The San Francisco 49ers hosted the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium to cap off a wild NFL Week 10 on Monday Night Football.
All I can really say is, wow.
A battle of NFC West heavyweights, this one did not disappoint. The 49ers opened up a 10-0 lead early, but a game-changing defensive touchdown got the Seahawks right back in it. At the half, San Francisco led 10-7.
Turnovers by both teams created an insane second half in which the Seahawks took a 21-10 lead and appeared to have all the momentum, only to have it ripped away from them by San Francisco’s dominant defense.
Rookie kicker Chase McLaughlin, who was only signed this past week because Robbie Gould is injured, nailed a 47-yard field goal at the end of the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it to overtime.
In the overtime period…well, you’ll see.
These were the biggest winners and losers from Monday Night Football.
Winner: Dre Greenlaw steals it
In overtime, predictably, Russell Wilson took over. The Seahawks won the toss, and Wilson proceeded to slay the 49ers’ defense.
Then, this happened.
San Francisco’s offense did enough to get into field goal range, but then, McLaughlin missed a 47-yard field goal that would have won the game.
Loser: 49ers offensive line was a train wreck
Many 49ers fans were ecstatic because starting offensive tackles Mike McGlinchey and Joe Staley were both back in action after weeks out due to injury. Both of them were brutally bad on Monday night as San Francisco’s normally reliable offensive line had its worst game of the season.
Jimmy Garoppolo was under pressure more often than not when he dropped back to pass. The 49ers normally potent run game was largely shut down. Seattle’s defense got into the backfield at will, leading to multiple turnovers, which turned into 21 points for the Seahawks.
It was a thoroughly disappointing outing for the entire offensive line.
Winner: Clowney, destroyer of worlds
Coming into this Monday Night Football game, one of the big questions we had was whether the Seahawks could generate pressure defensively. They had not done much of that prior to this contest.
Jadeveon Clowney quickly made a statement on the game’s first drive with multiple pressures and hits on Jimmy Garoppolo, and that trend continued throughout the first half. Then, near the end of the second quarter, Jarran Reed strip-sacked Garoppolo, and Clowney scooped the ball up and rumbled in for the defensive touchdown (watch here).
Clowney was in the backfield all night long. He finished the game with five tackles, one sack, five quarterback hits and a ton of leverage on his next contract.
Loser: 49ers receivers were brutally bad
With George Kittle out due to his knee injury, we knew the 49ers needed to get some big performances from other receivers. Then, Emmanuel Sanders suffered a rib injury, which put the onus even more on young players to step up. Deebo Samuel did just that, with eight catches for 112 yards, but even he dropped a gimme on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The 49ers did not get much help outside of Samuel. Kendrick Bourne had a pass go right through his hands for a pivotal interception in the third quarter, and he dropped a pass right in his hands that would have set the 49ers up first-and-goal midway through the fourth. Veteran Marquise Goodwin dropped multiple passes. Dante Pettis has become invisible in his second season. Nobody really stepped up, drops were an epidemic, and Seattle’s mediocre secondary never got tested.
Did we mention that drops were a problem?
Winner: 49ers defense was unreal
The 49ers were reeling late in the second quarter, and it appeared the Seahawks were set to take a 14-10 lead right before halftime. Then, Jaquiski Tartt made one of the biggest defensive plays of the season.
Seahawks rookie sensation D.K. Metcalf caught a screen pass and had a head of steam. He appeared to be poised to get the ball in for a score. Then, Tartt simply ripped the ball out of the heavily muscled Metcalf in a stunning display of strength.
Originally, the ref on the sideline ruled that Metcalf was out of bounds at around the 2-yard line. However, after the play was reviewed for quite some time, it was correctly determined that Metcalf stayed in bounds, and that Tartt ripped the ball out and had possession before falling into the end zone (watch here).
Then in the second half, the 49ers defense scored an incredible touchdown. Linebacker Fred Warner forced a fumble on Russell Wilson, and then Germain Ifedi grabbed it. Then he fumbled, and DeForest Buckner scooped and scored.
The 49ers defense, overall, was absolutely tremendous. In no way can you place the blame of this loss on this unit.
Loser: Jimmy Garoppolo ball security
Jimmy Garoppolo turned the ball over three times, leading to 21 points for the Seahawks.
As we noted previously, the interception Garoppolo threw was not really on him. Bourne had the ball go right through his hands. But the two lost fumbles were certainly Garoppolo’s responsibility. One of them was returned for a touchdown, and the other led to an easy offensive score.
The Seahawks never got any momentum going offensively until overtime. But the extra opportunities afforded to them by Garoppolo were the reason the 49ers couldn’t put it away in regulation in the first place.
Winner: Once again, Russ was clutch
Russell Wilson is the league MVP, no disrespect to Lamar Jackson.
With 85 seconds left in overtime, Wilson engineered a seven-play, 40-yard drive that was highlighted by this stunning play.
Then, with time expiring, Jason Meyers kicked the game-winning field goal to win it, 27-24.
When Wilson needed to make plays, he did — that interception in overtime notwithstanding. He found a way.
Now the Seahawks are just one game behind the 49ers in the loss column, and there are no more undefeated teams in the NFL.