 49ers.
Eric Reid intercepted a pass, and Craig Dahl blocked a punt, but it wasn’t enough. The 49ers lost Reid, Ian Williams and Vernon Davis to injuries, and while Davis’ doesn’t appear serious, Williams and Reid could miss some time.
If that happens, it would kill a defense that was far from perfect tonight. Lynch settled near 100 yards, and while the 49ers allowed just 3.9 yards per carry, some big plays were wiped away by penalties. Without Reid and Williams, the 49ers would have some trouble against the run and the pass.
After watching today’s game, it’s obvious that they don’t need any more trouble.
Today’s game brought the 49ers back to earth, showing them that the Super Bowl won’t come easily. The team did a great job in getting to the Super Bowl in Kaepernick’s ninth start, but it will need to make improvements to get there in his first full season as a starter.