1. The much-maligned Seahawks defense responded in a big way.
The Seahawks came into Sunday’s game having allowed the most yards, passing yards and first downs of any team in the NFL, and there was a lot of criticism of that unit after the Cardinals scored 37 points last weekend to hand Seattle its first loss of the season.
The Seahawks came into this game looking to begin to turn things around on defense, but they also did so pretty short-handed on defense. All-Pro safety Jamal Adams missed a fourth consecutive game with a groin injury, Pro-Bowl cornerback Shaquill Griffin was out with a concussion and hamstring injury, starting defensive end Benson Mayowa was out with an ankle injury, and nickel DB Ugo Amadi, who took over that role from an injured Marquise Blair, was out with a hamstring injury.
Yet despite missing all of those key players to injury, and despite all the issues in the first six games, the Seahawks defense had its best performance of the season, holding the 49ers to a single scoring drive through three-plus quarters until San Francisco managed to score three touchdowns after Seattle had established a 30-7 lead.
The Seahawks held San Francisco to just 116 yards and a 3.4 yards-per-play average in the first half, and the 49ers gained all of 1 yard on two third-quarter possessions. Through three quarters, the 49ers’ offensive possessions went: punt, interception, touchdown, punt, end of half, punt, punt. And that one touchdown drive was aided by a debatable roughing-the-passer call, and also required a fourth-down conversion.
And yes, giving up three late scores to backup quarterback Nick Mullens was hardly ideal, but the Seahawks were playing pretty soft coverage with such a big lead, and what they did for three quarters holding San Francisco to a single score and 117 yards was a big step in the right direction.
The Seahawks used a lot pressure to make life difficult on Jimmy Garoppolo, particularly on third down, and sacked him three times, including two by Bobby Wagner.