The Big Plays: Seattle Seahawks fall 28-16 to San Francisco 49ers

Dec 10, 2023, 4:12 PM | Updated: 5:26 pm

Seattle Seahawks 49ers George Kittle...

San Francisco's George Kittle waves to the fans in the fourth quarter of a game against the Seattle Seahawks. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ midseason spin is turning into a late-season one.

The Hawks lost 28-16 to the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, pushing Seattle’s losing streak to four.

Niners 28, Seahawks 16: Instant Reaction | Recap | Box score

Seattle fell to 6-7 on the season despite an admirable effort by backup quarterback Drew Lock, who made his first start in two seasons with the Seahawks. Regular starter Geno Smith was inactive with a groin injury suffered this week in practice.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Seahawks next week, as they’ll meet the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.

Tempers flare in Hawks’ loss to 49ers; DK among two ejected

Here’s a look at the big plays from Sunday’s loss.

First quarter

β€’ The Niners wasted no time getting on the board, with superstar running back Christian McCaffrey taking a handoff on the opening play from scrimmage 72 yards, giving San Francisco an almost immediate goal-line opportunity.

On the very next play, Jordan Mason plunged into the end zone from the 3-yard line for a touchdown, making it 7-0 San Francisco less than a minute into the game.

β€’ Drew Lock and star receiver DK Metcalf had an answer for the Seahawks, connecting on this beautiful 31-yard touchdown pass to tie the game 7-7 just over five minutes into the first quarter. Per Next Gen Stats, it was the fourth-most improbable TD pass of the year.

What’s to make of Drew Lock playing solid in first Seahawks start?

Second quarter

β€’ With Seattle leading 10-7 thanks to a Jason Myers field goal, the defense preserved the lead with this Julian Love interception of 49ers QB Brock Purdy.

β€’ San Francisco took the lead back when its own star wideout, Deebo Samuel, turned a Purdy pass into a 54-yard touchdown. That made it 14-10 with 8:18 until halftime.

Third quarter

β€’ As Purdy scrambled out of the pocket, San Francisco receiver Brandon Aiyuk got behind the Seahawks’ secondary for a 45-yard gain to open a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Samuel would eventually punch it in from a yard out on an end-around, pushing the Niners’ lead to 21-10.

β€’ The Seahawks got back within a score by using some trickery that was probably familiar to San Francisco. Lock faked to both his left and right, then hit tight end Colby Parkinson down the middle for a 25-yard touchdown, which looked a lot like a touchdown Purdy threw to 49ers tight end George Kittle last season against the Seahawks (watch here). Seattle failed a two-point try, however, leaving the score 21-16.

Fourth quarter

β€’ Speaking of Kittle, he made his presence known two plays into the final frame with a 44-yard touchdown reception from Purdy, pushing San Francisco’s lead to a much more comfortable 28-16.

β€’ The Seahawks’ chances of mounting a comeback took a hit when a deep back from Lock intended for Metcalf was picked off by Ji’Ayir Brown with about 14 minutes to go. (But not that big of a hit, as you’ll soon see.)

β€’ Seattle’s defense produced a takeaway of its own just two plays later, with Love adding a forced fumble to his earlier interception. Riq Woolen fell on the fumble for the recovery, as the Seahawks started a new drive at its own 20 with a little over 13 minutes left.

β€’ An interception by Niners linebacker Fred Warner pretty much ended any hopes the Seahawks had left – and set off a fracas on the field between the two rival teams, after which Metcalf and San Francisco cornerback Deommodore Lenoir were ejected.

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The Big Plays: Seattle Seahawks fall 28-16 to San Francisco 49ers