This was an incredible game. A complete mess, but incredible.
To the neutral it was probably the game of the season. To Seahawks and 49ers fans it was exhausting.
Both teams made a horrendous number of mistakes. The ref’s were appalling — for both teams. And yet somehow the game was overflowing with moments of brilliance and high drama (again, by both teams).
I can’t remember a game like it. The early dominance from San Francisco before the Seahawks scored 21 points on turnovers. A Jimmy Garoppolo pick and one that was called back by a flag. A fumble by Garoppolo returned for a touchdown. A fumble by Russell Wilson (shared by Germain Ifedi) returned for a touchdown. Two late dropped interceptions by K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. One brilliantly caught interception by Dre Greenlaw to seemingly deny the Seahawks a win. A missed kick by Chase McLaughlin to keep them alive.
And a week after having possibly the worst game of his career against Tampa Bay, Jason Myers kicked the winning field goal.
It had practically everything. It was unpredictable, it was maddening, it was exciting and it tired you out.
Players on both teams left the field with injuries. The Seahawks are fortunate to have a bye week next. They’ll feel this one tomorrow.
It was physical, majestic, ridiculous and rubbish all in one go.
Both teams contributed. Both teams deserve credit. Both teams looked like contenders.
The Niners have looked that way for several weeks. For the first time, the Seahawks looked the part tonight. It’s all thanks to an improved defensive performance.
Wilson wasn’t at his best. The entire offense struggled against San Francisco’s punishing unit.
Yet a defense that hadn’t done anything all year suddenly burst into life, thanks to a career-best performance from Jadeveon Clowney.
All those years of promise at South Carolina and the gradual development at Houston came to a crescendo here. This was a player making a statement — for future earnings and for status.
Suddenly, when well supported by the rest of the unit, Clowney was an unstoppable force. He was no longer a one-man band. The Seahawks have found the player they need to build their D-line around for the long haul.
Garoppolo looked rattled. They limited the Niners to 87 rushing yards at 3.2 YPC. They had five sacks (and it could’ve been six had the awful refs not flagged Quinton Jefferson on one of several weak calls).
Clowney wasn’t alone. Shaquille Griffin had a remarkable third down PBU in overtime. The rest of the D-line stepped up to the plate and Quandre Diggs announced his arrival with two big hits and an interception.
Combine this type of defensive performance with Seattle’s quarterback and general offensive play and things are looking up.
There were some negatives to discuss in more detail at a later date. Ziggy Ansah was essentially benched for Shaquem Griffin — an acknowledgement that it isn’t working for Ansah and that they need more speed off the edge. D.K. Metcalf — as good as he is — can’t high-point a football and that needs to change with his size and talent. They also lost three more fumbles, taking their season total to 11 in 10 games.
Some context is also required in the sheer number of injuries San Francisco has. The Seahawks are working without Will Dissly and Justin Britt and lost Tyler Lockett in the game. The Niners were also without George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders, Azeez Al-Shaair, D.J. Jones and Ronald Blair left the game, Ahkello Witherspoon didn’t play and Weston Richburg missed some time.
Nevertheless, this was one the Seahawks had to have. And they got it. In the most elongated, ridiculously dramatic fashion they’re 5-0 on the road. And rather than stew on one that got away for two weeks, Seahawks fans can instead dare to dream.
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