Who would have thought at the onset of the season that the hottest team in football heading towards the playoffs would be the Seattle Seahawks? No one saw it coming, but the Seahawks have been hanging points on everyone like they're playing peewee teams.
The Seahawks' latest victims were the shell-shocked players and coaches of the San Francisco 49ers. To their credit, they only gave up 42 points. In the prior two games, the Seahawks had put up 58 points and 50 points, giving them a grand total of 150 points over a three game period. Even in today's game of high flying offenses, that's unheard of.
Despite the embarrassing loss, the 49ers will likely retain the NFC West title. The only way the Seahawks could win the division would be with a win next weekend against the Rams, who are undefeated in division play, and the 49ers would need to lose to the Cardinals. The Seahawks will be favored against the Rams, but imagining the Cardinals beating anyone, except maybe the Lions again, seems unlikely.
The 49ers were never able to provide an answer for the Seahawks. Early on, the 49ers were simply trying to keep it close when a would-be-chip-shot field goal was blocked and returned for a touchdown by the Seahawks. It was a rough night for the 49ers and their young quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, but it should be a learning experience for San Francisco.
The win clinches a playoff birth for the Seahawks. For the 49ers, the loss hurts much more than the scoreboard would indicate. It also bumps them out of the 2nd see, and a first round bye, on the NFC's side of the bracket.