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49ers hold off a Seattle comeback to WIN THE DIVISION AND EARN THE NO. 1 SEED

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Never in doubt!!!

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Pat’s update: Do NOT troll Field Gulls. If you are banned there, expect the same over here.

The San Francisco 49ers defense came out with the type of energy they needed to against the Seattle Seahawks. The defense forced a three-and-out after the defensive line got pressure on each play. The next drive, it was more of the same, as Ahkello Witherspoon broke up a pass to force a punt, after being all over D.K. Metcalf on the lone first down earlier in the drive. On the offenses first, drive, they took in ten plays for 52 yards, but had to settle for a field goal. The Seahawks blitzed a cornerback right into the 49ers bootleg, and that led to Jimmy Garoppolo being sacked.

The second possession for the 49ers started on their six-yard line. A big play by Deebo Samuel, followed by another first down from Kittle, put the 49ers in Seahawks territory. Samuel scored from 30-yards out after Emmanuel Sanders did a great job blocking down the field. Kyle Shanahan did a nice job of getting Samuel involved early, and that score made it 10-0. After the first quarter, the 49ers had 139 yards of offense, while the Seahawks had 24. You couldn’t have scripted a better start for San Francisco.

One thing that was noticeable from the defense was the speed. They were everywhere early on, and that was highlighted by Dre Greenlaw, making a key stop on second and short. Greenlaw showed off his range and came across the field to make a stop in the backfield for a loss. DeForest Buckner beat his man on the following play to force yet another Seahawks punt. The offense drove the field once again. Shanahan was cooking as receivers were running open on every play. Samuel had a first down on a slant, but the safety jarred the ball loose on a big hit, causing Deebo to lose yardage. On the play before that, Jimmy missed Tevin Coleman on a shovel pass. It appeared that Coleman had ample space, too. That forced another Gould attempt, and he was good from 30-yards out to make it 13-0, 49ers. The 49ers became the third team in the last nine seasons to score on their first three drives in Seattle.

Seattle drove into 49ers territory on their next drive and elected to go for it on 4th & 1, but Nick Bosa beat his man and blew up the play in the backfield. He was tremendous in the first half. That was a huge stop, as San Francisco got the ball out of the half. Unfortunately, San Francisco had a three-and-out, after K.J. Wright sniffed out a screen pass to Kittle. The Seahawks weren’t going to get shut out at home. Not with their quarterback on that home-field. An 11-play, 62-yard touchdown drive. It was another play where Ahkello Witherspoon’s eyes were bad. He’s in position; he just didn’t make the play.

That score made it 13-7, and the offense needed to answer. Boy, did they ever. It didn’t take long for the 49ers to move the ball after Juszczyk was open on a seam route for 49 yards. They ran this same play earlier in the second quarter, it was the play on the illegal shift, but Garoppolo checked it down. We were talking about the play in the press box, wondering why he didn’t throw it to Juice. Great call by Shanahan to go back to the play, and it was as open as it was the first time. Raheem Mostert punched it in from two yards out. The 49ers elected to go for two, which I didn’t like. Seattle hadn’t proven that they could move the ball consistently, and chasing points in the third quarter are usually frowned upon. It comes off as hindsight knowing that San Francisco didn’t convert, but it didn’t feel like you needed to go for two in that situation. The touchdown made in 19-7.

The next drive was back-breaking for the 49ers defense. They gave up a 14-play, 75-yard drive that took off 8:30 off the clock. San Francisco allowed Seattle to convert on all of their third downs. One of them came with Bosa in coverage. The unit didn’t have their same aggressiveness, and when you don’t have depth up front, those drives are killer. A one-yard Marshawn Lynch touchdown run made it 19-14.

The 49ers answered with 13 and 16-yard gains on the ensuing drive to get into Seattle territory. Garoppolo then found Samuel wide open on a corner route for 21-yards on 3rd & 5 for another critical conversion. Mostert scored from 13-yards out to make it 26-14. The offensive line was awesome on that drive and excellent all night. That gave the Niners a much-needed breathing room with just under six minutes to play.

Gould kicked it out of bounds, two 13-yard gains, and pass interference on K’Waun Williams gave the ball to the Seahawks on the 16-yard line. That third down was yet another conversion for Seattle. On the next play, Metcalf beat Witherspoon for a touchdown to make it 26-20. Witherspoon has been struggling to pick the ball up, and teams have been attacking him. He hasn’t made plays, and you have to imagine his confidence is lacking.

The 49ers had a chance to run the clock out, but a missed block by Mike McGlinchey and a penalty on Ben Garland forced a punt. Seattle took over with just over two minutes to play, needing a touchdown to win. Emmanuel Moseley subbed in for Witherspoon on the drive. It was evident that the coaching staff had seen enough.

The Seahawks went at Moseley seemingly every play. Why wouldn’t you? He hadn’t played all game and Richard Sherman is on the other side of the field. It was frustrating to watch knowing that there were no adjustments being made. It came down to 4th & 10 from the 12-yard line. K’Waun Williams gave up a reception, but it was short of the end zone. A delay of game then backed up Seattle to the five-yard line. That meant one more down. 4th & 5. Dre Greenlaw with a tremendous hit on Seattle’s tight end, and that was the ball game.