Seahawks takeaways: Observations from sloppy 20-7 loss to 49ers

Geno Smith and the offensive fell back to earth while Tariq Woolen again made a significant impression.

SANTA CLARA, California —

Geno Smith falls back to earth

After receiving all sorts of praise after the Seahawks’ season-opening win, Smith struggled to consistently move football against a 49ers defense vastly superior to the defense that tore Seattle apart in Week 1 against the Broncos.

Smith ended Sunday’s loss by 24:30 for 198 yards and one interception on a stormy day in Santa Clara. With the Seahawks’ offense mostly focused on short and medium ranges, Smith’s completion percentage will always be a little deceptive.

The upper limit of that offense will always be capped with Smith under center, and we’ll likely see more performances like Sunday’s than what Seahawks fans saw in an emotional opening night win. Smith is far from the only problem with the Seahawks offense, but he continued to prove in the Bay Area why the organization needs to find another signal caller to be the franchise quarterback.

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Bad weather tends to lend itself to more productive rushing games in the NFL, but the Seahawks just couldn’t get down to earth.

Rashaad Penny was the team’s leading rusher on Sunday with just 15 yards on 6 carries. Second-round draft pick Kenneth Walker made his regular-season debut after missing out in Week 1 through injury, but only rushed for 10 yards on 4 carries.

Pete Carroll and the Seahawks need the game in progress to set up the passing game, and it’s going to be very difficult to win against a team without a rusher getting down even 50 yards.

NFC West race rocked

The division race was marred by an injury on the other sideline in the Seahawks’ loss to the 49ers when quarterback Trey Lance was carted off the field in the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury. Former starter Jimmy Garoppolo took his place and immediately threw a touchdown pass.

It remains to be seen what the diagnosis will be for Lance, but any time a player is carted off the field, it usually means a long-term absence is a strong possibility.

The Seahawks won’t see the 49ers again until mid-December, but if the 49ers have to turn to Garoppolo, we could see a more competitive NFC West race for the remainder of the season.

Tariq Woolen continues playing

The rookie cornerback was one of my first picks to make an immediate impression in his first NFL season, and he played a pretty significant role in Sunday’s loss, though it didn’t help the Seahawks win.

Woolen blocked the 49ers’ field goal attempt and Mike Jackson canceled it and returned it for a huge touchdown, the Seahawks’ only goal in Sunday’s loss.

Though he wasn’t perfect in his first two games as a cornerback, Woolen will continue to get chances if he continues to make big games on special teams like he did Sunday. Seahawks takeaways: Observations from sloppy 20-7 loss to 49ers

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