Here are our grades from the San Francisco 49ers’ 43-16 loss Sunday on the road to the Seattle Seahawks, who have beaten their NFC West rivals 10 times in a row. San Francisco fell to 2-10 and increased its odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.
Passing offense: D
Just two of quarterback Nick Mullens’ 11 completions in the first half went to receivers, with Pierre Garçon (knee) and Marquise Goodwin (family issue) out. But things opened up after Seattle took a 24-point lead early in the third quarter. Mullens found rookie Dante Pettis for two touchdowns, including a 75-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter. The University of Washington alum broke out in his return to Seattle and had 129 yards on five receptions in his first 100-yard performance. Mullens finished with a robust 414 yards while completing 30 of 48 passes, with much of his production after the game was decided. But his fourth-quarter pick-six to linebacker Bobby Wagner, who went 98 yards the other way, ended any chance at an unlikely comeback. Mullens was also sacked three times.
Rushing offense: D
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Rookie free agent Jeff Wilson Jr. surprisingly carried most of the load for the 49ers, logging 61 yards on 15 carries. He also was charged with a crucial red-zone fumble in the second quarter. San Francisco, who came in with the NFL’s fifth-ranked rushing attack (135 yards per game), finished with just 66 yards while averaging 2.9 per carry. Matt Breida’s ankle issues were problematic again, as he finished with just six yards on five runs.
Passing defense: F
Russell Wilson completed four passes in the first half for 102 yards. The first was a 45-yard completion to Jaron Brown, and the other three went for touchdowns to Brown, Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin. The 49ers hit halftime down 20-3, and the game never felt in doubt thereafter. Wilson finished with 185 yards on 11 of 17 completions, with four touchdown passes and a 140.9 rating. Richard Sherman was in coverage on Brown’s second touchdown, which came early in the third quarter. The Seahawks didn’t target their former All-Pro until the second half, when Baldwin turned a minimal gain into a 21-yard completion after Sherman missed a tackle.
Rushing defense: F
The Seahawks bludgeoned the 49ers with their top-ranked rushing offense by dialing up 29 runs to just 17 passes. They rushed for 168 yards against a San Francisco defense that came in allowing just 103 yards per game, and it was the most the 49ers allowed this season. Chris Carson had 69 yards and Rashaad Penny 65, including an easy 20-yard touchdown on the first snap of the third quarter.
Special teams: C-
Rookie seventh-round pick Richie James muffed a punt late in the first half that led to a Seahawks touchdown and a 20-0 deficit for San Francisco. Lockett’s 84-yard kickoff return to open the second half led to Penny’s touchdown. On the bright side, Robbie Gould made his only field-goal and extra-point attempts.
Kyle Shanahan was called for unsportsmanlike conduct late in the third quarter, which helped the Seahawks move from the 21-yard line to the 11, setting up Wilson’s fourth touchdown pass for a 34-10 lead. The 49ers were never in this one. And, San Francisco was called for 13 penalties for 128 yards.