Given the national stage Sunday night, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson didn’t disappoint, throwing four touchdown passes in leading the Seahawks to a 42-13 romp over the San Francisco 49ers. With the unexpected, lopsided victory, the Seahawks improved to 10-5 overall and 7-0 at CenturyLink Field, and clinched a berth in the NFC playoffs.
Winning for the sixth time in seven games and denying San Francisco an opportunity to clinch the NFC West, the Seahawks rolled to a 28-6 halftime lead and put away the game late in the third quarter when Wilson threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin, giving Seattle a 35-6 lead and a playoff berth for the first time since 2010.
Wilson threw TD passes of 9, 6, 4 and 6 yards to Marshawn Lynch, Anthony McCoy and Baldwin (twice), Lynch added a 24-yard TD run and Richard Sherman returned a blocked extra point 90 yards for a TD as the Seahawks totally overwhelmed the division-leading 49ers.
In the last three weeks, the Seahawks have scored 58 points against Arizona, 50 against Buffalo and 42 against San Francisco. The 150 is the second-most points in a three-game span in NFL history, trailing the 165 by the 1950 Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks have won their past three games by an average of 40 points.
“It’s just one game, but it’s a big step,” said Wilson. “We have a big game against St. Louis next week and we have to keep it going.”
The Seahawks jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and San Francisco appeared ready to slice Seattle’s lead to 14-3 when David Akers had a gimme 21-yard field goal attempt. But Red Bryant blocked the kick and Sherman recovered it and returned it 90 yards to a touchdown, giving Seattle a 21-0 lead.
That was the key play of the game and the Seahawks were never seriously threatened after that. San Francisco scored a touchdown with 1:40 to go on an 18-yard TD pass from Colin Kaepernick to Delanie Walker for the final margin.
A key statistic in the game: The Seahawks held San Francisco running back Frank Gore, who had 131 yards in the 49ers’ win over Seattle Oct. 18, to just 28 rushing yards.
Wilson, with the first four-TD game of his career, completed 15 of 21 passes for 171 yards and a 115.3 passer rating. Wilson went 11-for-12 on third-down conversions. Lynch ran for 111 yards.
Art Thiel of Sportspress Northwest will have a column on the game coming up shortly.