Week 14 between the 49ers and Seahawks involved injuries, fights, back-and-forth scoring and Deebo Samuel dominating once again.
One play into the San Francisco 49ers' Week 14 home matchup against the visiting Seattle Seahawks, it seemed as if head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad would enjoy a repeat of their previous two weeks in which the offense scored a combined 73 points, including a 31-13 beatdown of the Hawks on Thanksgiving.
After all, running back Christian McCaffrey's 72-yard run on the very first play set up a 3-yard touchdown run by fellow tailback Jordan Mason to put the Niners up 7-0 just like that.
Well, things aren't always that easy. Especially when it's an NFC West rivalry game, and Seattle was looking to avoid losing four in a row and falling almost completely out of the conference's playoff picture.
San Francisco ultimately won 28-16 to improve to 10-3, but it's important to note that it was a five-point game to start the fourth quarter. And both the 49ers and Seahawks were exchanging blows in the second half after some sloppy, injury-filled moments earlier in the contest.
Fortunately for Shanahan and Co., some big-time plays managed to overcome a feisty effort by the Hawks.
Seahawks QB Drew Lock is effective vs. banged-up 49ers defense
Every game has subplots within, and one of those was how Seattle would start No. 2 quarterback Drew Lock over the injured Geno Smith, who was out with a groin injury.
Lock, who hadn't started a game since 2021 and attempted a mere six passes this season, looked like a quality starter against the second best defense in the NFL entering Week 14, tossing two touchdowns and 269 yards, albeit against two interceptions, for a 92.0 passer rating.
In an attempt to contain him and the rest of the Seahawks' offensive playmakers, the Niners suffered some notable defensive injuries, including losing cornerback Charvarius Ward, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and linebacker Oren Burks. San Francisco was also without starting defensive tackle Arik Armstead entering the game, too.
Despite the setbacks, the 49ers still managed to hold Lock and the Seahawks to 324 total yards and an average of 5.9 yards per play.
Brock Purdy connection with Deebo Samuel stays red hot
Like the rest of the Niners offense, quarterback Brock Purdy had a sluggish start, including tossing an uncharacteristic interception early in the game.
When in doubt, though, Purdy could rely on wide receiver Deebo Samuel for some sparks, and the All-Pro provided that with a 54-yard touchdown reception in the middle of the second quarter:
Samuel, who torched the Philadelphia Eagles a week ago for three touchdowns, had two more against Seattle, the other being a 1-yard rushing score in the third quarter.
Purdy found Samuel for a team-high 149 receiving yards on seven receptions, which assisted in the quarterback getting 368 total passing yards.
That's a good way to bounce back after a less-than-solid start.
49ers vs. Seahawks: This and that
When San Francisco finally started to get a commanding lead, linebacker Fred Warner's fourth-quarter interception of Lock led to a scuffle with Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf, who was imposing early but almost taken out of the game plan from halftime onward.
Metcalf was ejected for fighting with Warner, who didn't retaliate but certainly influenced the scuffle, and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir was also thrown out of the game for shoving Metcalf in defense of Warner.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk had 126 yards receiving and moved beyond 1,000 receiving yards on the season for the second consecutive year.
True. The 49ers and Hawks still do not like each other. At all.
However, the Niners have all but wrapped up the NFC West and have eyes on the No. 1 seed within the conference.
As weird as it sounds, San Francisco will be rooting for the Dallas Cowboys to beat the Eagles on Sunday Night Football to assist with the 49ers getting that top seed.