The Seahawks improved to 6-1 on Sunday with a decisive, 37-27, win over the rival 49ers (4-4) in Week 8. Seattle got off to a clunky start before being jumpstarted by DK Metcalf’s 46-yard touchdown catch, and the Seahawks never looked back. A late garbage time touchdown from San Francisco made the score appear closer than it was.
Despite being without Shaquill Griffin, Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, Benson Mayowa and Jamal Adams, Seattle played mostly dominant football on both sides of the ball.
Here’s what you need to know about the Seahawks first divisional win of the season.
1. Bobby Wagner leads defensive resurgence
Wagner played like a man possessed against the 49ers, leading Seattle’s defense to easily its best performance of the season. The Seahawks star linebacker finished with 11 tackles, 2.0 sacks, four quarterback hits and three tackles for loss. He now shares the team lead on the season with those 2.0 sacks. Wagner looked fast and played downhill much more than we saw in previous weeks. He was particularly effective as a pass rusher, coming through clean on several blitzes.
The Seahawks brought pressure relentlessly, something that was noticeably absent in last week’s loss to the Cardinals. They posted eight QB hits just one week after failing to hit Kyler Murray once. Pete Carroll and Ken Norton clearly saw an opportunity to exploit Jimmy Garoppolo’s lack of athleticism in comparison to Murray. Garoppolo was under siege for most of the game and San Francisco’s inability to throw the ball downfield allowed Seattle to take such an aggressive approach.
Alton Robinson registered his second sack of the season on the day as well.
Seattle did falter late, allowing back-to-back touchdown drives to give the 49ers some life in the fourth quarter. Nick Mullens replaced an injured (and unimpressive) Jimmy Garoppolo and led the pair of scoring drives.
2. More Russell Wilson-to-DK Metcalf magic
Metcalf had his way with the 49ers secondary, Emmanuel Moseley in particular. He set a career-high with 12 receptions and 161 receiving yards. Metcalf also scored twice. His all-world speed was on display during his 46-yard score, and his superior strength was evident on his second, a 2-yard catch in traffic with a defender holding him. We continue to see what makes Seattle’s offense so potent. The Seahawks have two bona fide No. 1 receivers. Last week it was Lockett who took over, this week it was Metcalf’s turn for a monster game.
Wilson finished the game with 261 passing yards, four touchdowns and no picks. He’s at 26 touchdown passes on the season through just seven games. For reference, Wilson had 31 all of last season. He continued to build on his early-season MVP candidacy.
With Carson and Hyde out and Travis Homer also banged up, it was the DeeJay Dallas show in the Seahawks backfield. Dallas had 41 rushing yards on 18 carries while catching five passes for 17 yards. Dallas also scored the first two touchdowns of his career, one on the ground and one through the air.
3. Welcome to the Seahawks, D.J. Reed
Pete Carroll expressed during the week how excited he was to see Reed play. Now we know why. Reed, a former 49ers fifth-round pick, was tremendous against his former team while starting nickel in place of the injured Ugo Amadi. The Seahawks activated Reed (pectoral) off of NFI on Saturday so that he could play in Week. 8. He intercepted Garoppolo in the first quarter and blitzed several times out of the nickel spot. Reed’s blitzes were instrumental in two of Seattle’s sacks. Reed was beat in coverage a few times, but there was much more positive than negative in his Seahawks debut.
Odds and ends:
-- Cody Barton forced a fumble on a Dante Pettis kick return that Seattle recovered. That play, along with Reed’s interception, accounted for the Seahawks pair of takeaways. Seattle didn’t have a turnover on the day.
-- George Kittle left the game in the second half with an ankle injury.
-- Rookie tight end-turned-defensive end Stephen Sullivan made his NFL debut on Sunday and had one tackle.