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Gamer: 49ers Stifled by Seahawks on Thanksgiving

Posted Nov 27, 2014

San Francisco's defense couldn't overcome its absent offense in a disappointing defeat that changes the team's postseason outlook.

The lead – Win out.

This is now the San Francisco 49ers directive for the final stretch of the 2014 season.

After an undoubtedly disappointing loss to the the Seattle Seahawks (8-4, 2-1) on Thanksgiving Thursday night, the 49ers (7-5, 1-3) put themselves in this position.

A three-game win streak is gone. A string of four straight victories to end the year seems necessary.

To accomplish that, the 49ers offense must catch up to its defense. The former has leaned too heavily on the latter in recent weeks, and this fact finally cost them a game.

The Seahawks played pretty well, too.

As Jim Harbaugh once said, cue the "jive turkeys" and their "gobble, gobble."

The quote: "We know what we have to do. We got to win 'em all," Harbaugh said postgame. "We'll set our jaw to that."

The numbers: View full stats here, although we should mention that Kaepernick was just 16-of-29 passing for 121 yards and two picks.

The injury report: Right tackle Anthony Davis (concussion), tight end Derek Carrier (foot) and defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (biceps) were all ruled "out" for the game. The 49ers activated Garrett Celek (back) off of the the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List and promoted Asante Cleveland from the practice squad to fill in for Carrier and fellow tight end Vance McDonald (back), who was also inactive because of injury.

Wideout Michael Crabtree (rib) left the field after the second play of the game and his return was initially termed "questionable." He returned on the offense's second drive.

Defensive tackle Ray McDonald (finger) suffered a finger injury in the first quarter and was also deemed "questionable" before returning for the Seahawks first possession of the second quarter.

The observations: Six of the 13 NFL experts we polled during the week picked the Seahawks to win the game outright; three predicted the 49ers would win; and the remaining four were all split between picking either team.

2. Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (knee), who many had hoped would be healthy enough to play in this game, remained sidelined, but he led the team's pregame huddle on the field.

3. Special teamers Kassim Osgood, Craig Dahl and Bubba Ventrone were among San Francisco's five captains, perhaps showing how important the unit would be in this game.

4. This was the loudest that Levi's® Stadium has been all season long. Fans started a "DE-FENSE" chant on the Seahawks offense's first drive.

5. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman stayed on the left side of the field, mostly covering wideouts Anquan Boldin and Stevie Johnson. He was covering veteran Brandon Lloyd when he intercepted Kaepernick late in the first quarter.

6. Former 49ers defensive tackle Demarcus Dobbs looked like a man possessed when he made tackled running back Carlos Hyde on consecutive plays. Dobbs is clearly getting more of an opportunity to play in Seattle.

7. What was the key to the Seahawks 63-yard connection between Russell Wilson and tight end Tony Moeaki? Wilson eluding the blitz of cornerback Dontae Johnson not once, but twice. First, with a spin-move and then with his sheer speed.

8. In a grind-it-out game like this one, it seemed there could have been a holding penalty called on every play... on either team.

9. We don't know enough about defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's scheme to know which linebacker (or safety?) was supposed to cover the running back on all those successful swing-pass plays by Seattle, but it appears the Seahawks saw something on film that they wanted to take advantage of.

10. Safety Craig Dahl again joined the defense in the dime package, which is likely in part because of the 49ers lack of healthy bodies at cornerback.

11. Another former 49ers player, special teamer Ricardo Lockette, forced Perrish Cox's fumble on the 49ers ill-fated punt return just before halftime.

12. San Francisco's offense finally crossed the 50-yard line on their first drive, late in the third quarter.

13. Rookie outside linebacker Aaron Lynch tossed Wilson aside like a rag doll early in the fourth quarter, showing his speed and strength. Lynch now has five sacks over his past six games.

The advance: No word yet on how players and coaches will spend the weekend, but we'd imagine they'll have some time off before returning to work next week. Come Monday, the 49ers have a two-game road trip ahead of them, although, to be fair, they won't be leaving the West Coast until the postseason. With games against the Oakland Raiders and a rematch with the Seahawks the first two weeks of December, the 49ers know they need to be perfect in December to have hopes of playing into January and beyond.

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