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Instant Classic: Seahawks win 27-24 in OT to hand 49ers 1st loss

Four times, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was given an opportunity to hand San Francisco its first loss of the 2019 season.

That was one too many for the 49ers.

Seahawks 27, 49ers 24: Defense makes statement3 stars710 Reaction

New San Francisco kicker Chase McLaughlin missed what would have been a game-winning field goal in overtime, and Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense set up Jason Myers for a 42-yarder that sent Seattle to a huge 27-24 win with no time left in the extra period.

With the win, the Seahawks move to 8-2 on the season. The 49ers, meanwhile, fall to 8-1, allowing Seattle to inch ever closer to them for the lead both in the NFC West and overall NFC standings.

Wilson nearly delivered the victory twice before his final game-winning drive.

First, he set up Myers for a 46-yard field goal inside the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, giving Seattle a 24-24 lead. The 1:45 that left on the clock proved to be too much, however, as San Francisco tied with a second left in regulation on a 47-yarder from McGlaughlin, who signed with the team prior to the game due to an injury to regular 49ers kicker Robbie Gould.

Wilson got the ball to start overtime for the second straight week, and while he led Seattle to a game-winning touchdown against Tampa Bay eight days prior, he was picked off for just the second time all season at the most inopportune of moments against the 49ers. San Francisco linebacker Dre Greenlaw leapt up to intercept a pass intended for tight end Jacob Hollister in the red zone, then returned it 47 yards to just inside Seattle territory. That set up McGlaughlin’s chance to win the game, but he missed for the first time in four field goal attempts on the night.

Seattle and San Francisco traded punts inside the final two minutes of overtime before the Seahawks pulled off their winning drive.

Wilson completed 24 of 34 passes for 232 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and ran for 53 yards on six carries. Running back Chris Carson led all rushers with 89 yards on the ground, and he also had a score on 25 carries. DK Metcalf had a team-high 70 receiving yards on six catches, while Hollister led Seattle receivers with eight catches and finished with 62 yards and a touchdown.

Myers bounced back following his worst game of the year, hitting a pair of big field goals late from over 40 yards just eight days after a missing a kick that would have delivered a Seattle win over Tampa Bay in regulation in Week 9.

The star of the game for Seattle, however, was Jadeveon Clowney, who led the best defensive effort of the season for the Seahawks. The defensive end had five solo tackles, a sack, five QB hits, forced a fumble and returned a separate fumble 10 yards for a game-changing touchdown in the second quarter that helped getting things going in Seattle’s direction after they fell behind 10-0.

First quarter

49ers 10, Seahawks 0

The Seahawks’ defense had a chance to get off on the right foot at Levi’s Stadium, but penalties prevented Seattle from doing so.

Three big flags bailed out the 49ers as McLaughlin was able to connect on a 43-yard field goal to end their first offensive series. No flag was bigger than a defensive holding call that ended up wiping out what would have been cornerback Shaquill Griffin’s first interception of the year in what has been a strong third pro season. But instead of getting the ball inside San Francisco territory, the Seahawks ended up giving the 49ers a fresh set of downs inside Seattle territory.

The Seahawks’ offense didn’t have much to offer on its first drive. The lone highlight was All-Pro punter Michael Dickson’s booming 57-yard kick that put the Niners all the way back at their own 17, coming a play after San Francisco defensive tackle D.J. Jones ran through Seattle center Joey Hunter for a very impressive sack of Wilson.

While the Seahawks’ defense did OK on San Francisco’s first series (penalties notwithstanding), the 49ers had little trouble the second time around despite having a long field to work with. Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners sliced through Seattle’s D, needing just seven plays to go 83 yards to find the end zone on a 10-yard pass from Garoppolo to Kendrick Bourne on third-and-8.

Seattle went three-and-out a second time before the end of the first quarter, and they ended the frame with just five yards on six plays. San Francisco had eight first downs while holding the Seahawks to none.

SF – Chase McLaughlin 43 FG (3-0 SF), 8:19
SF – Kendrick Bourne 10 pass from Jimmy Garoppolo (McLaughlin kick, 10-0 SF), 2:03

Second quarter

49ers 10, Seahawks 7

The 2019 Seahawks season has been weird. How weird? Well, after scooping up a Garoppolo fumble on a Jarran Reed sack and taking it to the end zone, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had the same amount of touchdowns in 2019 as he did sacks – two. That’s just about as weird as the fact that the Seahawks were in the game going into halftime after their offense’s best series of the half ended in a lost fumble (we’ll get to that).

In what was undoubtedly the biggest play of the half for Seattle, Clowney’s fumble return brought the Hawks within a field goal of the 49ers’ lead in a game where their offense struggled to get anything going.

The defense stepped up in the second quarter to get the Seahawks back into the game, shaking off a rough showing in the first. San Francisco was forced into a three-and-out on its first series of the quarter, then had to punt again after seven plays on its second. Then on its third, Reed got to Garoppolo on second down at the 49ers’ 23, allowing the offensive juggernaut that is Clowney to get Seattle on the board.

Seattle continued to stifle the 49ers on the next drive, as San Francisco’s offense looked all out of sorts and had to punt on another three-and-out.

That gave the Seahawks the ball in their favorite offensive situation – inside a two-minute warning. Tyler Lockett gave them great field position, too, returning the punt 20 yards into San Francisco territory, and the Hawks looked to be in position to possibly take the lead going into the half. DK Metcalf took a short pass and nearly found his way into the end zone on a 26-yard reception, too, but 49ers defensive back Jaquiski Tartt stripped Metcalf of the ball at the 2 on a very confusing play that took some time for the officials to sort out after a challenge flag.

San Francisco eventually kneeled to end the half with a three-point advantage.

SEA – Jadeveon Clowney 10 fumble return (Jason Myers kick, 10-7 SF), 2:51

Third quarter

Seahawks 21, 49ers 10

Here’s the thing about the third quarter during the 2019 Seattle Seahawks football season: It rarely means anything.

Until Week 10, apparently.

In the quarter when the Seahawks usually tread water or see a small deficit grow a little larger, they flipped the script on Monday night against the last undefeated team in the NFL – and that’s even though disaster nearly struck multiple times for Seattle. First, Rashaad Penny fumbled the ball away to end the Seahawks’ first series of the second half. Then their next drive ended with a shanked punt. Neither of those things ended up mattering.

That’s because the Seahawks’ defense suddenly turned into the best version of itself that has been seen this year.

New safety Quandre Diggs got things going with Seattle’s second takeaway of the night, hauling in a tipped pass and running it back 44 yards to the San Francisco 16.

Gifted with a short field, the Seahawks scored three plays later on a 3-yard pass from Wilson to Hollister – who made a great catch – and suddenly Seattle had a 14-10 lead.

Clowney was next to make a big impact in the quarter. The star defensive end put a stop to another 49ers drive, getting to Garoppolo on second-and-18 for a strip sack that allowed Poona Ford the opportunity to recover the ball for the Hawks. With the ball at the 49ers’ 24, Seattle needed just a few plays to find its way into the end zone once more on a 1-yard plunge by Carson, giving the Seahawks a commanding 21-10 advantage.

For once, the third quarter was where Seattle turned things around in their favor.

Injury note: Hollister was the last tight end available for Seattle after Luke Willson was ruled out for the rest of the game at halftime with a hamstring injury.

SEA – Jacob Hollister 3 pass from Russell Wilson (Myers kick, 14-10 SEA), 4:37
SEA – Chris Carson 1 run (Myers kick, 21-10 SEA), 1:42

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 24, 49ers 24

As well as the last half of the third quarter went for the Seahawks, the first half of the fourth quarter went just as well for the 49ers.

San Francisco took a page out of Seattle’s book with a defensive touchdown, as Wilson and Germain Ifedi both fumbled on the same play, and DeForest Buckner ended up with a scoop-and-score that brought the 49ers within three points. Those three points came after Seahawks cornerback Tre Flowers nearly picked off a tipped pass but just couldn’t hang on, allowing McLaughlin to hit a 39-yard field goal to tie things up with just over six minutes to go.

We won’t get into the penalties that could have been called against the 49ers but weren’t, but there definitely were some that could have made a big difference. The important thing is that Seattle got the ball with the right amount of time for Wilson to do what he does late in a game: Put the Seahawks in position for a winning score.

On third-and-6, Wilson did exactly that, connecting with new wide receiver Josh Gordon for his first receptions as a Seahawk, giving Seattle 13 yards, a first down and the ball near field goal territory. Some Carson runs got the Hawks even closer, and it came down to Myers in his first field goal opportunity since a disastrous game eight days prior when he missed a chance to hit a game-winner at the end of regulation.

This time, Myers nailed the kick from 46 yards out and under two minutes to go.

Only there was too much time on the clock.

Despite making big stops several times in the second half, the Seahawks’ defense couldn’t do it again. Seattle had multiple near-interceptions, too, but San Francisco put together three first downs, setting up McLaughlin to hit a 47-yard field goal that sent the game to overtime.

SF – DeForest Buckner 12 fumble return (McLaughlin kick, 21-18 SEA), 12:01
SF – McLaughlin 39 FG (21-21), 6:17
SEA – Myers 46 FG (24-21 SEA), 1:45
SF – McLaughlin 47 FG (24-24), :01

Overtime

Seahawks 27, 49ers 24

Seattle outlasted the 49ers even though they played the extra period without No. 1 wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who was sidelined with a lower leg injury.

SEA – Myers 42 FG (27-24 SEA), :00

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