The San Francisco 49ers are no longer undefeated. The team lost a heartbreaker in overtime on Monday night, falling 27-24 to the Seattle Seahawks as Jason Myers’ kick traveled through the uprights as time expired. It was a grueling, mistake-ridden performance for Kyle Shanahan’s team from top to bottom, who couldn’t seem to get out of their way in a divisional matchup that was always going to be hard-fought.
Here are our takeaways from San Francisco’s first loss of the season:
Fall from grace
From career-best to cringe-worthy. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was the talk of the town after his impressive performance against the Arizona Cardinals last week, a game now firmly in the rear-view mirror. The 49ers’ quarterback struggled against a Seahawks defense that’d proven vulnerable through the air so far this season. Garoppolo threw at least four passes that should’ve been picked off, including two in overtime. He also fumbled twice, both resulting in Seahawks touchdowns. Garoppolo finished completing 24 of 46 passes for 248 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and a 66.2 quarterback rating. Of course, Garoppolo’s shaky performance came with plenty of context that we wouldn’t dare leave out...
Unreliable at best
Tight end George Kittle was inactive while dealing with knee and ankle injuries, and wideout Emmanuel Sanders was sidelined in the first half with a rib injury. The only pass-catcher to step up in their place was rookie receiver Deebo Samuel, who totaled eight catches on 11 targets for 112 yards. But even Samuel contributed to the drops that proved a key storyline to the 49ers’ first loss. Kendrick Bourne managed to marginalize his touchdown and two-point contribution with two key drops - one resulting in an interception and eventual Seahawks touchdown, the other a failed first-down inside the 10-yard line that would’ve given the 49ers a chance to take the lead. Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis were both targeted three times, but neither could hold on to the ball. Garoppolo’s struggles were amplified by the lack of reliability from everyone outside of Samuel.
Rough return to action
The 49ers were supposed to benefit from the return of tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, but both proved more liability than upgrade against the Seahawks. The pair was tormented by defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who totaled five tackles, five quarterback hits, one sack, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Garoppolo was hit a total of 10 times and sacked five, the worst performance from the offensive line to date. The 49ers couldn’t generate any momentum on the ground, either. The backfield only managed 87 totaled yards on 27 carries, averaging just 3.2 yards per touch.
Injury plague persists
The 49ers can’t squash the injury bug. Sanders, the 49ers’ most veteran and dependable wideout, went down in the first half with a rib injury and didn’t return. Kittle was already out with knee and ankle issues. Both are considered day-to-day and will be considered gametime decisions this week against the Cardinals. Center Weston Richburg suffered a hand injury in the first half and retreated to the locker room, but returned in the second half. His injury isn’t serious. Defensive lineman D.J. Jones (groin) and Ronald Blair (leg) both suffered game-ending injuries. Shanahan announced that Blair tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Jones is considered week-to-week pending an MRI. Kicker Robbie Gould also missed the game with a quad injury, the 49ers signing Chase McLaughin to fill in. You know the rest of that story. Running back Matt Breida again dealt with an ankle injury that forced him to miss snaps. He’s also day-to-day. Lastly, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair is in concussion protocol. The hits keep coming.
Rock and a hard place
With the score tied, the 49ers got the ball back on their 20-yard line in overtime with 1:50 remaining. The Seahawks had no timeouts. How then did Seattle have the time to win the game? Shanahan’s play-calling was a deciding factor. The 49ers head coach was in a predicament, one that’s easy to judge now that the contest is decided. Attempt to drive the field or settle for a tie? The result was three consecutive incompletions, essentially leaving the clock untouched and giving Russell Wilson all the time he needed to move the Seahawks into field goal range. Shanahan said after the game that he felt the first two passes were lay-ups, but a tipped pass and an off-target throw quickly left the 49ers with 3rd-and-10. Jimmy underthrew an open Samuel down the sideline to end the drive. Had the 49ers ran the ball even once, the Seahawks likely wouldn’t have had the time to score.