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49ers can’t overcome second half mistakes in 27-24 loss

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An overtime thriller where San Francisco came up short.

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers took 6:41 off the clock during their opening drive, but couldn’t punch it in after Marquise Goodwin couldn’t haul in a Jimmy Garoppolo throw. The drive featured an interception that was called back, as well a couple of penalties by Seattle. The Niners settled for three points after Chase McLaughlin hit a 43-yard field goal.

On the Seahawk’s first possession, it came down to a critical 3rd and short, and D.J. Jones absolutely destroyed the center to force a punt.

San Francisco didn’t have much resistance on their second drive, marching seven plays for 83 yards that were capped off by a Kendrick Bourne 10-yard touchdown. Score-stop-score is how you draw up a start to a game.

After the first quarter, the 49ers had 118 yards compared to Seattle’s five. The defense was put in a relatively bad position on their next drive after the offense went three-an-out. Fred Warner had two critical stops in the first half that got the Seahawks off the field. A sack where he came free on a nice design by Robert Saleh, and a pass deflection that forced another punt.

We saw the value of Weston Richburg, who left with a hand injury, as Ben Garland failed to pick up a stunt, and Garoppolo fumbled. Seattle scooped and scored for a touchdown. The 49ers had a chance to answer before the half, but Kyle Juszczyk and Dante Pettis dropped tough but catchable passes, and the 49ers had to punt.

The Seahawks drove the field before the first half, but Jaquiski Tartt made what I imagine will be a season-defining play. He stripped D.K. Metcalf, a the Seahawks wideout was fighting to get into the end zone. That kept the score 10-7, 49ers at halftime.

The Seahawks had more penalties than they did first downs the first half. Despite everything we saw, I was confident that San Francisco would pull it out. Sure enough, K’Waun Williams came screaming off the edge to force a fumble to start the second half. The offense couldn’t turn that into points after Jimmy missed Deebo on an out route on fourth down. The decision to go for it was 100% the correct call. It was just poor execution.

Warner made another play on the following drive to force a punt. Seattle had no answer for the 49er’s pressure looks. If memory serves, both of Warner’s sacks came unblocked. That wouldn’t be the last time the defense was put in a bad spot. A ball bounced right off Kendrick Bourne’s hands that gave Seattle a short field and eventually led to a touchdown after a one-handed catch Jacob Hollister.

If that wasn’t enough, Garoppolo fumbled again on the next drive, after Jadeveon Clowney beat Mike McGlinchey for a sack. That turnover led to another Seahawks touchdown, which made the score 21-10. All of Seattle’s points came from San Francisco turnovers. Seattle didn’t outplay the 49ers. The Niners made too many mistakes.

During the game, plenty of people were in our mentions blaming Kyle Shanahan, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. The offensive tackles couldn’t block Clowney, and the receivers couldn’t hang on to the ball. I believe there were five dropped passes for the offense through three quarters. Missing Sanders, who didn’t return after the first quarter, proved to be too much to overcome. This game is why you trade for Sanders, who brings reliability to the receiver position.

What do you do when you’re down 21-10? You make a play. DeForest Buckner scored a touchdown after scooping up a fumble that Fred Warner punched out. K’Waun Williams sacked Wilson. That wasn’t the only play Williams made. A Bourne two-point conversion made it 21-18.

The next possession Richard Sherman jumped in front of a Wilson pass and broke it up to force a punt. The 49ers drove after Deebo Samuel had long gain, but the drive was stalled by yet another drop. Inexcusable. Garoppolo is putting the ball where it needs to be, and receivers aren’t making plays. Another McLaughlin field goal made it 21-21 with just over six minutes to go.

The 49ers had a chance to get off the field on the following drive a couple of times, but couldn’t prevent Seattle from converting. Josh Gordon caught his first target on a critical third-down that put the ball into field goal range for the Seahawks. The defense did hold Seattle to a field goal to make it 24-21.

Garoppolo and the offense had 1:39 and one timeout to get into scoring position to give McLaughlin a chance. On first down, Garoppolo avoided an interception after the ball bounced off Bobby Wagners hands. On second down, this is where the offense missed Kittle/Sanders. Nobody could separate, and Garoppolo airmailed the pass to Dwelley. A neutral zone infraction and first down catch by Dwelley gave the Niners a first down.

McLaughlin lined up from 47-yards and it was right down the middle. Overtime.

The 49ers had a few opportunities in overtime, but Wilson continued to make play after play, until he didn’t. Dre Greenlaw came up with an enormous interception to end the Seahawks drive that was on the verge of ending the game. Wilson thought Greenlaw was going to the flat, but the rookie got the best of the MVP.

The 49ers were picked up a critical first down to put it in McLaughlin’s range. He made a 47-yarder earlier, but this one wasn’t close. McLaughlin hooked it pretty bad. That gave Seattle life with just over three minutes left in overtime. The spot wasn’t great, but the refs were awful all night. Emmanuel Moseley had his third pass breakup of the night against Metcalf to force a punt.

The 49ers offense stalled once again as Pettis dropped the ball on second down. They took a shot down the field on third down, but the ball was under thrown just enough for the Seattle defender to make a play on the ball.

Seattle took over with 1:25, and an 18-yard scramble by Wilson put the Seahawks in field goal range. A 42-yard field goal by Seattle was good and that gave them the victory 27-24. It was a tough loss, but the 49ers fought like heck. Too many mistakes in the second half.

The team battled. They didn’t quit, but it wasn’t enough. If I told you at the beginning of the year the 49ers would be 8-1 with how many players they missed, especially considering how this game went, you’d take it.