Before the game yesterday I wrote about the five reasons why the Seahawks would beat the 49ers.
Those things included: Collin Kaepernick’s struggles in Seattle, Frank Gore’s struggles in Seattle and on the road in general, the team’s (Seattle) tendency to intercept a lot of passes, Marshawn Lynch heating up at the right time and 23 point games.
Generally, when I predict things I feel like I’ll jinx the game. It sounds ridiculous, but from a fan standpoint, everyone goes through it.
Not to toot my own horn, but I think I got the five things spot on. Granted, there were other things the team needed to do, and did, to win. But to call all of those things correctly, or close to it, is pretty bizarre. Starting with the first reasons and working down the list, here’s how the Hawks won.
The Seahawks are a fantastic defensive unit. They make the best of quarterbacks look mundane, but they make Collin Kaepernick look horrendous compared to his other displays. Kaepernick had 11 interceptions this season. Six of them occurred against the Seahawks, five of them coming in Seattle. SpongeBob’s grouchy pal Kaepernick kept his team in the game with his scrambling ability by carrying the ball for 130 yards. His passing numbers were less inspiring as he threw for a paltry (compared to his normal play) 153 yards. Keeping him in check was a huge factor in the team winning.
Number two on the list of reasons was Frank Gore’s struggles on the road. Maybe not struggles, after all Gore is an All-Pro caliber running back, but the book on him this year has been that he’s done better at home than on the road. When the teams play in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle has stuffed Gore and the Niners’ non-QB related run game as of late. I didn’t think Gore would be stopped like he was earlier in Seattle. There was no way he ended up with 16 yards again. He’s simply too good. But, here we sit on Tuesday and the box score reads like this, F.Gore: 11 carries, 14 yards.
Third on the list was interceptions, and there wasn’t a more telling number. Kaepernick tossed two of them, one of which happened to be a game ending, conference-clinching pick by Malcolm Smith off of a tipped pass by Richard Sherman.
Marshawn Lynch continues to play his best football at the right time. After besting the Saints with 140 yards, he put in 109 against San Francisco. None more important than a massive 40-yard run to tie the game at the onset of the third quarter.
Finally, and maybe not as accurate, was my proclamation of 23 point games. The Niners scored 23 points in each of their previous three games. All wins. They didn’t score 23, but the Seahawks did. And they’re heading to the Super Bowl.