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Punterville State of the Punter: Mitch Wishnowsky’s greatest fake that never was

The 49ers punter had a great play that got wiped due to Ronnie Bell slipping.

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

Mayor of Punterville here.

Citizens, Punterville has had its ups and its downs. It’s had it’s punts and it’s pins inside the 10 yard line, but our hero, Mitch Wishnowsky also has some wheels and executed a ridiculous fake that we have not seen before against the Seattle Seahawks. You may say the play doesn’t necessarly count, I say, that’s more the reason it must be discussed here. I give to you, Mitch Wishnowsky’s greatest run ever. 4th and 12, on the 49ers’ own 41 yard line:

This was not a dialed up fake, this was not a playcall. This was Mitch Wishnowsky using his vision, noticing he had an edge and then taking off to a speed clocked at 20 miles per hour.

Just one problem: the play didn’t count. Ronnie Bell slipped and ran into a Seahawks defender and was flagged for an illegal block. Meanwhile Wishnowsky took a hit out of bounds at the end of the play. The two penalties offset and Wishnowsky had to suppress his power once more to just pinning the Seahawks behind their 20 yard line when they replayed 4th down.

A few things to take from this: Yes, Bell did in fact execute an illegal block. Whether he slipped or not is a matter of debate (he slipped), but the rules are rules and the officials are going to throw a flag in that situation almost always. That’s one of the (few) consistent things in the league.

That said, come on, man. That was highlight reel worthy and was pretty much ruined by iffiness. Having the punter take it to the opposite end of the field and also have 15 yards potentially tacked on for a hit out of bounds is the stuff of punting legends. Unfortunately, that low-block nullified it all.

If only they could review personal fouls.

Kyle Shanahan said after the game that the play wasn’t even dialed up.

“I don’t know if he thought it was going to get blocked or if he bobbled the snap a hair or he just had a glitch, but it was a good one because when he paused and stuff and saw the edge, it was obviously a clean look and he didn’t hesitate for it. I was just told he hit over 20 miles per hour on it. So that’s real cool.”

This might be a new development for the 49ers: Run the ball when you see an edge opening. Wishnowsky can obviously do it. This is not a new development for Wishnowsky who has had permission to take off since his days at Utah.

Hopefully, if they aren’t already, the 49ers can give Wishnowsky a bit more of a leash. It probably would keep opposing special teams on their toes and add another wrinkle to a special teams unit that while improved, still has it’s missteps here and there.

While that play was nullified we will not ignore the mark it made on Punterville. You know that when such a play like that happens it’s going to be talked about here among Punterville elite. It may have been nullified, but that doesn’t remove the awesome. Citizens, please give me the state of Punterville


State of Punterville?

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  • 93%
    A: Join us! There are no worries here, only punters
    (279 votes)
  • 4%
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  • 2%
    F: Burn it down, burn this city to the ground
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