The Seattle Seahawks got out to a quick-and-easy 20-3 lead over the visiting San Francisco 49ers, taking advantage of some blown coverages and defensive miscues. Here's your first-half recap.

The San Francisco 49ers haven't beaten the Seahawks in Seattle since 2011, and that figured to be the case with head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad entering its Week 13 NFC West bout as 10-point underdogs, according to Odds Shark.

Despite the slim chances the Niners had to pull off the win, the bigger story was cornerback Richard Sherman returning to face his former squad and many of his former teammates. During early warmups, Sherman did some drills with Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin and even briefly exchanged pleasantries with Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson, who managed to get out to an easy 20-3 first-half lead over San Francisco.

San Francisco started off on offense -- a drive ending with a sack on quarterback Nick Mullens, who had no chance after left guard Laken Tomlinson gave up a sack to Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. And after the 49ers defense forced a 3-and-out, pressure got to Mullens again to force a failed third-down attempt on San Francisco's subsequent offensive drive.

The 49ers went 2-of-7 on third downs over the first half, while the Seahawks were 3-of-6.

Seattle took the lead on a 4-yard touchdown by wide receiver Jaron Brown, which was set up by Brown's 45-yard catch earlier against a completely blown 49ers coverage. Yet kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed the subsequent extra point, giving Seattle its 6-0 start.

Meanwhile, Mullens was under constant duress over the first half, taking one sack and six hits. And plays, like this high snap by center Weston Richburg, didn't help matters either:

As a result, Mullens was a mere 11-of-18 for 114 yards.

The Seahawks took advantage of further defensive miscues by the 49ers, capitalizing on linebacker Malcolm Smith being in coverage against wide receiver Tyler Lockett to the tune of a 52-yard touchdown to go up 13-0. Smith actually had decent coverage on the play, but the failed reaction by safety Jaquiski Tartt over the top led to Lockett getting his separation at the last second.

Still, Smith shouldn't have been in that position to begin with.

The 49ers were in position to score in the middle of the second quarter, although running back Jeff Wilson fumbled on the Seahawks' 5-yard line. It was ruled a fumble on the field and recovered by Seattle, and despite Wilson looking like he was down, there wasn't clear evidence to overturn the call.

What do you think?

Bad break for the 49ers, which will continue to harm the team's already putrid turnover differential this season -- minus-17 entering the game. And another terrible break when Richie James muffed a punt just inside two minutes in the first half, which the Seahawks recovered.

The bad gets worse.

Smith later hit Wilson on the following Seahawks snap after the quarterback gave himself up on a rush, making San Francisco's woes look even worse. Almost comic. And made more so by a pass-interference call against cornerback K'Waun Williams in the end zone, which placed the ball at the Niners' 1-yard line. Baldwin scored three plays later to give Seattle a 20-0 lead before a desperate two-minute drill allowed the Niners to settle for a 45-yard field goal to eliminate the possibility of a shutout.

And the Seahawks will get the ball back to start the third quarter.
  • Peter Panacy
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.

You May Also Enjoy...