SF-SEA Grades: Rawls torches 49ers, Seahawks win comfortably

The top takeaways and highest graded players from the Seahawks’ 29-13 win over the 49ers.

| 11 months ago
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

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:

Seattle Seahawks:

– 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.

Top performers:

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.

Top performers:

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)

  • crosseyedlemon

    Getting a chance to face the Niner’s defense after a tough outing is pretty much the dream of every QB.

  • Brian Simmons

    And with the first pick in the 2016 nfl draft, the San Francisco 49ers select…….

  • Tony Lombardo

    way too few good players for SF. Diggs, Janis, and obv Rawls are just a few players who would likely start for the 49ers. not sure why SF abhors drafting speed players, favoring instead heavier, long limbed, often injured draftees.

  • Da.city

    Heard seattle fans were just laughing it up at the 49ers incompetence. ( guess the old saying is true the fish rots from the head down) I would not get all that excited about gabbert you all, the Seahawks let him look good when they couldn’t stop laughing at our defense and ol. Besides we know how the Yorks destroy the careers of qbs.

    • FortyNineReasons

      Sure they did. Lol. Apparently you don’t know the personality of your team very well. You’re classless team thrives on rubbing salt in the wounds, and they were determined to make a statement against Gabbert as well. Why? Because the last thing they wanted to do is allow a different 49ers QB to exercise the demons the kaepernick has allowed to take hold over the matchup.

      And that’s exactly what Gabbert accomplished yesterday. The 49ers are a mess at the moment. Most NFL QB’s would have folded up tent, with the roster Blaine was playing with yesterday. Instead, Gabbert inspired his teammates. He led an absolutely BRILLIANT drive to end the first half to singlehandedly keep the 49ers in the game.

      Like I said, the 49ers are a mess right now, and it starts at the top. But what Gabbert did yesterday is make it crystal clear to the Legion of Poo, things will be different moving forward with Gabbert at the Helm. If you simply swapped QB’s yesterday, Gabbert would have laid a 50 spot on San Francisco. Not only is Gabbert a far more talented passer than CK7, he’s a better passer than Wilson as well.

      The 49ers appear to have an ideal situation at QB now, which absolutely changes the dynamic of this rivalry. The Cardinals have already kicked the Seahawks to the curb, in the NFC WEST. Seattle’s reign is over, and it’s now only a matter of time until a Gabbert led 49ers team retakes their proper place ahead of the Seahawks in the division!

      • Delusional

        Take a note everyone. This is what delusional looks like.

      • Kyle Hikalea

        …Your justification for the Niners retaking the NFC west is that once a team has a bad season, they are done for… Where would that put Santa Clara in the first place?

        • FortyNineReasons

          No. The point is, there is a reason the Seahawks have 1 Super Bowl title to their names. They caught lightning in a bottle for a couple years. Those years came and went. Unless an NFL team has the type of QB that can carry them when everything doesn’t go according to plan, they are unlikely to go on any sort of extended championship run.

          Wilson is not that guy. He’s a smart kid, and he can extend plays. But lets get real. Russel Wilson is a middle of the road QB who has been riding the coattails of the leagues best defense. The salary cap has caught up to Seattle. Their defense is no longer feared. And the one QB in their division whom they have had in their back pocket is no longer starting for his team.

          Arizona has passed the Seahawks by, and the 49ers are now in a great position to do the same. They have a ton of salary cap space, a ton of compensatory draft picks, a favorable draft position, and a QB who no longer fears their defense.

          Blaine Gabbert was a far better prospect coming out of college, but ended up in a “worst case scenario” for a rookie QB, thrown to the wolves like a piece of meat, playing for the worst NFL organization going at the time. To make matters worse, he came out of the college ‘Spread System’, and was forced to learn a new ‘Pro’ system every single season he was under center for the Jags. He never had a chance early in his career, and the only reason he survived, when many have hung up their cleats, is because he has the heart of a lion. He is an incredibly determined competitor, yet not afraid to show humility.

          BOTTOM LINE: If you were going to build a prototypical QB for the year 2015 you would be smart to use Blaine Gabbert. He always had tall of the physical tools, but you would do well to copy his brain as well.

          Very impressive arm talent, strong, accurate, with the effortless ability to to put a little extra on the ball, or take a little off. Gabbert has a prototype build. 6’4″ 240 lb. Wide shoulders, 33″ arms and 10.25″ hands. In terms of mobility Gabbert is a phenomenal athlete for his size. He’s fast (4.62), and agile (6.84 sec. 3 cone drill [bested Wilson’s 6.97 sec. time by a mile], at the combine). His mechanics are now flawless. He has a fast release, and stands tall in the pocket, very well balanced with a centered, wide base.

          Physical talent aside, his best attributes are between the ears:

          Blaine’s physical skill-set is an obvious cut above Russell Wilson, and his superior physicality jumps off the TV screen when compared to Wilson. But when it comes to the mental makeup of a QB, this is where the similarities with Wilson are apparent. Blaine is a vocal, natural born leader, and he absolutely commands the huddle. He is intelligent, and extremely hard working, He’s confident without the cockiness, and has the respect of every single teammate on the roster. He makes quick decisions, flies through his progressions, and anticipates the routes. He’s not afraid to pull the trigger (Kaepernick became gun shy and frozen when it came to pulling the trigger) and he is able to fit his passes in tight windows because of his decisiveness, and ability to ‘throw his receivers open’.

          It’s on Seahawk fans. I hope you enjoyed your little mini-run, and single Lombardi Trophy, because there is a new sheriff in town, and it’s only a matter of time until takes control of the NFC WEST!

          • Darnell

            If this is performance art, kudos and well done.

          • Jefferson

            Ha ha ha, pass popcorn pls.

            I only WISH the 49ers were as viable offensively or defensively as FortyNineDelusions suggests. That way, I would have more confidence that the Seahawks have finally got their rhythm.

            But alas we need more facts than fantasies: next games at home and on the road are more challenging and should be telling.

      • FortyNineReasons

        And one more point. The effect of the Seahawks epic, history making choke-job in Super Bowl XLIX isn’t going away anytime soon. If the NFL stands for anything, it stands for N.ot F.or L.ong. It’s far too easy and takes far less time to rebuild a roster than it used to. That’s why an embarrassing loss like that will haunt the Seahawks until they get back in and win another Super Bowl.

        Problem is, it’s the NFL. The Seahawks have already fallen back to the pack. Not only are they no longer the best team in the conference, they aren’t even the best team in their own division. Russel Wilson is a gamer. He also has a limited skillset as a QB. He’s not the type of QB to carry a team when their defense isn’t dominating games.

        Seattle caught lightning in a bottle for a couple years. They benefitted from one of the worst officiated games of the last decade, vs the 49ers in the 2013 NFC CHampionship game. And, thanks to their epic, history making choke-job in Super Bowl XLIX, they only came away with 1 Lombardi Trophy during their short lived run.

        The Seahawks run came and went, like a blink of the eye. They now have the 3rd best QB in their division (the Rams don’t have an NFL quality starting QB on their current roster), and it’s a QB driven league.

        Keep you’re 2013-2014 DVR recordings close to your heart. They are likely the only great memories your team have enjoyed for many more years to come!

      • Robert Gomez

        Did we watch the same game at all? Or are you typing this from the mental hospital you’re being treated for schizophrenia at?

      • AKjester

        As a Hawks fan, it would be awesome if the 49ers could become a good team again. I doubt that just Gabbert playing well would do that though after the huge losses through unexpected retirements. I want the rivalry to get back to where it was.
        Also, I think you are being a bit too hopeful. There haven’t been too many QBs who have resurrected their career after starting as bad as Gabbert. Gabbert may have the tools, but a lack of success appears to be addicting for talented QBs.

  • AKjester

    I’d like to see what counts as a forced missed tackle. I am pretty certain that Rawls forced more than 1 missed tackle on his catches. That makes me question the 5 forced misses on the run plays as well.