49ers lose 26-23 to the Seahawks, finish season 6-10

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon breaks up a pass intended for Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) in the second half Sun Jan 3, 2021 (Rick Scuteri / The Associated Press)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz — San Francisco’s defense held the Seahawks scoreless for 27 minutes before the Seahawks woke up, scoring three touchdowns in the final period to slip by the 49ers 26-23 on Sunday afternoon at State Farm Stadium to close out the regular season.

Seattle (12-4) sweeps the regular season series from the 49ers. The Seahawks will be the three-seed in the playoffs where they will face the Los Angeles Rams on Wild Card Weekend in Seattle. This will be the third matchup between the two NFC West foes, with both teams splitting the regular season series 1-1.

Entering the fourth quarter, the 49ers held a 9-6 lead over the Seahawks. 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. would extend San Francisco’s lead to 16-6 on a 7-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

But Seattle responded behind quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Tyler Lockett big fourth quarter. Wilson avoided a tough 49ers pass rush, finding Lockett for a diving 6-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone capping off a 8-play, 75-yard drive cutting San Francisco’s lead to 16-12. Seattle kicker Jason Myers missed the extra point.

Following a 49ers’ punt on the ensuing drive, Wilson marched the Seahawks 85 yards on 14 plays and scored the go-ahead touchdown on fourth down on Wilson’s 4-yard toss to Lockett. Wilson completed 20-of-36 passing for 181 yards. Lockett finished with 12 catches for 90 yards.

Running back Alex Collins for an 8-yard touchdown with 1:49 left in the game to push Seattle’s lead to 26-16

San Francisco (6-10) falls to 1-7 in home games played at Levi’s Stadium and at State Farm Stadium this season. The 49ers were eliminated from playoff contention a few weeks ago and have been based in Arizona for more than a month because of coronavirus restrictions in Santa Clara county.

C.J. Beathard completed 25-of-37 passing for 273 yards and a touchdown, but his fumble late in the fourth quarter would set up Collins’ touchdown. Tristan Vizcaino, making his first career start, booted his first three NFL field goals after signing with the 49ers earlier this week.

It was Beathard’s second-straight start, who helped the 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals last week.

After rushing for a career-high 183 yards on 22 carries last week, Wilson rushed for 76 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns. With the 49ers trailing 26-16, Wilson caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Beathard to make the score 26-23.

Wilson finishes the season with 600 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns on 126 carries, becoming the fourth different player to lead the 49ers in rushing under head coach Kyle Shanahan. He follows Carlos Hyde, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert.

When you add in his two receiving touchdowns, Wilson has scored a career-high nine touchdowns this year.

 

 

 

49ers upset Cardinals 20-12 behind C.J. Beathard’s 3 TDs

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) holding intercepted ball that he picked off in the second half against the Arizona Cardinals on Sat Dec 26, 2020 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale (AP News photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz — With the 49ers already officially eliminated from the playoffs after losing to the Dallas Cowboys 41-33 in Week 15, didn’t mean that San Francisco had nothing to play for in 2020.

Like preventing their bitter rivals in the Arizona Cardinals from making it to the postseason. If the Cardinals don’t make the playoffs after entering Week 16 holding down the final spot in the NFC playoffs, they can thank the 49ers.

The 49ers pulled off the 20-12 upset over their State Farm Stadium tenants on Saturday afternoon.

San Francisco (6-9) avoided being swept by Arizona this season. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 24-20 in Week 1. Arizona (8-7) came into this season having swept the season series from San Francisco in five out of the last six seasons.

In his first start since Week 8 of the 2018 season, C.J. Beathard played with a steady hand in engineering the 49ers’ run-first offense which made his job that much easier. Beathard completed 13 of 22 passes for 182 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Beathard threw touchdown passes to running back Jeff Wilson and Kyle Juszczyk giving the 49ers a 14-6 lead late in the third quarter.

Entering Week 16, Beathard was 1-9 as a starting quarterback for San Francisco. He was pressed into action after injuries to Jimmy Garappolo and Nick Mullens.

Beathard was also sacked three times.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Juszczyk hauled in his second score of the game (Beathard’s third TD of the game) from nine yards out that gave the 49ers a 20-12 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

But it was Wilson that shouldered most of the offensive burden for the 49ers against the Cardinals. With Raheem Mostert placed on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain on Friday, Wilson rushed for a career-high 183 yards on 22 carries in his second start.

A day after most of the world opened presents on Christmas, the 49ers unwrapped tight end George Kittle and immediately felt his impact in the starting lineup.

The 49ers’ best and freshest player, Kittle looked healthy in his first game since Week 8 was on a pitch-count. He spent most of the time on the sideline as he rotated back and forth with Jordan Reed and Ross Dwelley. Kittle was targeted just once in the first half, catching a 24-yard pass with 6:22 left in the first quarter. He played 13 of the 49ers’ 26 snaps in the first half.

Kittle caught four passes for a team-high 92 yards. He caught all but one pass that was thrown his way.

San Francisco’s defense deserves a ton of credit for the 49ers’ win today.

Despite playing without three defensive lineman, including Javon Kinlaw, cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Jimmie Ward, the 49ers didn’t play like they were short-handed.

The 49ers were able to hold their own against Pro Bowl quarterback Kyler Murray.

Murray completed 31 of 50 passes for 247 yards, but was sacked three times and threw an interception. He also rushed for a team-high 75 yards on eight carries.

Arizona scored its first and only touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Kenyan Drake jumped on top of a pile and stretched his arm just far enough for a 1-yard touchdown. Murray couldn’t connect with DeAndre Hopkins on the 2-point conversion and the 49ers still led 14-12.

San Francisco’s defense leaned on linebackers Fred Warner (14 tackles) and Dre Greenlaw (7 tackles), while the defensive backfield was a major factor as cornerbacks Jason Verrett (7 tackles), Ahkello Witherspoon (7 tackles), K’Waun Williams (6 tackles) and safety Tarvarius Moore (11 tackles) limited Arizona receivers in yards-after-the-catch.

The 49ers held Hopkins in check, limiting the dynamic wide receiver to a team-high eight catches for 48 yards. A far cry from Week 1 where he caught a career-high 14 catches for 151 yards against the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.

Verrett who was primarily guarding Hopkins throughout the day made the biggest play of the first half, breaking up a well-thrown pass from Murray in the end zone that prevented a potential touchdown. The play forced Arizona to kick a field goal that gave San Francisco a 7-6 lead at halftime.

San Francisco’s biggest plays came on Arizona’s final two drives of the game, including the aforementioned Witherspoon’s interception of Murray’s pass in the end zone.

The 49ers wouldn’t have had to sweat out the game if kicker Robbie Gould didn’t miss two field goals and an extra point.

Gould who made his 400th career field in Week 15, missed field goals from 37 and 41 yards. He missed an extra point after Juszczyk’s second touchdown that kept the score at 20-12.

San Francisco plays its final “home” game against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium, while Arizona heads to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in the season finale.

Raiders head to Santa Clara for ‘Battle of the Bay’ with 49ers on Thursday Night Football

Photo credit: sports.yahoo.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — In a matchup that doesn’t have that much sizzle outside of the Bay Area, the Raiders will travel to Santa Clara, Calif to take on the San Francisco 49ers in primetime on Thursday Night Football on Nov. 1 with a 5:20 p.m. PT  kickoff from Levi’s Stadium.

This is the first regular season matchup between to the franchises since 2014, in which the Raiders (1-6) won that meeting 24-13 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The game would turn out to be one of Derek Carr’s greatest games, who as a rookie, had his best single-game passer rating (140.2) through his first five seasons. Carr completed 22-of-28 passes for 254 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

The two teams have locked up in the regular season 13 times, with the Raiders holding a 7-6 record all-time against the 49ers.

The Silver and Black enter Week 9 coming off a 42-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at home, where Carr posted his third-highest career passer rating (136.6) after completing 21-of-28 passes for 244 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Carr was responsible for all four of Oakland’s touchdowns, with him adding his first career rushing touchdown.

San Francisco (1-7) lost to the Arizona Cardinals 18-15 on Sunday. The Cardinals scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to complete the two-game season-season against the 49ers. Arizona defeated San Francisco 28-18 at Levi’s Stadium thanks in large part to five turnovers by the Red and Gold.

49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard completed 14-of-28 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown, a 55-yard strike to wide receiver Marquise Goodwin in the third quarter that gave the 49ers a 12-3 lead.

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne led San Francisco with seven catches for 71 yards on 10 targets.

Following the game, the Raiders will have a 10-day break before returning home to face their AFC West rival, the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 10 to complete their two-game season-series. The Chargers defeated Oakland 26-10 in Week 5 down at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

San Francisco will stay home for another primetime game when they host the New York Giants on Monday Night Football on Nov. 12 to complete Week 10’s action.