Pete Carroll pumped his fist for a raging home crowd and national television audience to see. The coach had just won a successful challenge in the middle of the fourth quarter. The score was 29-3.
San Francisco's three running backs rushed 11 times for 13 yards. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman erased Anquan Boldin; the 49ers' big pickup had only one catch for 7 yards. Colin Kaepernick had the worst game of his career with four turnovers and just 127 passing yards.
Seattle's offense similarly was stymied in the first half but bounced back with two 80-yard drives after halftime. Russell Wilson completed just eight passes (in 19 attempts), and the Seahawks were mostly sloppy on offense. Yet they won going away.
Seattle has outscored San Francisco 71-16 over their last two meetings. For most of 2012, the Seahawks were the hunters in the division. They were the upstarts trying to catch up to the 49ers. San Francisco went further in the playoffs last year, but the Seahawks now are the hunted. They are the favorites. The 49ers are supposed to be the physical team in the division, yet Seattle manhandled them up front Sunday night.
On a night when the Seahawks' "12th Man" reportedly set a Guinness World Record for loudest stadium at CenturyLink Field, it is increasingly hard to imagine Seattle losing at home. This is a team that entered the season as the NFC favorite and only looks better after two weeks. Bruce Irvin, Chris Clemons, Brandon Browner and Percy Harvin haven't even played yet for this team.
If the 49ers can't win in Seattle, who can?