In Week 15, kicker Robbie Gould’s overtime field goal secured the 26-23 victory for the San Francisco 49ers, put the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff hopes on hold, and ended the Niners’ 10-game losing streak to their NFC West rival. Here are your highlights, scores and analysis from Sunday’s overtime thriller.
1,834 days ago, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the visiting Seattle Seahawks with a field goal in the final minute of regulation. Little did the team know, it would take another five years and 10 losses before the Niners would again taste victory over their NFC West rival.
The 49ers fought the Seahawks to a draw over the first 60 minutes of Sunday’s contest, before kicker Robbie Gould secured victory for the home team when his 36-yard field goal split the uprights in the closing minutes of overtime.
After defeating San Francisco handily two weeks ago, the Seahawks faced a different 49ers team in Week 15, and will now be forced to wait a week for another opportunity to secure a playoff berth.
Seattle’s offense shot out of the gate on Sunday after their defense forced a quick three-and-out to start the game, partially due to an overthrown pass from 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens to tight end George Kittle on third down.
But before the game could turn into a repeat of Week 13, Richie James happened. On the ensuing kickoff, the rookie wide receiver and return man hit a crease and blew past Seattle’s coverage team. When the Seahawks’ 40-year-old kicker Sebastian Janikowski made the “business decision” to run out-of-bounds, James cruised into the end zone for the 97-yard touchdown score:
The 49ers stopped the Seahawks on the following drive, which they brought from their 1-yard line into Seattle territory. The momentum appeared to be shifting in the Niners’ direction, but unfortunately, the ball didn’t bounce their way when running back Jeff Wilson put it on the ground for the third time in three games:
San Francisco began their next drive on their 2-yard line, but a third-down conversion by wide receiver Trent Taylor and a tough reception by wideout Kendrick Bourne kept the drive alive while moving the ball down the field:
Once the Niners crossed into Seattle territory, a combination of poor linebacker play and incorrect cleat selection created the phenomenon known in San Francisco as “Celek Time,” which gave the home team a two-score lead:
However, the 49ers quickly returned the favor with a defensive blunder of their own. Wilson’s errant third-down pass put Baldwin in the type of position safeties dream of, but instead of leveling the receiver, free safety Antone Exum whiffed, which allowed Baldwin to record his second touchdown of the day:
The 49ers’ defense began the second half with a pair of strong drives, which included defensive tackle DeForest Buckner‘s 10th sack of the season:
However, Seattle’s next series proved to be more successful. Despite forcing the Seahawks into a fourth-and-goal situation, and appearing to stuff running back Chris Carson twice on the fourth-down try, Carson willed his way into the end zone to tie the game:
After trading field goals on their next two drives, defense prevailed over the remainder of regulation, as both teams punted twice before time expired. The Seahawks received the ball first in overtime, but two stuffed running plays and a holding penalty forced Seattle to punt.
After taking over at their 38-yard line, San Francisco leaned heavily on their rushing attack to finish off the game. Six running plays and a pass interference penalty later, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan called on his trusty kicker to send the visiting Seahawks home with their sixth loss of the season:
In Week 16, the San Francisco 49ers host the 10-4 Chicago Bears in the Niners’ final home game of the 2018 NFL regular season.