Wow! That was a close one, the San Francisco 49ers escape with a victory against a very improved Seattle Seahawks team. Many believed it was going to be a highly contested football game between two divisional rivals and during the game there was no love lost. In multiple instances there was pushing and shoving going on after plays, as well as plenty of trash talking. The game would eventually come down to a potential game winning drive by the Seahawks. With the score was 19-17 with around three minutes left in the game, the Seahawks had plenty of time to drive down the field into field goal range and kick a game winner. But guess who came to the rescue?
The Seahawks were able to get the ball to midfield, setting up the play of the game for the Niners. QB Tavaris Jackson dropped back for a pass, but would quickly get pressured by LB Larry Grant. Jackson was able to avoid the sack and then began running up field. Grant, showing great hustle, caught up to Jackson from behind and stripped the ball away. SS Donte Whitner recovered the loose ball and in the process preserving a Niner victory.
All of us Niner fans need to give Larry Grant a standing ovation. Not only for making the big play, but for playing his butt off for the injured LB Patrick Willis. Since Willis hurt his hamstring in week 13, Grant has been nothing short of spectacular. Yes, Willis is the man, but we are very lucky to have Larry. He has made big third down tackles, he has done a good job covering the opposing team’s tight end and as we just recently witnessed has created big turnovers. Thank you Larry
I do want to point out something that drove me a little crazy during the game. The Niners found themselves trailing 16-17 in the fourth quarter with the ball. After a huge 41 yard catch by WR Michael Crabtree, the Niners were in field goal range. Then for whatever reason Head Coach Jim Harbaugh decided to go conservative and ran the ball three straight times. Harbaugh was showing a great deal of confidence that K David Akers would make the field goal and that the defense would keep Seattle out of field goal range.
I was very upset with the decision. I understand that it worked out in the end, but if it was not for Grant, the Niners most likely lose the game and the first round bye. It is my belief that you stay aggressive and go for the touchdown. The Niner defense is great but it is unfair to give them the pressure to keep Seattle out of field goal range, especially when the Seahawks had done a good job moving the ball throughout the game. I’m not sure if the decision to run three straight times was showing a lack of faith in QB Alex Smith. In all, it was a highly questionable decision by coach Harbaugh.
Lastly, I should point out I was wrong on my prediction. RB Marshawn Lynch was able to get his 11th straight rushing touchdown, ending the Niners streak of not allowing a rushing touchdown this entire season (A record 15 straight games if you’re counting at home). I must point out the Seahawks offense did not earn it. The Seahawks were set up with great field position after a punt block, getting the ball at the 4 yard line. The Niners should have just let the Seahawks return the block for a touchdown, therefore keeping the streak alive. Either way it was great streak while it lasted. Nice job Niner defense should be a record to last for awhile.
Big come from behind win for the Niners and more than likely wrapped up a first round bye. I cannot wait to see the Niners kick some butt in the playoffs. GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!