Not that you want to hear it but after reading through this thread I had to throw in my 2 cents.
There seems to be some common themes coming from everyone as follows:
1) The 49ers were tired from the trip to New England followed by a trip to Seattle.
2) The 49ers had beaten Seattle 3 straight times with Smith/Harbaugh and therefore would have logically beaten Seattle a 4th time or at least performed much better than CK did.
3) Seattle got away with holding all day long, it was obvious watching the replays.
4) Seattles corners continually get away with holding, and it never gets called.
5) Not a lot of people mentioned it, but at least one that I read mentioned piped in crowd noise at Century Link.
6) Losing Justin Smith changed the entire game.
My thoughts are as follows:
1) I'm sure it is tough to travel cross country, play your butts off then have another road game the next week. Do you think it would have been easier to host New England on Sunday then travel to Seattle to play a Thursday night game with 2 less days to prepare? Because that is exactly what Seattle did when traveling to San Fran earlier this year. If a team has a full week to prepare then they have no excuses, whether it's back to back road games or not. This is the NFL, the team, coaches, and players should be ready with a full week. I know It's easy for me to say sitting on my butt, but I don't recall a lot of Seattle fans complaining when we lost earlier in the season. We lost. Period. It's a division game and we lost by 7 on a shortened week on the road. Should have played better.
2) Yes San Fran beat Seattle 3 straight times under Harbaugh. He inherited a playoff caliber team, and Seattle has turned over 75% of its roster in the last 2 years. If Seattle had beaten San Fran it would have been a huge upset. Seattles roster is now just about set, and their arrow is pointing up. If people think Seattle is keeping things status quo from last year they're mistaken. The "we always beat them" mentality is pretty comical. Teams and personnel change, if they stayed the same you can expect the same result, but if a team has improved, I don't think you can rest your hopes on "what has been will always be."
3) I learned after Super Bowl 40 that complaining about officiating makes you sound like an a-hole (as most Seattle fans did). The reality is Seattle did get away with a lot of holding.....so did San Fran.....so does every single team every single Sunday. I rewatched the game from Sunday, as I do with every game, and there was nothing out of the ordinary. You could call holding on every single play of every single game if you wanted to. That's the hazards of watching on a DVR. Rewatch the game when San Fran is on offense and you will see the same amount of non called holding on both sides.
4) Seattle corners do seem to get away with holding and down field contact every week. This has been going on for two years, with two separate coaches complaining publicly about it, and sending video to league officials on it. It continues to be allowed. So either it is not against the rules, or it is not something the league is going to enforce. So, does this make Seattle foolish for continuing to do it? Or does it make the rest of the teams foolish for not playing the same way? Kind of like a pitcher figuring out an umps strike zone.....find out how they're calling a game and play to it. You would be foolish not to.
5) There is no artificial crowd noise. It has been analyzed by the league, and there is nothing artificial about it. One is the stadium design, which similar to above, why wouldn't every team building a new stadium be hiring the same design firm? The other is just honestly Seattle fans in general. From the Kingdome, to Century Link Field with the hawks, Husky Stadium, the Sounders, and going back to when we still had the Sonics, they have all been labeled some of the hardest places to play when teams are performing well. Don't ask me why, I don't live in Seattle (hate the liberal city) but they consistently have the loudest fans regardless of sport and venue.
6) If one player makes that much of a difference on your team, then your management has done a poor job of building it. I hated Pete Carrol before he came to Seattle, namely out of ignorance, but have come full circle on him. He and Schnieder have built their team on the next man up mentality. So far it is serving them very well. If Justin Smith is that important to that defense, they have some problems!
Ok, I know you guys are moving on, as you should. But I have just been irked by some of the excuses I've been reading. We have lost to you the 3 times previous. You were better than us period. Well we've gotten better. I don't think 42-13 better, but from here on out I don't think previous records mean anything. It will hopefully be a battle every game.
Here's to an actual competitive division, with a heated rivalry for years to come!
P.S. I do agree with most of you that Sherman is a punk. I have said, if he didn't play for us I would hate him! But he is gooood. You have to give him his due. It isn't cool to see people wishing for injury though. I know you are a classier bunch than that.