4 Takeaways from the 49ers 27-24 Overtime Loss to Seattle
Monday night football in week 10 between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks was the most anticipated game lined up. The 49ers have been dominating teams left and right to lead themselves to an 8-0 record. Although they entered Monday night’s game perfect, the 49ers were anything but that.
Turnovers, drops, poor containment and an overtime missed kick resulted in San Francisco’s first loss of the season. Both teams overcame double-digit deficits and forced game-changing takeaways, but a Jason Myers field goal wound up being the difference in Seattle’s 27-24 win. This being said, it’s not the end of the world for the 8-1 49ers.
They still lead the NFC West by a half game in the standings, and control their own destiny when it comes to making the playoffs. So lets take a look at the four takeaways from the San Francisco 49ers 24-27 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Absence of Sanders and Kittle Dramatically Felt
The 49ers’ depth was once again tested on Monday night by injuries. Although the 49ers welcomed back starting offensive tackles Joe Staley, Mike McGlinchey and fullback Kyle Juszczyk, they still found themselves short-handed to begin the game. All-Pro kicker Robbie Gould and star tight end George Kittle were sidelined for the game and linebacker Kwon Alexander is out for the year.
To make matters worse, Emmanuel Sanders and D.J. Jones, both who were making early impacts, exited the game with injuries. The lack of Garoppolo’s top two targets, Kittle and Sanders, was very apparent as ineffectiveness and drops plagued the offense for most of the game.
Their absences presented big opportunities for Deebo Samuel, Dante Pettis and Kendrick Bourne. Although Samuel had a strong showing (eight catches for 112 yards), Bourne and Pettis had devastating drops. Bourne did come away with some big plays (three first-half third down catches, a touchdown and a two-point conversion), but his first-half drop, which landed in Seattle defensive back Quandre Diggs’ hands, led to an eventual touchdown.
Garoppolo struggled to repeat his performance last Thursday. The Seattle pass rush made matters much worse as they hit Garoppolo every chance they got. Garoppolo was able to put together a great game-tying drive at the end of regulation, finding running back Tevin Coleman, tight end Ross Dwelley and Samuel, but more drops in overtime led to the eventual loss.
Heroics of the Replacements Spoiled
The 49ers have been forced to overcome numerous injuries this season. Despite the injuries, their roster depth remains unmatched by all.Two key substitutes, linebacker Dre Greenlaw and kicker Chase McLaughlin, made two huge plays on Monday. Although he wound up missing a potential game-winning field goal, the 49ers would not have gotten to that point without McLaughlin’s leg.
The rookie, who was filling in for the injured Gould, nailed a game-tying field goal (his third make) to send the game to overtime. With that kick he became 3-for-3 on attempts for the night and immediately looked like an upgrade over Gould. In overtime, Greenlaw, replacing Kwon Alexander in the starting lineup, made a would-be play of the day, intercepting potential-MVP Russell Wilson in the red zone to set up a game-winning drive.
Greenlaw’s pick presented McLaughlin with a chance to etch his name in 49er lore with a game-winning attempt, but he hooked the kick. The Seahawks then took the ball down into San Francisco territory where Myers converted his game-winning attempt to hand the 49ers their first loss.
Tartt, Warner, Williams and Buckner Powered the Defense
Trailing 21-10 in the fourth quarter, the 49ers’ offense was struggling to find any momentum. Rather than sit back, the 49ers’ defense decided to take things into their own hands. On second-and-7, Arik Armstead and K’Waun Williams combined to grab quarterback Russell Wilson. The pair, aided by Seattle offensive linemen Germain Ifedi, were able to force the ball into Ifedi’s hands.
The inexperienced ball carrier then had the ball punched out of his own hands by linebacker Fred Warner, allowing DeForest Buckner to scoop up the ball and score a huge touchdown. This wasn’t the first momentum shifting fumble of the day. Despite the 49ers dominating the first 27 minutes of the game, the Seahawks came roaring back before the half. Jarran Reed strip-sacked Garoppolo and Seattle edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney scooped it up for a touchdown.
The Seahawks were in the midst of a lead-changing drive before the half as they quickly forced a 49er punt and made their way deep into San Francisco territory. The defense needed to make a play if they were to hold the lead, and they found it in an unlikely way. Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf hauled in a pass from quarterback Russell Wilson and powered inside the five yard line.
While Metcalf’s focus turned to the end zone, San Francisco safety Jaquiski Tartt began to fight for the ball, ripping it out of the receiver’s hands for a drive-saving forced fumble and recovery. The fumble saved the first half for the 49ers, allowing them to enter the locker room with a 10-7 halftime lead. Quite possibly the most impactful player for San Francisco, however, was Warner. The middle linebacker set the tone for the defense with 10 tackles, two sacks, two QB hits, a pass deflection and a forced fumble.
Clowney and Diggs Preyed on Mistakes
If there’s been any knock on the 49ers this season, it’s been their propensity to turn the ball over.San Francisco overcame the five-turnover performance against Pittsburgh thanks to the defense bailing out the offense. Monday night, however, the 49ers were not as lucky as their three turnovers led to 21 Seattle points.
The first turnover, a Jarran Reed strip-sack that edge rusher Clowney scooped up for a touchdown, was the start of a trend: Clowney manhandling the 49ers. The former Texan was acquired by Seattle to do what he did Monday, disrupting the 49ers’ entire game plan. Seattle capitalized on another San Francisco mistake when Quandre Diggs intercepted a pass dropped by wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, and returned it into 49er territory.
Clowney had five tackles, a sack, five QB hits and that touchdown while Diggs had an interception to set up a Seattle touchdown. The 49ers constantly shot themselves in the foot. Just the fact that they were able to take the game down to the final seconds of overtime is a testament to their winning mentality. As tough of a loss as this was, it was encouraging to see the team continue to fight back despite so many errors.