What. A. Game. It was like 2013 all over again when the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks battled it out on Monday Night Football. And it was like 2013 all over again, with the Seahawks coming out victorious, this time in a 27-24 overtime win.
That being said, it was an epic football game and the 49ers fought and fought hard.
“You’re always disappointed when you don’t win, especially, when we felt we had a number of chances,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan. “I was very proud of our guys. I thought we competed very hard. Guys left it all out there. I know guys are hurting right now. I thought all three phases played hard. I thought our defense was unbelievable. I thought the offense played as hard as they could but made way too many mistakes to be able to pull out a win in that game.”
The loss leaves the 49ers at 8-1 and still atop the NFC West – so things could be worse – but injuries and inconsistencies mean the 49ers have work to do (but don’t we all really).
How It Ended
The 49ers ultimately lost the game when, after rookie Dre Greenlaw came up with an epic overtime interception, rookie kicker Chase McLaughlin, filling in for the injured Robbie Gould, shanked a 45-yard FG that would have won the game in OT (in fairness, he made a 47-yarder to send the game to OT).
Instead, the Seahawks got the ball back and ultimately quarterback Russell Wilson did Russell Wilson things and led them to victory (more on that below).
It looked like the offensive calvary arrived Monday night, when the 49ers got starting tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, as well as fullback Kyle Juszczyk back, but that was not to be.
They were without tight end George Kittle from the start and lost wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to a rib injury (MRI tomorrow) in the second quarter, and everyone seemed to forget how to catch the ball – slight exaggeration, but very slight.
“They’re our two best playmakers, so it definitely takes a toll,” said Shanahan. “We knew that coming in with George. We kind of realized that was going to happen today. Emmanuel was out there battling. Had that happen with his ribs. He tried to go a few more series longer, but he had to go out. Other guys came in, some guys stepped it up at times. We just didn’t have the consistency out there.”
Rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel was the best of the bunch with eight receptions for 112 yards, but he and the wide receiving corps had many a costly drop.
Kendrick Bourne had an early touchdown, but he also had a ball go through his hands, which became an interception, which then led to a Seahawks touchdown. The Seahawks score 21 points off turnovers and that was the difference.
Meanwhile, defensive Jadeveon Clowney was a nightmare for Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers’ offensive line, manhandling all of them. Clowney absolutely drilled the 49ers’ QB1 early in the game and ultimately finished the night with one sack, five quarterback hits, and five tackles.
Garoppolo, who finished the night 24-of-46 for 248 yards, one TD, and one interception, was not on his A game, but he was hampered by a subpar offensive line performance, the aforementioned drops, and the aforementioned injuries. That being said, he’s still the man under center and he bears responsibility.
That Defense Though
Once again, the 49ers’ defense came up big, giving the 49ers a chance to win. Late in the second quarter, safety Jaquiski Tartt made an unbelievable play when he stripped the ball from Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf at the two-yard line, thus preserving the 49er lead going into the half.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 12, 2019
There was the aforementioned Greenlaw interception, which was a great play that the rookie made on a rare Wilson mistake.
“It was unreal at the time, then it went back to reality,” Greenlaw said. “It is about trying to win the game. That is the goal. At first it felt unreal and then it was like we still haven’t won the game.”
Fred Warner recorded his first two career sacks and forced a fumble that DeForest Buckner ran in for a touchdown, shifting the momentum late in the game and giving the 49ers a shot. Buckner had another fumble recovery earlier in the game as well.
“You learn more in a loss than you do in a win…so I guess that’s the silver lining,” said cornerback Richard Sherman, who swapped jerseys with Wilson after the game. “…So I’m sure guys will take that and take the lessons that they need from that. We had a chance to win. We didn’t…In order to win championships, you’ve got to have these lessons.”
But there’s a reason Russell Wilson is in the hunt for MVP and he had too many chances with two much time to lead Seattle to victory.
“Play’s never over with him,” said 49ers’ rookie defensive end Nick Bosa. “…It seems like it’s part of his plan to look downfield, then tuck it, find a gap, jump through the gap, then make a play.”
Earlier this week, Shanahan said that’s what makes Wilson so good. He was right.
The defense was also not without injuries as, defensive lineman Ronald Blair (knee) and D.J. Jones (groin) will have MRIs tomorrow. Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair is in the concussion protocol.
Lot of Football Left to Play
This loss was a frustrating one. It was a divisional game. It was the Seahawks. The Niners should have won it. But, the 49ers have seven games left to play and a division to win, so next up, the Arizona Cardinals.
“Guys left a lot out there,” Shanahan said. “We’ve got a lot of guys banged up who came out of the game and a lot of guys were, I think, hurting throughout that game. So, I think the guys left it all out there. I know they are exhausted. I know they are disappointed with the loss, but I think they are excited to rest tomorrow and get right back at it next week.”
See ya Sunday.