SEATTLE – The 49ers were thoroughly beaten on Sunday, but coach Chip Kelly tried to get the point across that it was just a one-day snapshot and not a defining moment for his team.
The 49ers trailed by 34 points against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday before scoring a couple of late touchdowns in a 37-18 loss at CenturyLink Field.
It was clear that the 49ers were a long way from being able to compete against a Seattle team that returns a large portion of the nucleus of the team that has advanced to the playoffs each of the past four seasons, including two trips to the Super Bowl and one Lombardi Trophy.
“I don’t look at it as a long way from anything,” Kelly said. “Today they were the better football team.”
The Seahawks handled the 49ers in every imaginable way on Sunday. The Seahawks rolled up 418 total yards, compared to the 49ers’ 254. The 49ers failed on their first 10 third-down opportunities, while the Seahawks converted 9 of 14 (64 percent) of their tries.
The Seahawks burnt the 49ers with four plays of 34 yards or more.
“They were the better team today,” 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert said. “That’s what Coach Kelly told us there in the locker room, but we get another chance to go against these guys later on in the year, and we’ve really got to do a good job of studying what we did well and what we didn’t do well.
“Division games are always tough, especially on the road, and we’ve just got to do a better job of executing, playing as a group on offense and scoring some points.”
Said 49ers safety Eric Reid, “It’s a divisional game, so it definitely hurts. We want to win these games, but we are 1-1 in the division and we have plenty of football left to play, so we aren’t going to dwell on this. We will watch film and move forward.”
The 49ers opened with a 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. But they surrendered 83 points in their next two games. Meanwhile, the Rams have back-to-back victories over Seattle and Tampa Bay.
“We’re the same group of guys that we were on Monday night that we are right now,” 49ers receiver Torrey Smith said. “We’ve just got to be consistent. We know we can play our best ball. That’s one of the best things about it. We’ve got confidence in each other, and we trust and believe in ourselves. It’s really simple. I know this sounds like a tape recorder, but we’ve just got to go out there and execute and get it done.”
The 49ers return to action next week at Levi’s Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys, and Kelly’s message that team should not be discouraged after being completely out-performed against Seattle seemed to resonate among his players.
“It’s one game, one day,” 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead said. “We didn’t get the job done, but I don’t think that defines us as a team or anything like that. We’ve got to learn from it, come back to work and get better. We’re going to watch film, break it down, see why we’re messing up out there and learn from it.”