– The Associated Press
SEATTLE – Richard Sherman celebrated by dancing with cheerleaders, Marshawn Lynch cut, plowed and walked his way to three touchdowns and Pete Carroll got one rousing birthday gift.
The awaited NFC West showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers was completely one-sided.
Lynch scored on touchdown runs of 14 and two yards and added a seven-yard TD reception in the second half, Seattle flustered Colin Kaepernick into his worst passing game as a starter and the Seahawks dominated in a 29-3 win Sunday night.
The game was delayed 60 minutes late in the first quarter when thunderstorms blew through the area. The highly anticipated matchup was sloppy as opposed to sensational, but Lynch more than did his part.
Lynch finished with 135 total yards, including 98 yards rushing, to make up quarterback Russell Wilson hitting on just two of his first 10 throws and Seattle’s receivers struggling to get open. His TD run on the first drive of the second half gave the Seahawks a 12-0 lead and his TD catch pushed the advantage to 19-3 early in the fourth quarter.
This won’t be a game noted for the efficiency or execution by either side. There were careless turnovers and untimely, unneeded penalties. But that was expected between these nasty rivals and the favorites not just in their division but as potential NFC representatives in the Super Bowl.
And it was the Seahawks getting an early, important advantage over the 49ers.
Kaepernick failed to get anything going in the passing game. He was intercepted in the end zone in the first quarter when Earl Thomas hauled in a deflected pass intended for Vernon Davis, what proved to be the only time the 49ers threatened to score a touchdown. Kam Chancellor intercepted Kaepernick midway through the fourth quarter, returning the pick to the San Francisco 2 and leading to Lynch’s third TD.
The 49ers finished with five turnovers and no TDs in a game for the third time since start of 1979 season.