Seahawks score 3 late TDs for 26-23 comeback win over 49ers
The Seattle Seahawks may have already had the NFC West championship locked up going into Week 17, but the final game of their regular season didn’t go as easily as it probably should have.
Seattle was kept out of the end zone until the fourth quarter and didn’t score a touchdown until falling behind by 10 points, but the offense woke up with three TDs in the fourth quarter for a 26-23 comeback win over the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
With the win, the Seahawks finish the season with a 12-4 record, their first 12-win season since 2014 and fifth overall in team history. The victory didn’t improve their standing for the NFC playoffs, however, as they remained the No. 3 seed with both top-seeded Green Bay and No. 2 seed New Orleans both winning Sunday.
Seattle will host the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Rams, who it split the season series with but most recently beat 20-9 in Week 16, in the first round of the playoffs at 1:40 p.m. next Saturday, Jan. 9.
The 49ers, who have been sharing a home field with the Arizona Cardinals for the past month due to restrictions on team sports activities in Santa Clara County in California, finish the season with a 6-10 record a year after reaching the Super Bowl.
Seattle was held to just two Jason Myers field goals through the first three quarters, and San Francisco kicker Tristan Vizcaino hit a pair in the third quarter after making one shortly before halftime, giving the Niners a 9-6 advantage going into the fourth. San Francisco’s offense wasn’t done, either, as a Jeff Wilson Jr. touchdown run made it 16-6 with over 14 minutes to go.
That’s when the sleepy Seahawks offense woke up in a furious fashion.
Wilson and running back Chris Carson led an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 6-yard TD pass to Lockett to cut the 49ers’ lead to four points (Myers missed the extra point attempt).
A stop by Seattle’s defense opened the door for the offense to take the lead, and the Seahawks kicked it down. Lockett again was the man in the end zone making the catch, this time a 4-yarder on a nail-biting fourth down, and Myers hit the PAT to make it 19-16.
Fourth down? No problem for @TDLockett12 as he gets the touchdown and his 100th catch of the season! 🙌
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 4, 2021
That’s when the defense put the game away, with Benson Mayowa hitting 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard’s arm as he threw and Rasheem Green recovering the fumble. An 8-yard Alex Collins TD run later and the Hawks were up 26-16 with less than two minutes left, which helped as the 49ers added one score inside the final minute.
Lockett was the star of the Seahawks’ offense, making 12 catches for 90 yards and the two touchdowns, breaking Seattle’s single season record for receptions along the way. DK Metcalf had three catches for 21 yards, and he also broke a record Sunday – most receiving yards in a season by a Seahawks player.
Russell Wilson completed 20 of 36 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns. On a day when San Francisco really limited Seattle’s ability to throw downfield, perhaps the biggest stat was that Wilson and the offense committed zero turnovers.
Carson had 44 yards rushing on 11 carries plus 39 yards receiving on a pair of catches.
Benson Mayowa had two sacks and a forced fumble and Rasheem Green had a sack and fumble recovery for the Hawks’ defense.
Beathard, the third-string QB who the 49ers had to turn to due to injury, threw for 273 yards and a touchdown on 25 for 37 passing.
Fred Warner had 10 tackles, a sack and two QB hits to lead a strong defensive effort by San Francisco.
The 49ers’ late touchdown ended Seattle’s streak of holding opponents to 17 points or less in five straight games. Still, the Seahawks haven’t allowed more than 23 points in a game for eight straight weeks going into the playoffs.
Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at the Seahawks’ win.
Seahawks 3, 49ers 0
The Seahawks’ offense struggled to find its footing early on, but luckily for Seattle its defense continued to be as stingy as possible.
San Francisco had just one first down over its first three series against the Seahawks’ defense, adding up to just 29 yards on nine plays. A big stop of five-time Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk on third-and-1 forced the 49ers to punt on their opening drive, and San Francisco had yet to reach even its own 35-yard line by the end of the quarter.
The Seahawks punted on each of their first series as well, picking up just one first down along the way, but they got close enough on a 10-play drive for kicker Jason Myers to hit a 36-yard field goal. Running back Chris Carson had the big play of the quarter for Seattle to set up Myers’ kick, hauling in a short pass from Russell Wilson that he turned into a 29-yard gain.
SEA – Jason Myers 36 FG, 2:12
Seahawks 6, 49ers 3
Just like the week before, the Seahawks’ game went into halftime with all of the scoring coming from field goals. Unlike that game against the Rams, this time Seattle took a lead into the break, small as it may have been.
Myers hit a 30-yard field goal to push the Seahawks’ lead to 6-0 with over nine minutes left, but the 49ers finally broke through with a pair of conversions on third down in their final drive of the first half, setting up former UW Huskies kicker Tristan Vizcaino for a 36-yard field goal to cut Seattle’s advantage to three points.
The Seahawks’ offense had highlights despite not finding the end zone in the first half for the second game in a row. That would be that both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett set franchise records – in the same series, no less.
Metcalf made catches on back-to-back plays to break Steve Largent’s longstanding team record for receiving yards in a season, and Lockett broke Seattle’s record for catches in a season. Lockett also eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards on the year, giving the Seahawks two receivers with over 1,000 yards for the first time since Joey Galloway and Brian Blades in 1995.
SEA – Myers 30 FG, 9:31
SF – Tristan Vizcaino 36 FG, :29
49ers 9, Seahawks 6
On the one hand, the 49ers came into the week as the No. 5 defense in the NFL based on yards allowed per game (316.7), so San Francisco is a tough team to move the ball on even if its missing some key players due to injury. But on the other hand, the Seahawks’ offense was providing plenty of cause for concern just a week before the start of the playoffs.
Though the Seattle defense continued to keep San Francisco out of the end zone, the 49ers were able to get a pair of Vizcaino field goals in the third quarter. And with the Seahawks’ offense coming up empty in the quarter after going into halftime with only six points, that resulted in San Francisco moving into a 9-6 advantage.
Making matters even worse for Seattle was defensive tackle Jarran Reed leaving the game and being ruled questionable to return with an abdominal injury. He already had a bruised sternum coming into Sunday.
The Seahawks went three-and-out on two drives in the third, and they picked up all of 3 yards in those six plays. Russell Wilson was 0 for 4 on passing attempts in those two series.
SF – Vizcaino 47 FG, 9:36
SF – Vizcaino 33 FG, 6:23
Seahawks 26, 49ers 23
It had to go from bad to worse for the Seahawks before the offense started to wake up.
The 49ers built on their three-point lead early in the quarter with Jeff Wilson Jr. plunging into the end zone on a 7-yard rush, giving San Francisco a two-score lead with a little over 14 minutes to go. It was the first touchdown allowed by the Seahawks’ defense since the fourth quarter of their Week 15 win over Washington.
With the odds sufficiently stacked against Seattle, Russell Wilson and company showed life for the first time all day.
The Seahawks rushed down the field on an eight-play, 75-yard drive that included a pair of big runs by Chris Carson, multiple completions to Lockett and a 20-yard pass from Wilson to tight end Will Dissly. Lockett caught an incredible 6-yard pass from Wilson to cap off the drive with a touchdown.
.@TDLockett12 for the touchdown and we'll add 6️⃣ to the score!
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 3, 2021
The Seahawks’ defense came up with a stop on the next 49ers series, but it came at a cost. Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams went to the locker room and was ruled questionable to return with a shoulder injury. The former New York Jet was excited about his first trip to the playoffs but his availability for the postseason may now be in question. He was shown on the bench multiple times late in the game on the TV broadcast looking particularly despondent.
Another injury bit the Seahawks’ offense shortly after. Running back Rashaad Penny, who was playing his third game back after missing an entire year following a torn ACL, limped off the field.
Still, the offense made the most of the drive with Lockett hauling in a 4-yard pass for his second touchdown in as many series to put Seattle ahead for good.
Rasheem Green recovered a 49ers fumble created by Benson Mayowa hitting 49ers QB C.J. Beathard as he threw to give the ball back to the Seahawks to put the game away. Alex Collins then tacked on an 8-yard TD run to give Seattle a 10-point lead with less than two minutes to go.
.@Budda03 fights his way to the end zone for a touchdown! 😤
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 4, 2021
San Francisco had one last gasp with Wilson Jr. catching a 3-yard TD pass from Beathard to make it 26-23, but Seattle handled the onside kick and ran the clock out.
SF – Jeff Wilson Jr. 7 run (Vizcaino kick), 14:22
SEA – Tyler Lockett 6 pass from Russell Wilson (kick failed), 11:04
SEA – Lockett 4 pass from Russell Wilson (Myers kick), 2:20
SEA – Alex Collins 8 run (Myers kick), 1:49
SF – Wilson 3 pass from C.J. Beathard (Vizcaino kick), :23