The Seattle Seahawks have won just two games against NFC opposition this year. Both have come against the San Francisco 49ers, and this one felt so sweet in what is otherwise likely a lost season. It was a back-and-forth thriller with a lot of stupid football, good football, and then in the end we end up with both teams making incredible goal-line stands. One stand kept the 49ers in the game, the other stand won the game for the Seahawks.
Let’s get to Winners and Losers!
He is THE winner of the week. A fake punt touchdown to start the game and bring some life and energy into the stadium. That’s the longest play of his career and also his second special teams score of the season. He also had a fumble recovery and a 4th down conversion on the ground. What a valuable special teams player he’s become in addition to what he’s produced as a 3rd down back.
He forced that fumble Homer recovered and he was the lead blocker on Adrian Peterson’s touchdown run. Another special teams beast who should be getting Pro Bowl honors again.
He has been an invisible man for much of the season but he picked a hell of a time to show up. His first solo sack of the season resulted in a game-tying safety, and then with the game on the line he deflected Jimmy Garoppolo’s pass on 4th down to secure the win. That’s the type of impact we saw from Dunlap last season but up until today was absent in 2021. Great day for Carlos to have his best game of the year.
Once again the pass rush mostly struggled to bother the opposition quarterback, but the run defense was outstanding. Elijah Mitchell was held to just 66 yards on 22 carries and the 49ers did not have a single run of 10+ yards. That’s a credit to everyone from the defensive line to the linebackers and safeties. They continue to be outstanding in short-yardage situations, too. Jordyn Brooks stood out to me for his ability to stop the run.
Wagner has lost a step athletically and there’s no two ways about it. But he’s still got a great football brain and he manages to make every 49ers starting quarterback eventually throw the ball to him. His opening quarter interception was his first pick since 2019 and his first one at home since his pick-6 against the 49ers in 2018. It ain’t his fault Seattle wasted his turnover by going backwards. Enjoy Wagner while you can because he still gives you flashes of greatness.
Pay the man! How many more weeks do I have to say it? Do you seriously want to see someone other than Quandre play free safety next year? That’s his fourth interception on the season and he certainly played a role in setting up Jamal Adams’ interception the week prior.
A first touchdown for Dee! He finished with 3 catches for 35 yards and that TD involved him shedding a tackle before heading into the end zone. Good to see him more involved in the offense.
You know what’s great about this W&L? A lot of players who have been criticized and ostracized came through in a big way. Penny had 62 yards on 11 touches and was looking closer to his 2019 self. But his most impressive play to me was picking up that 49ers blitzer, something that was not considered a strength of his, and buying Russell Wilson time to find Dee Eskridge for a first down. That was big time running back play by Penny and he deserves the praise.
I mean he didn’t play well. 11 carries for 16 yards and a fumble is abysmal, but he did score a touchdown to move him level with Jim Brown for 10th most in NFL history at 126. Good for him and also Peterson managed to do something Franco Harris and Edgerrin James couldn’t do: get a TD in a Seahawks uniform.
DJ Reed and Sidney Jones
Reed did get into a coverage mix-up with Quandre Diggs on the first George Kittle touchdown but otherwise he had two passes defensed and had a jarring hit on Brandon Aiyuk that forced a punt. I think it should be a priority for Seattle to re-sign Reed. As for Jones, his defense on Trent Sherfield (which wasn’t DPI despite what 49ers fans will tell you) on that 3rd and goal was outstanding.
He’s not quite back but that was certainly Wilson’s best game since returning from injury. A 30-37 line looks Wilson-esque but the 181 net yards passing doesn’t usually happen when you complete 30 passes. There were a couple of deep throws that he missed but he was much better on 3rd down compared to previous weeks and had some pinpoint passes to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on that particular down. He was decisive and even challenged the short middle of the field without it being a checkdown! Hopefully he can get back into a groove and that the o-line can avoid crushing him like they threatened to do throughout the game. For me, his best moment was leading that two-minute drill with no timeouts to close the deficit to 23-21 at the half.
Welcome back to the end zone, Tyler! He gave us a scare with some sort of injury in the 2nd quarter but otherwise led the team in catches (7) and yards (68) on his way to his first touchdown since the Jacksonville Jaguars game.
As noted earlier, Wilson missed a couple of throws he normally hits, which would’ve meant a huge day for DK. He did have 5 catches for 60 yards but Wilson threw some sideline routes out of bounds and Metcalf definitely had the better of Josh Norman on those plays. It’s still a quality bounce-back after his recent lack of involvement in the offense.
Ken Norton Jr
The 49ers scored 23 in the 1st half. None in the 2nd half and that’s without Jamal Adams. They did not cross midfield until the final drive. There were a lot of disjointed looking plays by the defense in the opening half but the adjustments made were superb and they looked much better coming out of the break. This defense earned their props, even acknowledging the absence of Deebo Samuel.
Pete Carroll’s decision making?
Look it wasn’t perfect but I love the fake punt decision. Where the hell was this Pete all along when he kept punting it on 4th and 1 in opposition territory? Then he calls a fake punt inside his own 30 and it works. The challenge to overturn the Brandon Aiyuk catch was a great decision. I also think that the decision to go for it on 4th and 1 inside SF’s 5 was the right call. Here’s why:
- The Seahawks had over six minutes left in the game and the 49ers had all their timeouts. Kicking the field goal would’ve presumably put the Seahawks up 10 if made. But that would’ve left the 49ers with more than enough time to not just score but force Seattle to sustain another drive.
- Converting the 4th down kept everything open. A touchdown to make it a two-touchdown lead and a field goal to make it a two-score lead were both in play.
- Converting the 4th down allowed the Seahawks to take another two minutes off the clock and had there not been a fumble, Seattle still could’ve attempted a field goal and left the 49ers almost certainly in a position to not just score but also go for an onside kick.
The outcome sucked. If you want to get on anyone, get on Shane Waldron for a shovel pass (!!) to a struggling player behind an offensive line playing a right tackle at left guard and a rookie left tackle at right tackle. Good on Pete for being aggressive, but the outcome was just unlucky.
Not even Jerramy Stevens ever turned in a game as bad as that. Everett has been coming on strong lately but that was just a rotten day that on another afternoon would’ve resulted in a defeat. One fumble leading to a touchdown, a dropped pass for a touchdown turning into an interception, then a fumble on a shovel pass (???) that robbed Seattle of a chipshot field goal to salt the game away in less stressful fashion. Just a horrendous day for Everett but hopefully it’s a one-off.
Freddie Swain, punt returner
This has got to stop. Really his only value is that he hasn’t fumbled yet and even then he’s had some nervy moments during the year. On the first lost fumble by Everett, the field position flipped because Swain let a bad punt bounce 20 yards in San Francisco’s favor. Fielding that punt likely gives the Seahawks great field position and perhaps a different set of playcalls.
- Kyle Fuller and Brandon Shell would’ve otherwise been losers for how uh... not good their performances were, but they both left with injuries which makes me wonder if they were already hurting to begin with (Shell especially). But ultimately I don’t ever want to see Fuller in the starting lineup again. He just doesn’t do anything well at either guard or center. Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe didn’t look totally out of place when they did come in, although Curhan did allow a sack.
- Jamal Adams leaving the game with a sprained shoulder is a bummer. Especially since Ryan Neal, for as good as he may be as a dime package safety, is probably not best suited to be a full-time starter. Hopefully Adams’ injury isn’t too serious.
- DeeJay Dallas has been a serviceable kick returner. He may not be explosive but he has good vision and knows which lanes to run.
- Speaking of kick returns, all the best to the 49ers’ Trenton Cannon who will remain in hospital overnight after a horrible concussion suffered on the opening kick. He had to be taken off the field in an ambulance and you just hate to see something that awful occur. Luckily he’s in stable condition and nothing way more serious happened given how awkward that collision was.
- I won’t get on Jason Myers for missing a 56-yard field goal but not only did he miss it wide it was well short. That ain’t good. Kickers gotta be able to hit from that far out and he has before.
- Kevin Harlan made quite a few mistakes on play-by-play (as did game analyst Tiki Barber... who was not batting a high percentage on player names) but his ability to make any game sound like a championship match is unparalleled. His best sport is the NBA but I could listen to him on any sport.
- That timeout to avoid a delay of game only to commit delay of game... that sucked. It didn’t prove costly, thankfully.
- George Kittle’s two touchdowns were his first ever against the Seahawks. Hard to believe! But yeah he’s a beast.
- It’s so good to do Enemy Reaction again! It’s been too damn long!
- Don’t get too excited about any playoff talk. Don’t do that to yourself. There are too many teams the Seahawks need to lose (including teams that play each other like Washington and Philadelphia 2x), and the Seahawks really only hold the tiebreaker on the 49ers at the moment. They have to win out and given they play Arizona and the Rams one more time that seems extraordinarily unlikely. Just enjoy this victory, enjoy sweeping San Francisco, and let’s hope we finally get to see a winning streak! The Houston Texans stink, so surely the Seahawks can make that game an easy one, right?!