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The Seattle Seahawks (7-5) kicked off December
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by taking care of business against a hapless and banged up San Francisco 49ers (2-10) squad Justin Coleman Color Rush Jersey , winning 43-16. Russell Wilson (11/17 for 185 yards) threw four touchdown passes, including two to Jaron Brown, with one of them in front of Richard Sherman, who was otherwise scarcely thrown at. Defense and special teams generated multiple takeaways, but the secondary did get picked on in the 2nd half. Bobby Wagner played out of his mind, getting a fumble recovery and the first pick-six of his career, a franchise record 98 yards late in the 4th quarter.Of note for Seattle are injuries to Chris Carson and DJ Fluker. Carson had x-rays on an injured finger, while Fluker was carted off with a right hamstring issue, which may significantly alter Seattle’s offense the rest of the way if it was as serious as feared. 1st HalfFor the first time in seemingly forever, the Seahawks started on defense. They only gave up one first-down before a Bobby Wagner sack ended that drive. Seattle went three-and-out after Chris Carson could only pick up 9 yards. San Francisco’s next drive was the same thing... one third-down conversion and then a punt.A horribly busted coverage on play-action led to Jaron Brown getting free for 45 yards to the Niners 25. Rashaad Penny ran for 17 yards to set up 1st and goal. On 3rd and goal, Russell Wilson bought some time and found Brown for a touchdown despite illegal contact. Sebastian Janikowski missed the PAT, so 6-0 Seahawks. The TD celebration was a re-enactment of “The Tip” from the NFC Championship Game, with Doug Baldwin playing the role of Richard Sherman.After a three-and-out by the 49ers, the Seahawks got the ball back in great field position, and despite a DJ Fluker holding penalty, Russell Wilson exploited the “Malcolm Smith covering Tyler Lockett” mismatch on 1st and 20 for the 52-yard touchdown. 13-0 Seahawks.Jeff Wilson had multiple good plays on the Niners’ next drive, as the backup RB had a 4th down conversion and a 24-yard gain on a screen pass, but Bobby Wagner somehow ripped the football away from him inside the Seattle 10 for a takeaway. The ruling on the field stood upon further review, although it was close.An exchange of punts ensued Russell Wilson Color Rush Jersey , with Michael Dickson’s kick after the two-minute warning leading to Richie James muffing the catch. Neiko Thorpe recovered at the 49ers 33. A personal foul on Malcolm Smith hitting a sliding Russell Wilson in the head gave them more yards into the red zone. Pass interference on K’Waun Williams in the end zone led to 1st and goal at the 1. After getting stuffed twice at the goal-line on Chris Carson rushes, Doug Baldwin was wide open on an out route to extend the lead. 20-0 Seahawks.The Niners got on the board by taking advantage of a short field (due to a penalty on the kickoff for unnecessary roughness), and Robbie Gould kicked a field goal as time expired. 20-3 Seahawks.2nd HalfTyler Lockett started the half with a bang, returning the kickoff 84 yards to San Francisco’s 20. Rashaad Penny scored on a pitch play on the literal next snap, 16 seconds into the 3rd quarter. 27-3 Seahawks.The 49ers got a good kick return of their own, and Dante Pettis scored a 17-yard touchdown pass on 3rd down to answer Seattle’s score. 27-10 Seahawks.A couple of punts happened, and then Russell Wilson’s deep ball to Tyler Lockett resulted in a 43-yard pass interference penalty into 49ers territory. The flag-fest led to both coaches being upset, but Kyle Shanahan had a meltdown after San Francisco was offsides, and that resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct against him for dissent. Wilson threw his fourth touchdown of the game by buying time, scrambling, and hitting Jaron Brown for his second score on the afternoon, right in front of Richard Sherman. 34-10 Seahawks. One play later, Nick Mullens struck right back with a 75-yard pass to Dante Pettis, beating Tre Flowers in coverage. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful. 34-16 Seahawks.The Seahawks offense tried to make it 41-16 after getting all the way to the 1-yard line, but a couple of sacks took them 20 yards back and forced to kick a field goal, which Seabass converted. 37-16 Seahawks.Just when it appeared as if the 49ers would make things a little bit closer, Bobby Wagner shut the door on Nick Mullens with a 98-yard pick-six. The PAT was seemingly blocked and either way it was missed, but it’s not like anyone cares. 43-16 Seahawks.San Francisco spent hours trying to score a consolation TD. It failed. 43-16 Seahawks final.Seahawks injury reportCB Tre Flowers injured his shoulder in the 2nd quarter. He returned to the game despite being listed as questionable to start the half. RG DJ Fluker suffered a right hamstring injury in the 4th quarter and limped off the field, then was carted off. He did not return. He was replaced by Joey Hunt and later Jordan Simmons.RB Chris Carson had an injured finger in the 4th quarter and did not return Brandon Marshall Color Rush Jersey , although he was listed as questionable.RB Rashaad Penny was seen on the sidelines stretching out his left calf in the 4th quarter. He appeared to be fine, and the Seahawks offense didn’t run another play for the final seven minutes of game time anyway.Next week’s opponentThe Seahawks are home again next week for a Monday Night Football matchup with the Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) on December 10th at 5:15 PM PT on ESPN. On Wednesday, I wrote that there was a non-zero chance that the Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks Week 16 game could be meaningless for both sides, with both teams in position to secure their respective playoff positions with wins and favorable results elsewhere. As of Thursday night at a little bit after 8:30 PM PT, there’s a 100% chance that this Sunday Night Football showdown will carry a lot of weight for Kansas City at the very least.Philip Rivers engineered yet another incredible comeback on the road in hostile territory, as the Los Angeles Chargers scored 15 points in the final four minutes, including a game-winning two point conversion to Mike Williams (who scored three touchdowns on the night) with :04 on the clock to give his side a stunning 29-28 win in Kansas City. Chiefs fans surely thought this would be the night they’d clinch the AFC West and be within touching distance of the #1 seed, now they have to worry about blowing the entire division and having to start their playoff run on the road.Right now, the Chargers and Chiefs are both 11-3, but the Chiefs hold the divisional tiebreaker and thus are still in first-place. That can change in a flash if the Chargers beat the dangerous Baltimore Ravens at home next Saturday, and the Chiefs lose at Seattle the following night. If the Chargers lose to Baltimore, the Chiefs can then clinch the AFC West with a win at Seattle, but a loss would leave them at risk of losing the #1 seed to the New England Patriots, who have the head-to-head tiebreaker on Kansas City.There’s still a possibility that the Seahawks enter December 23rd with the #5 seed locked up — a win at the San Francisco 49ers and a Minnesota Vikings loss/tie vs. the Miami Dolphins does the trick — but the Chiefs’ road trip to Seattle now carries a ton of meaning in some form. Should the Seahawks clinch a playoff spot but not the #5 seed by next Sunday night, then what’s on the line for them is most likely the difference between playing at the Dallas Cowboys and at the Chicago Bears under near-certain frigid conditions. If the Seahawks lose to the 49ers and other results lead to them not having a playoff spot locked up by game time... then sh-t just got real.But you know what? Even if the Seahawks DO have the #5 seed secured, I don’t think Pete Carroll would rest his starters. There’s now a major opportunity to play spoiler, and if Carroll believes this team can make a Super Bowl run — I damn well bet he does — why wouldn’t you want to potentially knock that high-flying offense from the #1 seed all the way down to #5?We’ll have to wait and see how this Sunday’s game at the 49ers plays out for the Seahawks, but I am suddenly a lot more hyped for next weekend.
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