NFC West Reporter
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — It takes just one play to turn a team from indifference to rage.
For the San Francisco 49ers, the play occurred on the team’s first drive of the second half, but surprisingly trailed by the upstart Seattle Seahawks, who had been the more physical team up to that point.
However, the 49ers had a 21-yard pass play on third-and-7 from Seattle’s 37-yard line that finished in the red zone when Seattle safety Jonathan Abram unnecessarily pulled receiver Deebo Samuel’s right ankle. , was a big shock. .
San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan became so angry that his star receiver fell onto the field and was injured, and he ran out on the field to complain to officials.
“I got a little crazy about it,” Shanahan said. “I was really worried he was injured. It pissed off our team, and our team will react to it afterwards.”
Abram should have been flagged for a personal foul, but did not play.
“I was almost pissed off, so I kept a little still,” Samuel said. “You can see our team definition on IGYB — I got your back.”
Tight end George Kittle and the others headed to his teammates’ defense as Samuel gestured to nearby officials that he was on the ground and had no phone.
“I don’t know why you want to piss off Deebo,” Kittle said. “But if you do that to him, you’re only going to piss off Trent Williams, one of the most feared men in football.
“You activate our entire defense, you activate your entire team, so I don’t know what that means…”
A minor scrum between the two teams ensued, as Kittle said, with other San Francisco players joining in and players pushing and pushing before the referee split it up.
Appropriately motivated, San Francisco took a five-player lead after rookie Brock Purdy sneaked the quarterback for 1 yard, and the 49ers escaped the Seahawks to 41 in the NFC Wild Card Contest at Levi’s Stadium. -23 wins. Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the 49ers will either host the Minnesota Vikings if they beat the New York Giants on Sunday or become the winner of the Monday Night Football contest between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 49ers took an early 10-0 lead, then overslept a Seattle-dominated second quarter. The Seahawks outscored San Francisco 17–6 in the quarter, including a 56-yard field goal created due to San Francisco’s poor execution of a squib kickoff.
Shanahan wasn’t happy with his team’s performance going into halftime, but after Samuel’s incident, the more talented 49ers finally woke up. San Francisco started the second half with 25 consecutive points. Did. It included a sizable catch of 74 yards and a run by Samuel that saw fellow receiver Brandon Ayuk seal Seattle cornerback Tariq Uhren 30 yards down the field to clear the way.
Samuel, who missed three games in December with a left knee injury, finished with a team-high six receptions for 133 yards on a rainy day.
Christian McCaffrey totaled 119 rushing yards on 15 carries. This includes a 68-yard run midway through the first quarter.
The 49ers overwhelmed Seattle in the second half. That’s what good teams do, making big plays to destroy inferior opponents.
But the team will get better as San Francisco moves deeper in the postseason, and the 49ers can’t afford to be content with hanging around a better team than Seattle for the majority of the game.
Playing in his first playoff game, Purdy was impressive, completing 18 of 30 passes for 332 yards, 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions, and a passer rating of 131.5. At 23, Purdy is the youngest player in NFL postseason history to threw for 300 of his yards and scored three touchdowns in a single game, surpassing childhood hero Dan His Marino. rice field.
Purdy was thrilled to learn at the postgame press conference that NBA star LeBron James praised him on social media and said he got the game.
“Did LeBron say that? Oh, that’s nice,” said Purdy, smiling.
For the half, the Seahawks have shown they can play evenly against one of the best teams in the NFL. However, San Francisco took control of the game by forcing Seattle quarterback Genno Smith into two turnovers.
Expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Seahawks were playing for house money after finishing 9-8 and advancing to the postseason.
“This team is going to be a really great team and I think the city of Seattle knows that,” said Seahawks safety Ryan Neal. Add a few more pieces and get back together and healthy and this team is going to be terrifying.There is no doubt that this organization has a very bright future.”
Eric D. Williams has covered the NFL for over a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter. @eric_d_williams.
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