49ers botch Week 13 vs. Seahawks by disjointed, ugly play

DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Final. 23. 42. 30. 36

The 49ers couldn’t keep their win streak going, falling in disappointing fashion in Week 13 against a Seahawks team that simply made fewer mistakes.

Forget the fact the San Francisco 49ers entered their Week 13 road matchup against the Seattle Seahawks with the better record and the three-game win streak in contrast to the Hawks’ three-game losing streak.

When these two NFC West teams play, all that goes out the window.

It certainly did on Sunday, as quarterback Russell Wilson and Co. ensured the Niners’ win streak would come to a close, handing head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad its sixth loss of the season, finalizing in a 30-23 score.

As far as weirdness goes, this game had it all. Case in point, San Francisco lost kick-return specialist Trenton Cannon to a scary interception on the opening kickoff, forcing reserve wide receiver Travis Benjamin into an emergency return role. Benjamin fumbled a second-half kickoff, which was recovered by Seattle, only to see Wilson get picked off by 49ers nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams just shy of the goal line.

On the ensuing Niners possession, though, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked in the end zone for a safety, which ended up tying the game at 23 apiece.

Get all that? That’s just one piece of the domino effect.

Jimmy Garoppolo compounds 49ers problems vs. Seahawks

With wide receiver Deebo Samuel out because of a hamstring injury, Garoppolo had to be on point in the passing game and do a bit more than the typical game management he’s shown over the previous three games.

And while Garoppolo managed to hit tight end George Kittle for two touchdowns in the game, including a response to another crazy play, a fake punt for a touchdown in the first quarter, which tied things up at 7-7, Garoppolo’s inability to see defenders over the middle was about as big a problem as possible on the road:


Garoppolo went 20-of-30 for 299 yards, two touchdowns against two interceptions, all for a passer rating of 93.6.

Meanwhile, the only game San Francisco has won in Seattle since 2011 was that memorable 2019 Week 17 game.

And the Seahawks’ 16 unanswered points to kick off the third quarter ensured that struggle would continue. Same with cornerback Dontae Johnson’s late hit on wide receiver Tyler Lockett on a would-be third-down stop. Same with two roughing-the-passer penalties against the Niners on Wilson’s touchdown drive just before halftime.

Garoppolo made a lot of mistakes. San Francisco made a lot of collective mistakes, too.

49ers injury problems continue vs. Seahawks

Cannon had to be taken to a local hospital, so that’ll be something to monitor. And Samuel’s absence was sorely felt, too, as was linebacker Fred Warner being out with a hamstring injury.

Yet the 49ers took additional injury hits during the game, which seems to be the norm versus the Hawks anyway, losing cornerback Emmanuel Moseley to an ankle injury and then safety Jaquiski Tartt to a leg injury.

Tartt, who at least returned later in the game, suffered the injury in the end zone against Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, who appeared to stop on the safety’s leg without a flag being thrown:


In addition, running back Elijah Mitchell suffered an injury late in the third quarter before returning.

At least George Kittle was dominant for 49ers

There weren’t too many positives for the Niners, especially after halftime aside from yet another Seahawks turnover — they had problems there, too — with just over four minutes left in regulation. But at least Kittle reverted back to his usual playmaking self.

Samuel being out meant someone would have to receive that kind of attention, and San Francisco would have to get a bit more creative without the wide receiver’s ability to be used both as a receiving threat and as a rusher.

Turns out, Kittle ended up doing both, albeit to a lesser degree on the ground.

Kittle had one rush for 5 yards on a Samuel-like end-around rush, but the tight end made his mark with nine receptions for 181 yards and the two touchdowns.


Read More: 3 worries 49ers should have in Week 13 vs. Seahawks

Too bad Kittle and the rest of the 49ers offense pulled something of a virtual disappearing act in the second half before their final drive, though, as Seattle managed to get out a season sweep over its NFC West rivals.

If there’s consolation, the Niners also watched the Minnesota Vikings lose a thriller to the Detroit Lions, the latter picking up their first win of the season, so San Francisco remains in the playoff seeding.

Still, the loss won’t bode well heading into another crucial road game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14.

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