SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Playing without starting quarterback Geno Smith, the Seahawks hung tough with one of the NFL's top teams on Sunday, but ultimately a solid first start by Drew Lock wasn't enough on a day the 49ers offense feasted on explosive plays.
The end result was a 28-16 49ers victory that handed the Seahawks a fourth straight loss, dropping their record to 6-7. This marks the first time since Pete Carroll and John Schneider took over the franchise in 2010 that the Seahawks have lost four straight games, and prior to Sunday's loss, they were the only team in the NFL to not suffer a four-game losing streak in that span.
Here are five rapid reactions to Sunday's loss at Levi's Stadium:
1. Drew Lock was solid in his first Seahawks start.
With Geno Smith inactive due to a groin injury, Drew Lock made his first start as a Seahawk, and did so on the road against one of the NFL's top defenses. And while it wasn't enough for a Seahawks win, there was plenty to like about Lock's performance.
Lock led the Seahawks to a touchdown on their first possession of the game, a drive that was capped by a 31-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf. Lock went on to lead two more scoring drives, and completed 22 of 31 attempts for 269 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, the second of which came as the result of 49ers defensive end Chase Young getting a piece of the ball as Lock tried to hit Metcalf deep.
2. 49ers explosive plays undid a lot of positives for the Seahawks defense.
There were quite a few good moments for the Seahawks defensive on Sunday. They forced one of the NFL's best offenses to punt three times in the first half, including two three-and-outs, and punt five times in the game, they sacked Brock Purdy three times, and Seattle also had two takeaways, a Julian Love interception and a Love forced fumble that was recovered by Riq Woolen.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, those positives were undone by far too many explosive plays for the 49ers, several of which led to touchdowns.
That negative trend started for Seattle on the game's first play from scrimmage, with running back Christian McCaffrey breaking free for a 72-yard run that was immediately followed by a touchdown. The 49ers' second touchdown was a 54-yard pass from Brock Purdy to receiver Deebo Samuel, while their third touchdown was set up by a 45-yard reception by receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The 49ers found the end zone for the fourth time on yet another big play, a 45-yard touchdown catch and run by tight end George Kittle.
It didn't help matters that the Seahawks were playing without starting cornerback Tre Brown, who was inactive due to a heel injury, then lost cornerback Devon Witherspoon early in the game to a back injury.
All of those big plays were more than enough for the 49ers to overcome Seattle's takeaways, as San Francisco was able to pile up 527 yards on offense while averaging 9.9 yards per play.
3. Julian Love had two big takeaways.
As detailed above, it was a tough day for Seattle's defense in a lot of ways, but there were some good moments, two of which were provided by safety Julian Love. Love, who finished the game with six tackles to tie for a team high, had an impressive diving interception off a tipped ball in the first half, his second pick of the season. In the fourth quarter, he chased down Aiyuk after a big gain and punched the ball loose, with Riq Woolen falling on it for Seattle's second takeaway of the game.
4. The Seahawks borrowed a play the 49ers beat them with a year ago.
The Seahawks got their second touchdown of the game thanks to some nifty misdirection, with Drew Lock faking a pass left to Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who had motioned out of the backfield, then right to Kenneth Walker III, before throwing a strike over the middle to a wide-open Colby Parkinson, who took it in for the 25-yard score.
And if that play looked familiar to Seahawks fans, it should, because the 49ers used an almost identical play to get Kittle open for a touchdown when the two teams met in Seattle last season.
5. Michael Dickson had a big day.
Yes, it's not always the best thing if the play of a punter is being highlighted after a game, but Michael Dickson did have a pretty darn good day that deserves praise. Dickson started his day with a 60-yard punt that pinned the 49ers at their own 8-yard line, his first of three punts that downed inside the 20-yard line. For the game, Dickson averaged 51.8 yards on six punts, with a long of 62.
Check out some of the best action shots from Week 14 at the 49ers at Levi's Stadium on December 10, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.