San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo watched from the sidelines during the second half after injuring his calf against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara on Sun Oct 3, 2021 (AP News photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
SANTA CLARA, Calif—It was a tale of two halves and two quarterbacks.
The San Francisco 49ers contained Russel Wilson in the first half but the Seattle Seahawks quarterback shined in the second half to lead his team to a 28-21 victory on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium.
Seattle is now 2-2 on the season and in third place in the NFC West. San Francisco’s (2-2) second loss in a row has them anchoring the cellar after starting the season 2-0.
San Francisco jumped out to a good start scoring on their first possession. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was six for six for 70 yards that ended with a 21 yard touchdown reception to backup tight end Ross Dwelley.
The 49ers defense looked like the championship caliber defense it possessed that went to the Super Bowl two years ago.
They made life hell for the Seahawks offense in the first 27 minutes. They forced five straight three and outs and sacked Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson three times to force punts. Dee Ford led the way with 1.5 sacks and Nick Bosa also registered a sack.
Seattle after five offensive drives had a total of minus seven yards of offense.
However the Seahawks defense kept them in the game as they limited the 49ers to just seven points in the first half.
Wilson gave the Seahawks a spark just before halftime when he led a six play, 80 yard drive that resulted in a 12 yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf with 1:54 remaining in the first half.
“It totally felt like that,” said Seahawks head coach Pete Carrol regarding their first score as a momentum turner. “Because we had been playing well on defense. It’s like we kinda really need something to hang our hat on.”
Garoppolo suffered an apparent right calf injury during the first drive of the game. He played through the pain to finish the half. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan replaced him in the second half with rookie quarterback Trey Lance.
Garoppolo finished 14 of 23 for 165 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a rating of 79.1.
“I don’t know exactly what happened,” said Garoppolo. “Tweaked the calf. It hurt initially. I thought I’d keep trying, keep trying to go and just (it) just kept getting worse and worse, traveling down to the Achilles a little bit. Hoping for the best right now.”
Seattle carried that momentum over to the second half as they scored two touchdown in a span of 1:24 in the first five minutes of the third quarter.
Wilson rushed for a 16 yard touchdown where he turned the corner on the left side and made a diving effort for the pylon to extend Seattle’s lead to 14-7.
On the ensuing kickoff, Trenton Cannon fumbled the football and turned the ball over to the Seahawks inside the 20 yard line.
Two plays later Russell showed showed off some Houdini skills as he spun around to avoid being in the grasp of Bosa and looked to the right side and fired a ball into the endzone where Freddie Swain made a tough catch for the touchdown.
San Francisco didn’t go down quietly as they took advantage of a missed defensive assignment for Seattle.
Lance found Deebo Samuel all alone thanks to a blown coverage along the right sideline at the 50 yard line and Samuel raced the rest way of the way to pay dirt for a 75 yard touchdown reception that cut Seattle’s lead to 21-13.
“We had to make some moves on the fly, do some thing that he (Lance) was comfortable with. Thought we got better as we went,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan regarding Lance’s performance.
The extra point was taken by 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky, due to kicker Robbie Gould’s groin injury he suffered earlier in the game. Wishnowsky sent the kick wide left for the failed extra point attempt.
Seattle gave them selves an insurance score when they completed a 10 play, 81 yard drive capped off by a 14 yard rushing touchdown from Alex Collins with 12:07 remaining in the fourth quarter.
While Lance was able to extend plays with his quick feet, he also made some poor throws in the second half that resulted in stalled drives for San Francisco.
The 49ers cut the lead to a one-score game when Lance found Samuel in the end zone from eight yards out for Samuel’s second touchdown of the afternoon. Lance then rushed up the middle into the end zone for a successful two-point conversion with 1:20 left in the game.
Seattle was able to recover the onside kick and closed out the game leaving town snapping their two game losing streak.
Wilson finished with a respectable 16 of 23 for 149 yards, two touchdowns and a rating of 116.0.
Samuel was the lone bright spot for San Francisco as he finished with eight receptions for 156 yards and two TD’s. Lance ended going 9 of 18 for 157 yards and two touchdowns and a rating of 117.1.
GAME NOTES: The 49ers activated defensive lineman Maurice Hurst to the active roster before the game.
K’Wuan Williams, Elijah Mitchell, Josh Norman, Aaron Banks and Zach Kerr were inactive for San Francisco.
Dee Eskridge, Benson Mayowa, John Reid, Brandon Shell, Jamarco Jones and L.J. Collier were inactive for Seattle.
Seattle leads the all-time series 29-17.
Wilson has never lost three games in a row in his NFL career.
Tackle Trent Williams left the game in the 4th Q with an elbow injury and did not finish the game.
UP NEXT: San Francisco travels out to Arizona to take on the Cardinals on Sunday 10/10 at 1:25pm at State Farm Stadium.