Mitch Wishnowsky improvised fake punt play, caught 49ers teammates off guard

One of the best plays of the 49ers' 28-16 win over the Seahawks regrettably didn't count, with Mitch Wishnowsky improvising a fake punt that was called back due to a fluke call against Ronnie Bell.

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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The 49ers had an excellent week, all but confirming their spot in the playoffs while grabbing the No. 1 seed in the NFC. But a play that didn't count was the most entertaining of the day.

It could be argued that the week could not have gone more perfectly for the San Francisco 49ers, as they once against sit on top of the NFC with the destiny of the No. 1 seed firmly in their hands.

Not only did they defeat their archrivals in the Seattle Seahawks 28-16, but the Los Angeles Rams also lost to put more distance between the teams in the NFC West and the Philadelphia Eagles were comprehensively defeated by the Dallas Cowboys to hand the 49ers control in a competitive NFC.

Read More: Seahawks give 49ers a fight in Week 14, Brock Purdy and the Niners still prevail


The only potential hiccup arising from the game is a myriad of injuries to defensive starters, the seriousness of which is yet to be ascertained. While it's hoped that none of them are particularly serious, the Niners need all hands on deck to keep control of the No. 1 seed.

One of the plays that certainly made the crowd go mad, which sadly did not count as rookie wide receiver Ronnie Bell was called for an illegal block as he slipped over, was when punter Mitch Wishnowsky took a fake punt a considerable distance before it had to go back due to offsetting penalties.

It should be noted this was not a designed play, Wishnowsky adlibbed the whole thing:

Wishnowsky certained captured the attention of his teammates and his coach, as everyone expressed their surprise at Wishnowsky's unexpected cunning and initiative.

"I don’t really know what happened on it. I think he just hesitated a little bit. I haven’t got to talk to him personally. I don’t know if he thought it was going to get blocked or if he bobbled the snap or just had a glitch. But it was a good one because when he paused and saw the edge it was obviously a clean look and he didn’t hesitate for it and I was just told he hit over 20 miles per hour on it, so that’s real cool."

Kyle Shanahan

"Everyone on the sideline was like, ‘I didn’t know we had a fake in’. Nope, just Mitch, the Australian guy running. He’s a dad, he can do whatever he wants. Too bad that got taken back. It was pretty special. I was sitting there and then all of the sudden he takes off. I was like, ‘Yes, Mitch!’ Because you’ve seen him tackle. I thought he was going to truck-stick someone, but he didn’t."

George Kittle

"I loved it. We didn’t even get a heads up on it on the sideline. We’re over there getting ready to corrections and all I see is the Australian striking down the sideline. I was like wow. Unfortunately it was some bullcrap penalty but love to see the Australian out there opening that stride out."

Trent Williams

There's no shortage of playmakers on either side of the ball for the team, but the Australian ingenuity of Wishnowsky might give head coach Kyle Shanahan an extra bow in the quiver for him to consider. Certainly with his savvy playcalling and the cheek of his punter, there could very well be a few fake punts drawn up in the playbook.

While the play didn't count, the impact sure did. For now, the team will rest up before they look to officially seal a playoff spot and keep control of the NFC when they travel for another divisional matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.

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