This may have essentially been a meaningless game when all was said and done for Week 17, but the Seattle Seahawks pulled off the season sweep of the San Francisco 49ers. It was a little harder than expected but that’s the way Pete Carroll seems to like it.
And you know what you get when the Seahawks win?! Enemy Reaction! Not only do we get our usual Niners Nation meltdown (although this one was pretty damn minor... guess all that losing has broken them) but we’ll take a peek at the New York Giants’ reaction to the Philadelphia Eagles pretty much aborting any reasonable attempt at a win by putting in Nate Sudfeld, thereby ending the Giants’ hopes of winning the NFC East at 6-10.
Richie James Jr burns Shaquill Griffin for big 3rd and 14 play, 49ers kick a FG (6-3 SEA)
CJ hits Richie James for a gain of 4️⃣5️⃣#SEAvsSF on FOX pic.twitter.com/6ewnNIUXSw— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) January 3, 2021
George Kittle makes spectacular catch, leading to go-ahead 49ers FG (9-6 SF)
ri·dic·u·lous @gkittle46 pic.twitter.com/Er6qqRVaaE— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) January 3, 2021
Jeff Wilson Jr runs it in for the 49ers’ only touchdown (16-6 SF)
Stay Angry Jeff 7-yard TD up the middle makes it 16-6 #49ers #SEAvsSF on FOX pic.twitter.com/jnKsznaane— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) January 3, 2021
Russell Wilson throws on the run to a diving Tyler Lockett for the touchdown (16-12 SF)
.@TDLockett12 for the touchdown and we'll add 6️⃣ to the score!— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 3, 2021
: #SEAvsSF on FOX pic.twitter.com/4Vz2KDYdqO
On 4th and goal, Tyler Lockett’s 100th catch of the season gives Seattle the lead (19-16 SEA)
Fourth down? No problem for @TDLockett12 as he gets the touchdown and his 100th catch of the season!— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 4, 2021
: #SEAvsSF on FOX pic.twitter.com/BSQJEcUlnB
Benson Mayowa strip sacks CJ Beathard, Rasheem Green recovers (19-16 SEA)
Benson Mayowa with the strip-sack off the left tackle!! Look at the swipe-rip around the edge.— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) January 4, 2021
Dude has been on fire today with 2 sacks today. Great game last week too. #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/v6ooUr8yFp
Alex Collins puts the game to bed (26-16 SEA, 26-23 SEA FINAL)
.@Budda03 fights his way to the end zone for a touchdown!— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 4, 2021
Watch #SEAvsSF on FOX. pic.twitter.com/Xb3yn2Pb27
One more parting shot
Post-Game: Praise for Robert Saleh (Marc Delucchi, Niners Wire)
For three quarters, Saleh had a nearly impeccable performance, but Wilson and the Seahawks offense were able to breakthrough in the fourth. That’s more about Wilson’s greatness than anything Saleh did, but it still brings him a slight gradation down.
Still, do not be mistaken, Saleh schemed a beautiful game and nearly shut down one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL for 60 minutes. While the 49ers defense was obviously better last year, Saleh’s performance this season was by far the most impressive work he’s done with the team. No position group on the defense was unscathed by injuries and they held strong in nearly every contest.
Last offseason, Saleh and Kevin Stefanski were the final two candidates for the Cleveland Browns head coaching job. Stefanski looks like a good coach in Cleveland, but there was a fair argument that Saleh was a better man for the job. Even in a lost season, Saleh has found a way to make his resume even stronger and he showed fans why on Sunday in what will likely be his final game as Kyle Shanahan’s defensive coordinator.
Post-Game: Seahawks defeat encapsulates the season (C.W. Nevius, Press Democrat)
The milestones slipped out of reach as the season crawled along. First, there was no chance to win the division. Then no playoffs. Followed by the reality that a winning season was impossible. And finally, a hope to at least win the last game to go out on a positive note.
None of that happened. And by the end, everybody, players, coaches, and staff, just wanted to get off the damn bus and get away.
“I will be very much off the face of the earth for the next month,” George Kittle said. “Don’t try to find me or ask me any questions . . . please.”
Kyle Shanahan joked that he was so eager to get going that he’d packed his bags two full days before departure. After the final crusher of a loss to Seattle, you have to assume Shanahan was ever more eager to leave.
The 26-23 defeat was more than just the 10th loss of the season. It encapsulated the season.
The Niners took the field with their usual keep-the-roster-chart-handy list of new and previously unknown players, due to an almost unbelievable number of injuries and the pandemic. They played pretty well early, even took a ten-point lead. But at crunch time they were done in by superior talent, in Russell Wilson, and the now inevitable fumble by the 49ers quarterback.
So it is fine that the season is over. Because we don’t need to see any more of that. We get it.
Feel free to move on. Spend time debating the skills of draftable college quarterbacks. Assess the effect of the expected departure of Robert Saleh. Consider potential free agents. And, of course, continue agonizing over the potential of Jimmy Garoppolo.
Post-Game Video: QB situation needs addressing (NinerMacca2749)
Post-Game Audio: Opponent audio recap with 49ers announcers Greg Papa and Tim Ryan (Via SportsRadioKJR)
Bonus Enemy Reaction: New York Giants react to Doug Pederson’s tankery
By the way, Eagles fans obviously didn’t mind the tanking.
Enemy Preaction: Los Angeles Rams
Troy Hill takes it back 84 yards. @RamsNFL take the lead! #RamsHouse— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2021
: #AZvsLAR on CBS
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/fohj8JnptQ pic.twitter.com/SddICNwSIl
And so for the second time in three weeks it is Rams week. Shorthand, it’s FTR week. The score is tied 1-1 and this is the Seahawks’ opportunity for their first season series win over the Rams since the Super Bowl season in 2013. Los Angeles is also the only team to come into what we now know as Lumen Field and win a playoff game. Time for revenge for the 2004 season and time to leave these suckers in the dust.
Thanks for reading and go ‘Hawks!