The San Francisco 49ers snapped the streak on Sunday, topping the Seattle Seahawks for the first time in 10 matchups between the division rivals. The 26-23 victory in overtime marked a turning point for Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers, displaying uncommon grit for a team with only four wins to their name.
Here’s our stock report after the 49ers’ Week 15 win over the Seahawks.
Stock up: DL DeForest Buckner
There isn’t a player on the 49ers’ defense that shows up against Seahawks like Buckner. Over the team’s two matchups this season, Buckner has totaled 18 tackles, six tackles for loss, five quarterback hits and four sacks. His highlight play on the day came during a rollout from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who started right but cut back toward the 49ers’ side of the field. Buckner chased Wilson to the sideline, running him down before the line of scrimmage for Buckner’s second sack on the afternoon. Buckner now has 11 sacks on the season and is eligible for a contract extension after the season.
Stock down: CB Ahkello Witherspoon
Witherspoon’s turbulent year ended with a season-ending injury. The 49ers cornerback suffered a sprained knee against the Seahawks Sunday, and while the injury isn’t considered serious, it was enough to end Witherspoon’s season two games early. The second-year cornerback got off to a rough start, allowing six touchdowns in his first six games on 2018 — although he started to rebound late in the season. Third-round rookie Tarvarius Moore stepped in for Witherspoon with encouraging results as the game wore on. The 49ers will get an extended look at More over the season’s final two games.
Stock up: K Robbie Gould
Another game-winning field goal for Gould, who hit a 36-yarder to seal the win for San Francisco. He was four for four on the day along with two successful extra points. In two years with the 49ers, Gould made 68 of 71 field-goals and all six attempts from 50-plus yards. His 95.8 conversion percentage is the best in the NFL over the past two seasons, per San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch. Shanahan told the media Sunday that he wanted Gould, a free agent after this season, back with the team in 2019. The 49ers’ kicker echoed that sentiment. Gould, who just hit 1,500 points in his career, should be considered a priority for the front office.
Stock down: Draft Position
The 49ers owned the first-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft heading into their Week 15 matchup, followed closely by the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders. The team’s overtime win over the Seahawks on Sunday moved them down three spots to pick No. 4 behind the Cardinals (3-11), Raiders (3-11), and the New York Jets. The 49ers and Jets both own a record of 4-10, but New York’s strength of schedule is currently weaker than San Francisco’s, per Tankathon.
Stock up: Coach Kyle Shanahan
The past two weeks have left little doubt as to Shanahan’s effectiveness as the 49ers’ head coach. A 2-10 team with perceivably nothing to play for, ravaged by injuries and fielding an offense led by a third-string quarterback, found a way to best two playoff-hopeful teams in the Seahawks and Denver Broncos. Shanahan has the 49ers playing for each other, displaying an obvious heart and intensity despite a season that hasn’t gone as planned. With the expected return of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the offseason, the 49ers under Shanahan will again be a team to watch in 2019.
Stock up: Coordinator Robert Saleh
It was clear the 49ers’ defense wasn’t going to allow Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense to score another 37 points like they did in their Week 13 matchup in Seattle. Often the most under fire from critics, Saleh’s defense played stubborn and inspired football on Sunday, despite fielding rookies and backups at several key positions. Linebacker Fred Warner, defensive back D.J. Reed Jr., safety Marcell Harris, cornerback Tarvarius Moore, linebacker Elijah Lee, defensive lineman D.J. Jones and safety Antone Exum are all young, inexperienced players that held crucial roles in the 49ers’ win over the Seahawks. Saleh’s defense forced two punts to close out the fourth quarter and another in overtime to put the game in the offense’s hands.
Stock up: Nick Mullens
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Mullens. The 49ers’ quarterback, after throwing for 400+ yards in Week 13, put together another solid performance against the Seahawks. Mullens completed 20 of 29 passes for 275 yards, one touchdown, no turnovers and a quarterback rating of 110.6 at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday. He led the 49ers’ offense on a game-winning drive in overtime to get Gould within range. Mullens’ sixth start and third win of the season was his most impressive.