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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers top Seahawks 28-16 in battle of highlight plays

Dec 10, 2023 at 4:10 PM

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SEA 10 0 6 0 16
SF 7 7 7 7 28

There was no shortage of explosive plays between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on Sunday, but the 49ers were able to make a few more while fighting their way to a 28-16 victory.

Over 20 plays of 20 yards or more took place in the game, with many of those being distributed among the 49ers' playmaking quartet of running back Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, and tight end George Kittle. Quarterback Brock Purdy threw for a career-high 368 yards on 19-of-27 passing with two touchdowns and one interception, with 149 of those yards going to Samuel on seven catches (one receiving touchdown, one rushing touchdown) and 126 going to Aiyuk on six catches. Kittle caught three passes for 76 yards and one touchdown, while the Seahawks had a particular problem tackling McCaffrey, who rushed for 145 yards on 16 carries. The 49ers averaged 9.9 yards per play in the game.

Quarterback Drew Lock, who was making his first start as a Seahawk in place of the injured Geno Smith, finished with 269 yards on 22-of-31 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

First Half

Anyone who wasn't in their seat at kickoff probably missed the first 49ers touchdown, which came just 57 seconds into the first quarter. After a touchback on the opening kickoff, the 49ers ran a toss to McCaffrey, who dashed 72 yards downfield to the Seahawks' 3-yard line. Running back Jordan Mason was given the ball on the next play and ran in for a touchdown to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead.

The Seahawks made an impressive answer by putting together an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Lock to wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. The 49ers held Metcalf to three catches for 32 yards in a 31-13 win over the Seahawks on Thanksgiving, but Metcalf caught two passes for 52 yards on the first Seahawks' drive, including his seventh touchdown of the season (the 49ers wound up holding Metcalf in check the rest of the day).

The defenses took over for a while after the touchdown with three consecutive punts before the Seahawks put together a seven-play, 50-yard drive that ended in a 40-yard field goal from kicker Jason Myers to take a 10-7 lead. The Seahawks took the ball back on the next possession when a pass from Purdy deflected off the hands of a diving Brandon Aiyuk and into the arms of safety Julian Love for an interception.

The 49ers forced a punt after the interception, then they got another big play for a touchdown on the next possession to take a 14-10 lead. Facing a 3rd-and-11 on the fifth play of the possession, Purdy launched a deep pass downfield to Samuel, who got behind the Seahawks defense and hauled the pass in for a 54-yard score. The point after from kicker Jake Moody gave the 49ers a 14-10 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.

The teams exchanged punts on the next two possessions before the Seahawks took over at their own 8-yard line with 1:02 remaining. The 49ers had all three of their time outs but elected to let the Seahawks run out the clock and send the game to halftime. The 49ers finished the half with an edge of 250 to 165 in total yardage while averaging 10.4 yards per play. Purdy finished the half 9-of-14 for 150 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while Lock completed 11 of 15 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown.

Second Half

The Seahawks began the second half with a punt, then the 49ers had a potentially pivotal play on their possession when punter Mitch Wishnowsky ran out of punt formation for a 31-yard gain. But offsetting penalties were called on the play, one of them being an illegal block from 49ers wide receiver Ronnie Bell, which forced the 49ers to punt the ball back to the Seahawks on the next snap.

The 49ers responded on defense by forcing a three-and-out after the punt, then the playmakers got to work for the 49ers on offense once more. Their next drive opened with a 45-yard pass from Purdy to Aiyuk, then after getting a 12-yard run from McCaffrey and a 13-yard catch from Samuel later in the drive, the 49ers made it 21-10 when Samuel ran into the end zone from one yard out for his second touchdown of the day.

The Seahawks didn't let themselves stay out of striking distance for long. Lock and the offense responded with a three-play, 78-yard drive that started with a 27-yard catch and run from running back Kenneth Walker before Lock connected with tight end Noah Fant on the second play. Lock then found tight end Colby Parkinson for a touchdown on the third play of the drive, bringing the Seahawks to within 21-16 after a failed two-point conversion attempt.

Now it was finally Kittle's turn to get an explosive play. After a 30-yard catch and run from Samuel on the first play of the possession and a short run from McCaffrey on the second play, Purdy connected with Kittle for a 44-yard touchdown to extend the 49ers' lead to 28-16.

After that it was time for the defenses to take turns making big plays, starting with the 49ers. Lock went deep on the first play of the ensuing possession in an attempt to connect with Metcalf, but safety Ji'Ayir Brown stepped in front of Metcalf for an interception, giving the 49ers the ball at their own 38-yard line.

Two plays later, Love made a big play for the Seahawks when he forced a fumble on wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk to stop what might have been another scoring drive. Aiyuk was heading for a big gain on the play but lost the ball in the red zone, giving the Seahawks the ball at their own 20 early in the fourth quarter.

The teams exchanged punts after the fumble, then the Seahawks took over at their own 20 with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks drove into 49ers territory before a third-down sack by defensive end Nick Bosa set up a 4th-and-13, which linebacker Fred Warner responded to with his fourth interception of the season. Warner lateraled to linebacker Dre Greenlaw on the play, then got in a scuffle with Metcalf that resulted in the ejections of Metcalf and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir.

The 49ers took over with just under three minutes remaining and were able to ice the game after Purdy connected with Kittle for a 27-yard gain on a third down play. The 49ers moved to 10-3 on the season with the win, remaining on the heels of the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 1 overall playoff seed in the NFC. The Seahawks fell to 6-7 with the loss.

Game Notes: Kittle surpassed 6,000 career receiving yards with his third quarter touchdown, becoming just the fifth tight end in league history to do so in his first seven seasons... The series between these two teams had been lopsided in favor of the Seahawks from 2013 to 2021, with the Seahawks winning 17 of 20 games in that stretch. It's safe to say the tide has turned in favor of the 49ers, who have now won five in a row over the Seahawks. The Seahawks now hold a 30-22 overall series lead... With Geno Smith sidelined for the Seahawks, the 49ers were a huge favorite in this game with spreads as high as 15 points before game time... Next up for the 49ers is road contest against the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT, CBS) before a Christmas night home battle against the Baltimore Ravens. The Seahawks will attempt to rebound next Monday night when they host the Philadelphia Eagles (8:15 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN).

SEA Team Stats SF
254 Passing Yards 354
70 Rushing Yards 173
324 Total Yards 527
8.68 Avg Yards per Pass 13.63
3.5 Avg Yards per Run 7.52
0 Fumbles Lost 1
2 Int Thrown 1
4 Sacks Allowed 3
00:30:45 Time of Pos 00:29:15
5 Penalties 5

Seahawks Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Drew Lock 22/31 269 2 2
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Zach Charbonnet 9 44 4.9 0
Kenneth Walker 8 21 2.6 0
Drew Lock 3 5 1.7 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Tyler Lockett 6 6 89 0
DK Metcalf 2 5 52 1
Noah Fant 2 4 35 0
Kenneth Walker 4 5 33 0
Colby Parkinson 2 2 28 1
Jaxon Smith-Njigba 4 7 25 0
Zach Charbonnet 1 1 4 0
Will Dissly 1 1 3 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Jason Myers 1 1 40 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Michael Dickson 6 44 3 62
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
DeeJay Dallas 1 8 0 8
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Quandre Diggs 6-3 0 0 0
Jordyn Brooks 6-3 0 0 0
Julian Love 6-1 0 1 1
Riq Woolen 5-1 0 0 0
Bobby Wagner 5-0 0 0 0
Jarran Reed 4-3 1 0 0
Leonard Williams 4-2 1 0 0
Jamal Adams 4-1 0 0 0
Dre'Mont Jones 4-0 1 0 0
Boye Mafe 3-0 0 0 0
Mike Jackson 2-0 0 0 0
Artie Burns 1-1 0 0 0
Darrell Taylor 1-1 0 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Brock Purdy 19/27 368 2 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Christian McCaffrey 16 145 9.1 0
Jordan Mason 4 20 5 1
Brock Purdy 2 7 3.5 0
Deebo Samuel 1 1 1 1
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Deebo Samuel 7 9 149 1
Brandon Aiyuk 6 9 126 0
George Kittle 3 5 76 1
Christian McCaffrey 1 1 8 0
Jordan Mason 1 1 6 0
Charlie Woerner 1 1 3 0
Jauan Jennings 0 1 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Brandon Aiyuk 1 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 5 43.6 2 56
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ronnie Bell 3 9 0 16
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Fred Warner 8-4 0 1 0
Nick Bosa 6-2 1.5 0 0
Isaiah Oliver 6-1 0 0 0
Ji'Ayir Brown 6-1 0 1 0
Tashaun Gipson 4-2 0 0 0
Dre Greenlaw 4-2 0 0 0
Clelin Ferrell 4-1 1 0 0
Ambry Thomas 4-0 0 0 0
Deommodore Lenoir 3-1 0 0 0
Javon Kinlaw 3-1 0.5 0 0
Kevin Givens 2-1 0 0 0
Charvarius Ward 1-1 0 0 0
Oren Burks 1-1 0 0 0
Javon Hargrave 1-0 0 0 0
Randy Gregory 1-0 1 0 0

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