SF-SEA Grades: Rawls torches 49ers, Seahawks win comfortably
Here are the top takeaways and highest graded players from the Seahawks’ 29-13 win over the 49ers:
– Now leading all rookie RBs in rushing grade, Thomas Rawls (+3.5) made this game his showcase. Filling in for Marshawn Lynch, Rawls forced five missed tackles and collected 133 yards after contact; 4.4 per carry. Ending with over 200 yards and a TD as a runner, he also tacked on 50 yards after the catch, one more forced miss and another score through the air. Rawls’ young legs and willingness to battle give Seattle another weapon that fits perfectly in their “find-a-crease-and-hit-it-hard” run game.
– Continuing the theme of the day, rookie wideout Tyler Lockett (+2.2) picked up the top grade of his debut campaign. Turning two of his four catches into touchdowns, Lockett showed off his range of skills. The first was simply a display of his ability to blow past a defender and track a perfectly placed ball while the second was a slant that required some short-area wiggle and a bit of grit to push through a tackle and across the goal line.
– QB Russell Wilson (+4.3) bounced back from his toughest outing of the season in Week 10 (a -2.4 grade in the loss to Arizona), largely by stinging the 49ers’ blitz. On 15 blitzed dropbacks, Wilson went 11 of 12 for 138 yards and threw three touchdowns. Overall, he didn’t push the ball downfield often (he didn’t need to with the run game working as it was), but was extremely efficient in completing 24 of his 29 attempts – the five passes that didn’t connect: an overthrown deep ball, a drop (that he helped create with a high throw) and three throwaways. His nine runs for 30 yards also helped keep the chains moving and resulted in a +1.8 rushing grade that supplied a good chunk of his overall mark for the day.
QB Russell Wilson (+4.3)
HB Thomas Rawls (+3.5)
WR Tyler Lockett (+2.2)
TE Luke Willson (+2.0)
CB Richard Sherman (+1.8)
San Francisco 49ers:
– Rookie DE Arik Armstead (+3.3) earned his highest game grade of the season and his fourth solid positive in a row. Matching his pass rushing performance of a week ago, Armstead notched a hit and four hurries to go along with his six tackles and three defensive stops. Granted, the Seattle offensive line has done their share of making defenders look good this season, but Armstead is stringing together a nice run of games and trails only Leonard Williams in rookie pass rush grade at the position.
– Making his second start since taking over for Colin Kaepernick, QB Blaine Gabbert (+1.6) came away with his second game with a mild green grade and again it was some decent work with his legs that pushed him across the threshold. As a passer, he balanced a couple really nice throws (a far hash out to Boldin late in the third quarter comes to mind) with an ugly moment on his last attempt of the game – a stared-down hitch put right into the hands of a defender.
– When both of your inside linebackers take home a negative grade in run defense, it’s a pretty good clue that it was a rough day. LBs Michael Wilhoite (-3.1 overall, -2.6 against the run) and NaVorro Bowman (-1.1 overall, -1.4 in run defense) were only part of the problem, though. As a team, the 49ers missed 10 tackles and gave up 154 rushing yards after contact on the ground. Add in another 154 in yards after catches and you get a good idea of how the game went.
DE Arik Armstead (+3.3)
WR Anquan Boldin (+2.4)
QB Blaine Gabbert (+1.6)
OLB Aaron Lynch (+1.5)
TE Garrett Celek (+1.5)