The Seattle Seahawks figured that they would have to do something special for head coach Pete Carroll on Sunday night, who happened to be celebrating his 62nd birthday.
So the Seahawks let Carroll have his cake with all 68,338 Seahawks’ fans on hand as they routed division rival San Francisco 49ers 29-3 in what has since become the loudest football stadium ever in Seattle.
Despite the hour-long delay due to lightning in the area, the Seahawks suddenly struck lightning in the running game thanks to running back Marshawn Lynch, aka “Beast Mode,” who cut and plodded his way for 98 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a game where offense was hard to come by against both of these stout defenses. Quarterback Russell Wilson had trouble getting into any kind of consistent rhythm, finishing the night 8-of-19 for 142 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception. He finished with a passer rating of 63.9.
Meanwhile, the defense sought to take away Colin Kaepernick‘s arm in the downfield passing game, holding the 49ers’ signal caller to 13-of-28 for 127 yards and three interceptions. Kaepernick would finish with a passer rating of 20.1. The Seahawks’ defense harassed Kaepernick and the 49ers offense all night, keeping them out of the end zone entirely and holding them to only 100 rushing yards, with Kaepernick holding 87 of them.
This game not only gives the Seahawks an early jump in the race for the NFC West, but it also makes a statement that this team is not going to let the 49ers run away with the NFC West division crown. As of right now, there is much debate as to which of the two teams will emerge from the West. Both teams are easily playing the most balanced football of any NFC teams, and both are certain to make the playoffs when all is said and done. But unlike last season, Seattle is looking to have that home-field advantage, and they would want nothing more than to have their 12th Man with them throughout the playoffs.
The Seahawks have made their case. And everyone is well aware of the threats they now pose on both offense and defense.