In one last bit of Week 16 news, I was a bit delayed in posting the weekly Top Five Defensive Plays from the previous week's game. It is actually a good thing I waited because there was a chance in the scoring of the most important play of the game.
In the fourth quarter, after the 49ers took their 19-17 lead, the Seahawks received the ensuing kickoff and started at their own 19 yard line with 2:57 to go. The Seahawks gained a solid amount of ground with just under 1:30 to go. They had a 3rd and 3 at the 49ers 48, at which point Tarvaris Jackson began to scramble forward. As Jackson moved forward, Larry Grant took a big swipe at his ball-carrying arm and stripped Jackson of the ball. The play was ruled a two-yard scramble and then fumble.
The 49ers have since reported a scoring change on that play. Although it does not impact the outcome of the game, it does provide a boost to Grant's numbers. The play was changed from a scramble of two yards to a sack for loss of one on the fumble. Apparently the ball came loose before Jackson crossed the line of scrimmage and thus it is now a sack. Whatever the ruling, the play was pivotal as the Seahawks were starting to threaten. Jackson was closing in on the first down, and even if he was short, it was four-down territory for Seattle. The strip joins Justin Smith's strip against the Eagles as key defensive plays.
Although the defense did give up the 100-yard rushing game and a rushing touchdown for the first time in a long time, the defense still did a great job for much of the game. The sack and fumble are the biggest plays from the game, but the 49ers defense provided a host of other highlights.
Here are five of my favorites from the game.
1. Larry Grant sacks Tarvaris Jackson and forces fumble (4th quarter)
2. Carlos Rogers tackles Jackson a yard short of the end zone on a scramble following a busted play (2nd quarter)
3. Ray McDonald sacks Jackson for a ten yard loss (1st quarter)
4. Aldon Smith sacks Jackson for eight yard loss (4th quarter)
5. NaVorro Bowman sacks Jackson for four yard loss (2nd quarter)