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Enemy Reaction 2017: San Francisco 49ers (Act II)

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Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks had their usual slow start on offense, but for the first time all season, they actually took the lead and never relinquished it, eliminating the 1-10 San Francisco 49ers from playoff contention with a 24-13 win at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Seattle has swept the 49ers in four straight seasons, allowing them to score 20+ points only one time. This is reminiscent of when the Seahawks were unbeaten against the Rams from 2005-2009, and almost makes me yearn for a competitive rivalry again. Almost.

After an unfathomable month-long absence, Enemy Reaction makes its return to revel in the misery of 49ers fans, which turned into some incredible post-game hype about Jimmy Garoppolo. Game thread comments from SF are courtesy of Niners Nation.


Russell Wilson gets picked off by Eric Reid on the game’s opening play (0-0)

Blair Walsh hooks his field goal wide to the left (0-0)

Bobby Wagner is not human (0-0)

Russell Wilson keeps and scores (7-0 SEA)

Seahawks drive stalls due to horrible OPI call, missed face mask (7-0 SEA)

Wilson hits Nick Vannett for his first career touchdown reception (14-6 SEA)

Just Russell Wilson doing Russell Wilson things (14-6 SEA)

Seahawks get bailed out on bad DPI call in the end zone (14-6 SEA)

Wilson fires a touchdown to Jimmy Graham (21-6 SEA)

Jimmy Garoppolo replaces injured C.J. Beathard, throws heroic touchdown to Louis Murphy as time expires (24-13 SEA Final)


Post-Game Recap: It will be hard to go back to C.J. Beathard (Peter Panacy, Niner Noise)

Kyle Shanahan is going to have a tough decision to make between now and Week 13.

Jimmy Garoppolo came in for C.J. Beathard late in the fourth quarter, as Beathard was forced to leave due to a knee injury. Garoppolo saw just two snaps and went 2-of-2 including a last-second touchdown pass to wide receiver Louis Murphy with time expiring.

OK, small sample size, but this was the kind of impact play Beathard couldn’t manage throughout the entirety of his time on the field.

[...]

Many of the 49ers’ issues seen in Week 12 probably wind up continuing over the course of the season — a poor offensive line, lack of playmakers on offense, etc. Yet putting Garoppolo into real in-game reps is crucial for his understanding of Shanahan’s offense.

Based off the small amount seen from Garoppolo in Week 12, it’s going to be very difficult to go back to Beathard from this point onward.

Post-Game Recap: It’s time to start Jimmy Garoppolo (Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News)

When Garoppolo finally did play against the Seahawks — after Shanahan had his hand forced by injury and well after the new quarterback could do anything to affect the outcome — he looked good. Really good.

And while it’s foolhardy to extrapolate 67 seconds of garbage time into anything substantial, no one can deny that Garoppolo’s two throws — the second a touchdown to Louis Murphy with time expiring (the Niners’ only touchdown of the day) — were impressive.

They were certainly impressive enough to make you wonder if Sunday’s game would have looked different had Garoppolo played from the start.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson almost singlehandedly lifted Seattle to a win on Sunday behind an offensive line that didn’t block, and without a viable running game to keep a defense honest — something he’s done seemingly all season, and for the last three years.

Wilson, after all, is a game changer and an annual MVP candidate.

Post-Game Audio: Opponent audio recap with 49ers announcers Ted Robinson and Tim Ryan (via Softy on KJR-AM)

Enemy Preaction: Philadelphia Eagles (Bleeding Green Nation)


Now we get to crunch time. The Seahawks are 7-4 yet outside of a playoff spot due to the head-to-head tiebreaker swinging the way of the Atlanta Falcons. Seattle’s brutal December schedule starts with a Sunday Night Football home game against the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles, who could have the NFC East officially clinched if Washington beats the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night. They’ve won nine straight, look very much like the best team in the league, and are 4 point favorites at CenturyLink Field. If Seattle can halt Carson Wentz and company, then that’s a huge hurdle cleared towards making the postseason, whether through a wild card or (preferably) winning the NFC West outright.

You better believe CLink will be rocking on Sunday night, and unlike the last two home games, hopefully the Seahawks come out on top when the clock hits triple zeroes in the 4th quarter. If Russell Wilson wants to make a serious push for MVP, this is the game where he has to shine from start to finish, because they cannot afford a slow start against an Eagles team that is crushing the opposition once they build a lead.

Thanks for reading and go ‘Hawks!