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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks outlast 49ers 30-23 in wild contest

Dec 5, 2021 at 4:42 PM

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 14 9 0 0 23
SEA 7 14 9 0 30

No one can accuse the 49ers and Seahawks of not putting on a show that was worth more than the price of admission in their latest meeting at Lumen Field in Seattle on Sunday, but in the end it was the Seahawks that wound up making more plays when it counted.

In a game filled with big plays, compelling and unexpected twists, and costly mistakes from both teams, the Seahawks came from behind to knock off the 49ers 30-23, keeping them from scoring a possible game-tying touchdown with seconds to play. The 49ers jumped out to a 23-14 lead on the Seahawks in the second quarter, but the Seahawks rallied for 16 unanswered points to take a 30-23 lead in the third, then held on with a defensive stand late in the game to seal the win.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 20-of-30 passes for 299 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions on the day, while Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 231 yards on 30-of-37 passing with two touchdowns and one interception. 49ers tight end George Kittle chipped in nine catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers hurt themselves with 10 penalties for 86 yards while losing the time of possession battle (33:12 to 26:48) after winning in that area in their three previous games.

First Half

The game started off on a troubling note when running back/special teamer Trenton Cannon took a blow to the head and neck during the opening kickoff that resulted in him being placed on a stretcher and taken off the field in an ambulance. What followed next was a stunning call from the Seahawks who, after seemingly being held to a three-and-out by the 49ers, called a fake punt from deep in their own territory that was taken 73 yards by running back Travis Homer for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

The 49ers responded by creating their own unexpected turn of events, which started on defense with two stalwart plays by defensive tackle D.J. Jones. On a Seahawks possession that began at their own 25-yard line after holding the 49ers to a three-and-out, Jones tackled running back Adrian Peterson for a five-yard loss on a first-down run then punched the ball out of the hands of tight end Gerald Everett for a fumble on second down that was recovered at the Seahawks' 24-yard line by cornerback Emmanuel Moseley. The 49ers needed just one offensive play to tie the game as Garoppolo found tight end George Kittle in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown pass to even the score at 7.

An already-wild beginning to the game got even crazier within the next few plays. After holding the Seahawks to a three-and-out after the touchdown, the 49ers took over at their own 23-yard line but gave the ball back to the Seahawks on an ugly Garoppolo interception to linebacker Bobby Wagner. Then, after a holding penalty on the Seahawks pushed them ten yards backwards on first down, 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa bailed Garoppolo out when he decked Wilson for a strip sack that sent the ball back across midfield before being recovered by offensive lineman Ethan Pocic for a 23-yard loss. After facing a 2nd-and-43, the Seahawks recovered enough yardage to attempt a 56-yard field goal by kicker Jason Myers, but the kick fell short and gave the 49ers possession at their own 46-yard line.

The 49ers took advantage of that field position, putting together a nine-play, 54-yard drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown run by running back Elijah Mitchell for a 14-7 lead. The 49ers gambled and won earlier in the drive by successfully converting a 4th-and-1 on a run by Garoppolo, and later in the drive Garoppolo found Kittle for a 28-yard gain to the Seahawks' 8-yard line. Back-to-back runs from Mitchell were all the 49ers needed from there to finish the drive.

After 50 eventful minutes of football, the first quarter came to an end on a Seahawks punt after a three-and-out, and the 49ers got back to work on offense yet again. A 22-yard punt return from Travis Benjamin got the 49ers started at their own 37-yard line, then they moved inside the Seahawks' 30-yard line with the help of a series of runs from Mitchell and a 12-yard completion to Kittle. Penalties helped stall the drive from there, but the 49ers were able to take a 17-7 lead on a 50-yard field goal from kicker Robbie Gould.

The Seahawks responded with a touchdown drive of their own, a nine-play, 63-yard drive that finished with a scoring run by Adrian Peterson. A 33-yard kick return from Dee Jay Dallas set the Seahawks up at their own 37-yard line to start that drive, then later in the possession Wilson found wide receiver D.K. Metcalf for a 33-yard gain on a 3rd-and-14 that gave them a 1st-and-Goal. Peterson ran in from one yard out to finish the drive and cut the 49ers' lead to 17-14.

Just over five minutes remained in the half after the Seahawks' touchdown, which was more than enough time for Kittle to create another highlight play. The 49ers took over at their own 25 and moved across midfield in six plays, then on the first play after the two-minute warning, Kittle took a short pass from Garoppolo and deftly stayed right of the sideline as he rumbled 48 yards for a score. The touchdown gave Kittle five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, but the score remained at 23-14 after Gould missed his point after attempt.

The Seahawks still had plenty of time to add some points before the half, which they were able to do with the help of the mistakes of the 49ers' defense. The Seahawks moved 65 yards in eight plays, with 30 yards coming from roughing the passer penalties on 49ers defensive linemen Arden Key and Charles Omenihu. Wilson capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to rookie Dee Eskridge, which was the first of his career. The point after from Myers cut the 49ers' lead to 23-21 as the half neared its close.

The 49ers outgained the Seahawks 203 to 187 in the first half, with 157 of those coming through the air. The Seahawks held a 108 to 46 edge on the ground (due in large part to the fake punt), while time of possession was close to even (15:16 to 14:44 in favor of the 49ers). The 49ers were penalized six times for 46 yards in the half to four penalties for 25 yards for the Seahawks.

Second Half

The second half picked up right where the first half left off in terms of plot twists and action. At first it came at the 49ers' expense, as Benjamin fumbled the opening kickoff to give the ball to the Seahawks deep in 49ers territory. Benjamin, who was returning the kick due to the injury to Cannon, lost the ball after it was knocked free by former 49ers linebacker Nick Bellore. Homer recovered the ball to put the Seahawks in a great spot to start the second half.

To no surprise based on how the game was unfolding, the botched kickoff return did not exactly lead to a typical outcome. Wilson and the Seahawks moved to the 49ers' 5-yard line, but on a 3rd-and-4, a pass from Wilson bounced off the hands of Everett and into the arms of cornerback K'Waun Williams for an interception. Williams returned the interception to the 4-yard line, helping the 49ers to dodge a bullet... for the moment, anyway.

The 49ers ran the ball twice with Mitchell to open their possession then called a pass on third down, which left Garoppolo looking for a receiver from the end zone. Garoppolo was swarmed by Seahawks defensive end Carlos Dunlap for a safety, sending the game to an improbable 23-23 tie with less than five minutes off the clock in the third quarter.

The Seahawks started their next drive at their own 30-yard line after receiving the kick following the safety, then moved inside 49ers' territory in three plays. But a sack by Key and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair moved the Seahawks backwards on a 3rd-and-7 from the 31-yard line, forcing a punt that was fielded by the 49ers at their own 8-yard line.

The 49ers moved out of the hole this time when Garoppolo connected with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for a 21-yard gain on 3rd-and-5 from the 13-yard line. However, Garoppolo committed a costly mistake on the next play when he sailed a pass downfield that was intercepted by defensive back Quandre Diggs. The Seahawks turned the interception into points when Wilson found wide receiver Tyler Lockett for a 13-yard touchdown on the fifth play of their possession to take a 30-23 lead.

With momentum clearly in the Seahawks' favor, the 49ers took over at their own 30-yard line and soon faced a 4th-and-1 from their own 39. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan decided to go for a first down using a read option, which was stopped in the backfield. 49ers center Alex Mack was called for an illegal snap on the play, however, which prevented a turnover on downs and resulted in a punt back to the Seahawks.

The 49ers appeared to hold the Seahawks to a three-and-out, but the possession was kept alive when cornerback Dontae Johnson was flagged for unnecessary roughness. The Seahawks then moved the ball inside the 49ers' 10, keeping their drive alive and giving them a 1st-and-goal at the 1-yard line after a successful fourth down conversion.

But, in yet another improbable and unexpected twist, the 49ers got the ball back when Johnson recovered a fumble when Al-Shaair knocked the ball loose from Everett on a shovel pass. The fumble recovery gave the 49ers possession at the 4-yard line and one last chance with 4:03 left in the game.

The 49ers drove over 90 yards on their final possession and found themselves in a 1st-and-Goal from the Seahawks' 7-yard line with three time outs and 38 seconds to play. But the Seahawks came up with a final stand, keeping Mitchell out of the end zone on two rushing attempts, and Garoppolo's pass attempts on third and fourth down fell incomplete. The Seahawks were able to run out the clock from there and seal the win.

The loss sends the 49ers to 6-6 on the season, although they remain in the thick of the race for a Wild Card spot in the NFC. Sunday's results also left the Washington Football Team at 6-6, followed by the Philadelphia Eagles at 6-7 and the Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints at 5-7.

The 49ers head back on the road next Sunday for a game in Cincinnati against the Bengals (4:25 p.m. EST/1:25 p.m. PST), who fell to 7-5 on the season after a 41-22 home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers earlier today. Next week's game will have playoff implications for both the 49ers and the Bengals, who are among a deep crop of teams competing for a playoff spot in the AFC.

SF Team Stats SEA
365 Total Yards 327
294 Passing Yards 181
71 Rushing Yards 146
10 Avg Yards per Pass 6.2
2.8 Avg Yards per Run 5.4
1 Fumbles Lost 2
2 Int Thrown 1
1 Sacks Allowed 4
26:48 Time of Pos 33:12
10 Penalties 6

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Jimmy Garoppolo 20/30 299 2 2
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Eli Mitchell 22 66 3 1
George Kittle 1 5 5 0
Jimmy Garoppolo 2 0 0 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
George Kittle 9 12 181 2
Brandon Aiyuk 3 6 55 0
Kyle Juszczyk 2 3 21 0
Eli Mitchell 3 3 18 0
Trent Sherfield 2 5 16 0
Jauan Jennings 1 1 8 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Travis Benjamin 1 1
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Robbie Gould 1 1 50 2
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 3 45.7 0 60
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Travis Benjamin 24 12 0 12
JaMycal Hasty 23 23 0 23
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Brandon Aiyuk 1 -4 0 -4
Travis Benjamin 1 22 0 22
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
D.J. Jones 7-0 0 0 1
Jaquiski Tartt 4-0 0 0 0
K'Waun Williams 4-0 0 1 1
Jimmie Ward 3-1 0 0 0
Dontae Johnson 3-1 0 0 0
Talanoa Hufanga 3-1 0 0 0
Ambry Thomas 3-0 0 0 0
Deommodore Lenoir 3-0 0 0 0
Nick Bosa 3-0 1 0 1
Arik Armstead 2-2 1 0 0
Josh Norman 2-1 0 0 0
Daniel Brunskill 2-0 0 0 0
Azeez Al-Shaair 11-5 0.5 0 1
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 1-3 0 0 0
Samson Ebukam 1-2 0 0 0
Jordan Willis 1-2 1 0 0
Charlie Woerner 1-0 0 0 0
JaMycal Hasty 1-0 0 0 0

Seahawks Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Russell Wilson 30/37 231 2 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Travis Homer 3 80 26.7 1
Rashaad Penny 10 35 3.5 0
Adrian Peterson 11 16 1.5 1
Russell Wilson 3 15 5 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Tyler Lockett 7 8 68 1
DK Metcalf 5 8 60 0
D'Wayne Eskridge 3 3 35 1
Rashaad Penny 1 1 27 0
Freddie Swain 3 3 18 0
Travis Homer 4 5 10 0
Will Dissly 2 2 7 0
Gerald Everett 4 6 7 0
Penny Hart 1 1 -1 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Gerald Everett 2 2
Russell Wilson 1 0
Adrian Peterson 1 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Jason Myers 0 1 0 4
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Michael Dickson 4 51.3 2 65
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
DeeJay Dallas 129 25.8 0 33
D.J. Reed 19 19 0 19
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Bobby Wagner 6-3 0 1 0
Jordyn Brooks 5-6 0 0 0
Quandre Diggs 3-1 0 1 0
D.J. Reed 2-3 0 0 0
Jamal Adams 2-2 0 0 0
Darrell Taylor 2-2 0 0 0
Sidney Jones 2-1 0 0 0
Ryan Neal 1-4 0 0 0
Poona Ford 1-2 0 0 0
Benson Mayowa 1-1 0 0 0
Penny Hart 1-1 0 0 0
Ugo Amadi 1-1 0 0 0
Nick Bellore 1-1 0 0 1
Jon Rhattigan 1-0 0 0 0
Bryan Mone 1-0 0 0 0
Kerry Hyder 1-0 0 0 0
Rasheem Green 1-0 0 0 0
Jake Curhan 1-0 0 0 0
Blessuan Austin 1-0 0 0 0
Carlos Dunlap 1-0 1 0 0

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