The last time the 49ers visited CenturyLink Field, in the NFC Championship Game last January, the Seahawks snuffed their chances of going to the Super Bowl.
As Jerry Brewer wrote on Friday, this game might have been the end of the rivalry as we know it.
Below, the six biggest moments from the game that put the nail in the Niners’ coffin:
Field goal puts Hawks on the board firstFirst quarter
Two 15-yard unnecessary-roughness penalties on 49ers free safety Eric Reid helped along a 62-yard drive by the Seahawks, ending in a 38-yard Steven Hauschka field goal.
49ers answer with a TDStart of second quarter
The Seahawks’ defense took a while to rev up to its usual level of domination, and San Francisco took advantage of that slow start. The Niners gained 112 yards in the first quarter alone (for comparison, they racked up only 164 total against Seattle two weeks ago).
On fourth and 1 early in the second quarter, San Francisco capped a long drive by creating just enough of a hole for running back Frank Gore to rush 10 yards into the end zone. The play put the 49ers up 7-3.
Gore was later injured, forcing the Niners to find someone else to lean on in the second half.
Kearse catches deep pass from WilsonEarly in second quarter
Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse overcame one-on-one coverage by cornerback Perrish Cox to grab a 47-yard pass from Wilson and get the Seahawks to San Francisco’s 42.
Kearse had five catches in the first half for 78 yards.
Interception puts brakes on long Seahawks driveEnd of second quarter
A 35-yard pass to wide receiver Doug Baldwin put Seattle on the San Francisco 29. But despite being in field-goal range, Seattle kept attempting passes. Wilson threw two incompletions before a third pass was picked off by Niners free safety Eric Reid to end the half.
Seattle refocuses on run game, Lynch gets TDLate in third quarter
The message in the Seahawks’ locker room at halftime was clear: run, run, run. Seattle drove 60 yards, 42 of them by running backs Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael and Robert Turbin, before Lynch went into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
Flag sets up Richardson TDEarly in fourth quarter
A penalty for a late Nick Moody hit on Russell Wilson gave the Seahawks a first down, setting them up to widen their lead.
Wilson shot a laser 10-yard pass to Paul Richardson. The resulting touchdown and extra point gave the Hawks a 10-point lead, securing the Seahawks’ 10th win of the season. The team has now won 10 games in three straight seasons for the first time in franchise history.
It was Richardson’s first career touchdown, but will likely be overshadowed by the controversy over that roughing-the-passer call. Said referee Ed Hochuli after the game: “I felt he hit the quarterback in the chest with the hairline, and that’s a foul unless he has his face completely up and would hit it face on with the face mask. It’s a foul, and that’s why I called it.”
That might not be good enough for 49ers fans, but they have bigger things to worry about with their team.