When a team losses 29-3 like the San Francisco 49ers did on Sunday night to the Seattle Seahawks, one would assume that the play of the offense and the defense was bad and inefficient. While this was true of the 49ers offense, who had a bad game with an inability to generate and sustain any scoring drives, the final scoreline does not accurately reflect the play of the 49ers defense for most of the game on Sunday night.
Watching the game, the 49ers proved to be up to the task of facing a Seahawks offense who pushed them around last year in Seattle. Specifically, the 49ers defense did a good job of frustrating and containing Russell Wilson from having a big game. When you look at Wilson’s final statline, he was a pedestrian 8-of-19 passing for 142 passing yards, one passing touchdown and an interception. Wilson was also contained when it came to troubling the 49ers defense when he decided to pull the ball down and run with it as he had 33 rush yards on 10 carries.
From the first defensive series, the 49ers front seven was able to get in the face of Wilson and not allow him to have a clean pocket or much time to pick them apart passing, despite the fact that he was able to make a couple of completions of over 20 yards. The 49ers defense ended the game having sacked Wilson four times, two of those by Aldon Smith, who also had several other hurries and hits on Wilson during the course of the game.
With the halftime score of the Seahawks leading 5-0, it was clear that the 49ers defense was holding their end of the bargain in giving the offense a chance to turn it around and score enough to give the them a chance to steal a win against their NFC West division foe. But like any defense, if the offense cannot sustain drives, it eventually puts them in a situation where it can only bend for so long before it breaks, and that’s what happened to the 49ers defense in the fourth quarter.
In that final period, the Seahawks scored 17 points, with two of those scores coming thanks to a short field after turnovers by the 49ers offense and kick returners. In the end, the final scoreline ended up making the game look very one-sided, but to only focus on the final scoreline would be a mistake in assuming the 49ers defense did not have a good game. When one examines the performance of the 49ers defense, it is clear they played well and deserved better for their efforts.