SANTA CLARA, Calif. —
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks ruled their one-sided rivalry against the 49ers for another night.
Another Thursday night, in fact, and on San Francisco’s home field again.
Wilson threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett late in the first half, Marshawn Lynch added a 1-yard score, and Seattle beat San Francisco 20-3 on Thursday night for its fourth straight win between the NFC West rivals.
The Seahawks (3-4) whipped San Francisco in Levi’s Stadium on a Thursday in prime time 11 months after Richard Sherman chomped turkey on the field here last Thanksgiving night following a 19-3 victory.
Wilson completed 10 of his first 12 passes and finished with 235 yards passing and Lynch ran for 122 yards after vomiting on the sideline in the first half. Seattle won its first road game in four tries, avoiding another fourth-quarter collapse this season.
It was a game lacking its usual intrigue with both teams trying to save their seasons and with Pete Carroll missing former coaching nemesis and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
Wilson made the key plays and Colin Kaepernick struggled once again facing Seattle as the 49ers (2-5) lost four days after snapping a four-game losing streak by beating Baltimore.
Steven Hauschka sent dirt flying when he kicked a 49-yard field goal in the second quarter four days after Ravens kicker Justin Tucker slipped on the turf and shanked one off the right upright and slipped to the ground on the field that will host the Super Bowl in early February.
Wilson was sacked five times to push his NFL-leading total to 31 and threw a pair of interceptions, but still made plenty of big plays for another lopsided result against the Niners.
Fans left early again in an eerily similar scene to Thanksgiving night, when 49ers CEO Jed York apologized on Twitter in the waning moments by saying: “This performance wasn’t acceptable. I apologize for that.”
This time, it was former 49ers wideout Kassim Osgood weighing in on Twitter with: “‘Something ain’t right in SF'”
Kaepernick’s errant passes sailed into both sidelines, one ball even hitting a 49ers staff member in the head early in the game and requiring him to be checked.
Phil Dawson kicked a 35-yard field goal late in the third, and the 49ers have been held to single digits in their past three losses to Seattle with just one touchdown — outscored 56-13.
Kaepernick dropped to 1-6 in seven starts against the Seahawks with three touchdown passes to nine interceptions and 24 sacks.
The Seahawks’ winning streak in the series started with the NFC championship game in January 2014 that propelled them to a Super Bowl victory. Seattle has won six out of seven overall against San Francisco.
Jermaine Kearse caught a 21-yard pass over a leaping NaVorro Bowman, facing Seattle for the first time since a frightening left knee injury in the NFC title game. He needed surgery and was sidelined all of last season.
San Francisco’s 55 yards in the first half were the fewest allowed by the Seahawks defense in an opening half since Week 17 of the 2013 season against St. Louis.
On their opening drive, the Seahawks needed six plays once they reached the 3 before Lynch’s leaping touchdown run, scoring just their second TD of the season on the initial drive.
San Francisco’s Quinton Patton lost his cool late in the game and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for yelling in an official’s face.
3:56 in the 4th: San Francisco calls a timeout as the Seahawks drain the clock with another run. They’re up 20-3 on their own 47.
9:29 in the 4th: Seahawks make it 20-3 with a 46-yard field goal from Steven Hauschka. He’s now 16 for 16 this season.
End of the 3rd: Seahawks are still ahead 17-3.
6:47 in the 3rd: Seahawks are still leading 17-0 and have the ball after another 49ers punt. In the first half, the Seahawks had 181 passing yards, 88 rushing yards and had possession for 18:44. San Francisco had 17 passing yards, 38 rushing yards, and had the ball for 11:16. The Seahawks had 13 first downs to the 49ers five.
0:39 left in the 2nd: Wilson threw his fourth interception of the season in the endzone. He tried to force it into Doug Baldwin, who was falling backwards. The Seahawks answered with a sack on the 49ers first play on the next drive. The first half ended with the Seahawks up 17-0.
2:53 left in the 2nd: Russell Wilson passed to Tyler Lockett for a 43-yard gain. Hauschka booted the PAT to give Seattle a 17-0 lead.
9:41 in the 2nd: A Stephen Hauschka 49-yard field goal puts the Seahawks up 10-0. He’s 15 for 15 on field goals this season.
13:34 in the 2nd: The second quarter started with Michael Bennett sacking Colin Kaepernick on the San Francisco 31.
End of the 1st: The quarter ends with the Seahawks ahead 7-0. Marshawn Lynch was throwing up on the sideline, but a CBS sideline reporter that’s normal — it just usually happens in the locker room.
5:48 left in the 1st: Seattle takes over again after the 49ers second punt. San Francisco went thre-and-out on their first two drives.
7:05 left in the 1st: On the eighth snap in the red zone, Marshawn Lynch scored on a run. Stephen Hauschka’s kick with 7:01 put the Seahawks ahead 7-0.
12:18 left in the 1st: Seattle is on their first drive and Beast Mode picks up a first down. Ricardo Lockette picks up a 16-yard gain down the right side for another first down. The 49ers punted after getting the ball on kickoff.
PRE-GAME TEXT: The dynamic of the Seahawks-49ers rivalry has changed dramatically in a matter of months.
No more Jim Harbaugh trying to outdo old nemesis Pete Carroll, and neither team sitting atop the NFC West standings this time.
“I’m not looking at it any differently,” Carroll said. “He’s a terrific coach and it was a lot of fun playing against him.”
Jim Tomsula is now coaching the Niners with Harbaugh long gone and leading Michigan. Both teams are 2-4 and determined to get back in the NFC West race. Richard Sherman doesn’t have an interception, while Colin Kaepernick has thrown his share in a rough start.
Tight end Jimmy Graham joined Seattle, too.
“Record-wise, people wouldn’t say it’s the same game, because usually we come to this game and we’re both 4-2 or 5-1 or maybe 6-0 at this point,” Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said. “We’re not usually where our records are. I still think the talent level is the same.”
Seattle, then the defending Super Bowl champion, whipped San Francisco 19-3 at Levi’s Stadium, then eliminated the 49ers from playoff contention less than three weeks later with a 17-7 win in Seattle.
The Seahawks have won three in a row in the rivalry.
Sherman will hardly miss his former Stanford coach, Harbaugh, or departed wideout Michael Crabtree — now with the Oakland Raiders.
“I’m not going to miss either, because I think I’m still playing,” Sherman said. “When you’re playing this game, you try not to worry about other people as much as you worry about what you can do and what your team does. I think at the end of the day we go out there and control what we can control. So I don’t think I think about either of those guys very much.”
Seattle’s chance at a third straight trip to the Super Bowl is in jeopardy. Since 1990, only 14 of 168 teams to start the season 2-4 have reached the playoffs, and none has reached the Super Bowl, according to STATS.
Here are some things to watch for as the 49ers host the Seahawks on a Thursday night for the second straight year:
TURKEY TALK: Seahawks cornerback Sherman chomped on a turkey leg while cradling the game ball in his right hand in a Thanksgiving night celebration on the 49ers’ home field 11 months ago.
San Francisco CEO Jed York even apologized for his team’s poor play on Twitter.
“Yeah, I don’t really pay much attention to the pompanstance around it,” Tomsula said, then quickly caught himself. “Here I am making up vocabulary again, the Pittsburghese coming out.”
BOWMAN COMEBACK: Linebacker NaVorro Bowman hasn’t faced the Seahawks since going down with a devastating left knee injury in the NFC championship game in January 2014. He not only needed surgery but missed all of 2014.
Bowman had 15 tackles last week playing 77 snaps, prompting Tomsula to say the Niners need to get him some breaks.
“It looks like he’s the leader out there,” Carroll said. “He’s as tough as you can get, instinctive, and he looks like he’s back playing football the way he’s always played. It’s a great tribute to him battling to get back. It was a real difficult injury and I felt terrible about him getting hurt, but thrilled to see him back out there battling.”
MOBILE WILSON: The 49ers’ defense has been tested by strong-armed quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer, and mobile ones like Aaron Rodgers. Next up: do-it-all Russell Wilson.
“A good thing about our schedule is we faced a bunch of big-armed quarterbacks, and we’ve actually faced a couple quarterbacks that can scramble as well,” cornerback Kenneth Acker said. “You know at any point, Russell Wilson can break out of the pocket and a receiver’s going to go deep, you know that every play could be that big play.”
WAGNER RETURNS: Seattle will have starting middle linebacker Bobby Wagner back after he missed Sunday’s loss to Carolina with a pectoral injury. Wagner was hurt the prior week against Cincinnati trying to make a tackle in the first quarter on Marvin Jones, initially thinking it was just a cramp.
“I’m excited to get this team going in the right direction,” Wagner said.
FIX THE FOURTH: Over the past three games, the Seahawks are being outscored 40-3 in the fourth quarter and overtime. After matching a franchise record with a 17-point fourth quarter collapse in a loss to Cincinnati — and vowing it wouldn’t happen again — the Seahawks blew a 23-14 lead in the final 12 minutes against Carolina.
Seattle is being outscored 55-27 in the fourth period this season — a big change from a year ago when the Seahawks were plus-55 in point differential in the final quarter.
Source: Text, Janie McCauley, The Associated Press Photo Marcio Jose Sanchez, The Associated Press