The Seattle Seahawks weathered another dry offensive performance and a late drive by the San Francisco 49ers to earn a trip to Super bowl XLVIII in one of the greatest games in franchise history.
MVP – Doug Baldwin
Undrafted, underrated, undermined, undeterred. Doug Baldwin plays with a boulder on his shoulder because of all the so-called experts that doubted his abilities. In the biggest game of his young career Baldwin came through in the clutch, with six catches for 106 yards, including an enormous 51 yarder at the end of the first half that led to the Seahawks getting on the scoreboard. If that wasn’t enough he also had 109 return yards. Without Angry Doug‘s stellar playmaking, the Seahawks don’t win this game, period. He’s earned a big pay day. Let’s just hope that it’s not with the New York Jets.
LVP – Russell Wilson
It’s hard to be downcast right now, but this was not a pretty performance by our offensive line or our quarterback. I’ve been picking on Max Unger, Breno Giacomini, Russell Okung and company all year so I think it’s time to signal out our fearless leader. Wilson was 16/25 for 215 yards. He threw one touchdown and no interceptions, however his fumble on the first drive of the game gave the 49ers an unspeakable lift in momentum and could very easily have cost Seattle the game had they been able to score a touchdown. Luckily, as it has done all year, the defense stepped up and held the visitors to three points. He also committed a couple of intentional grounding penalties. Wilson is not an elite quarterback and he doesn’t have to be, but he’ll have to do better than this if the Seahawks are going to fall behind to Peyton Manning’s Broncos.
X-Factor – Kam Chancellor
Chancellor knocked Vernon Davis out of this dimension for the second time in as many years and got a big-time interception on Kaepernick in the fourth quarter. He finished with 11 combined tackles and two passes defended. Extra kudos have to go to Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, who were able to strip Colin Kaepernick a couple of times with their undaunted pressure. Malcom Smith caught the key deflection by Richard Sherman to finish the visiting 49ers off.
Key Stat – 14
Frank Gore carried the ball 11 times for a total of just 14 yards in this game. Kaepernick was able to scramble for 130, but when the run play was designed, the 49ers never were able to get anything going. This enabled the secondary to continue their relentless pressure on San Francisco’s receivers. Though they mounted an admirable drive in the final minutes, the 49ers just weren’t able to muster enough offensive firepower to win this one.
Tweet of the game
— Dylan Ehle (@PaleEhle) January 20, 2014
What This Win Means
Gee, I don’t know what this means. The Seahawks just beat their most bitter rivals and are going to the Super Bowl. Enough said.
Sunday, Februrary 2nd, 2014
Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks
After the big controversy over Kaepernick’s commercial last month, Richard Sherman gets his own Beats by Dre ad.