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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Kyle Madson

Notes and observations: 49ers beat Seahawks again

The 49ers took care of business at home against the Seahawks with a 28-16 win over Seattle at Levi’s Stadium.

It was a slow start for San Francisco, but their talent ultimately came to the fore and they pulled away for their 10th victory of the year to keep pace in the NFC standings.

Here are our notes from each quarter:

First quarter

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

– Deebo Samuel is the kick returner again with Ray-Ray McCloud out.

– Well that’s one way to start a game. Christian McCaffrey takes a toss left 72 yards on the first play from scrimmage. San Francisco had that blocked up perfectly and McCaffrey isn’t going to miss a cutback lane as wide as the one the 49ers created.

– One play later it’s a three-yard touchdown from backup RB Jordan Mason. Two plays, 72 yards and a score to open the ball game. So much for an emotional letdown for San Francisco. It’s 7-0, 49ers.

– Ouch. Seattle QB Drew Lock airs one out for rookie WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Charvarius Ward nearly intercepts it. Ji’Ayir Brown was also in the area.

– Ward is hurt now. An interesting wrinkle for the 49ers with him out – Samuel Womack is in at nickel over Isaiah Oliver.

– Nick Bosa is such a good run defender.

– Now Oliver is in on a third-and-5 and he got torched for a first down. Woof.

– Now it’s Ambry Thomas getting flambeed by DK Metcalf for a 31-yard touchdown. That was a sick throw from Lock. It’s 7-7.

– San Francisco follows the Seattle TD with a three-and-out. It was a strangely conservative drive with two short runs and a pass. Brock Purdy’s first throw was a hospital ball to George Kittle in the middle. The throw was incomplete and Kittle took a huge shot. This has a real chance to get ugly for the 49ers in a game they need to have.

– Good run stop by Kevin Givens on a second-and-7 on Seattle’s second drive.

– Nice coverage by Lenoir on Smith-Njigba on third-and-6. That’s an excellent response by the 49ers’ defense to force a three-and-out after their offense punted.

– Purdy looks like he has no idea what he’s seeing in the passing game. Two hospital balls to Kittle and a pump fake where he narrowly avoided a sack have comprised of his dropbacks so far.

– Another three-and-out. Purdy has zero clue on the first three drives. He’s one-of-three for eight yards.

– Back-to-back 23-yard runs for Seahawks RB Zach Charbonnet. The 49ers defense looks slow and completely overmatched.

– Good run stop from Randy Gregory and Nick Bosa sets the Seahawks behind the sticks. They needed that to stop the Seattle momentum.

– Seattle winds up settling for a 40-yard field goal which we’ll mark as a win for San Francisco given how bad the drive started. It’s 10-7, Seahawks.

– Deebo Samuel gets SMOKED on a kick return. That’s not anything the 49ers want to see.

– There’s a good completion on first down for Purdy. He found Brandon Aiyuk for 25 yards on an in-breaking route on the right side. He’s typically good at figuring out defenses that have him confused out of the gate.

End of first quarter: Seahawks 10, 49ers 7

Second quarter

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

– Yikes. Now Purdy throws a pick because his throw to Aiyuk was too far out in front of the WR. Aiyuk had it bounce off his hands and into the arms of Seahawks CB Julian Love. This is as bad as Purdy has looked since Week 6 in Cleveland. The 49ers did not come to play.

– Flag on Deommodore Lenoir on a third down gives Seattle a fresh set of downs. Tons of miscues for the 49ers so far. They look emotionally empty.

– Good run stop from Javon Kinlaw.

– Drop from Smith-Njigba on third down. That might have been caused by Dre Greenlaw, who was bearing down heavily on the rookie WR.

– Oh look. A run play to the left goes for 20 yards. McCaffrey has 92 yards on two carries to the left side.

– Yikes. Purdy gets sacked. He never had a chance after C Jake Brendel got whooped at the line. Getting into a second-and-18 is not the move for this offense.

– There’s one way to convert a third-and-11. Purdy threw a dime to Samuel for 54 yards and a touchdown. He couldn’t have handed it to the WR better than that. What a freaking throw to give the 49ers a 14-10 lead.

– Sweet form tackle by Brown in the open field. The rookie safety has struggled at times filling in for Talanoa Hufanga, but that was a nice play.

– Fred Warner is so good. He sniffed out a screen and knifed through three blockers to get to RB Kenneth Walker untouched.

– There’s a pop pass! Samuel takes the shortest throw in the play book around the right edge for 25 yards.

– Ouch. Punting on a drive where the offense was rolling like that is brutal. A TD right before the half might’ve put this one away early.

– Sheesh. Mitch Wishnowsky drops the punt inside the 10. He has been unreal this year.

– For some reason the 49ers opted not to use any of their three timeouts despite Seattle being pinned inside its own 10 and facing a third-and-long. That was bizarre from head coach Kyle Shanahan and a decision that could wind up biting them if Seattle hangs around in the second half. What a strange choice.

Halftime: 49ers 14, Seahawks 10

Third quarter

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

– Nick Bosa opens the second half by batting a pass down at the line.

– On second down Lock nearly throws an interception to both Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles and Deommodore Lenoir. Lenoir should have had it, but he dropped it after having both hands on the football.

– Sick stiff arm by Christian McCaffrey on Bobby Wagner. Wagner is a shell of himself.

– Third-and-6 and the 49ers drive ends with a sack. Good blitz call by the Seahawks and a well-executed rush. Purdy had no chance.

– BRUTAL flag on Ronnie Bell for throwing a low block on a fake punt where Mitch Wishnowsky ran it 30 yards for a first down. A late hit would’ve tacked on 15 more, but Bell’s block negated the run and forced San Francisco to punt. The rookie WR slipped and got called for a play he did not make. That’s tough.

– Ouch. The 49ers give up 16 yards on a third-and-8 because WR Tyler Lockett was wide open.

– Whew, Lock got away from what looked like a sure sack for Nick Bosa. Dre Greenlaw tracked the QB down though and held him to one yard on a third-and-13.

– Another deep shot to Aiyuk on a dime. Purdy bought a ton of time with his legs and rolled left then found Aiyuk deep down the left side. That was a sweet throw.

– What play by Samuel to get the 49ers inside the 1. He made Quandre Diggs whiff from point-blank range then barreled over two defenders to get near the goal line. He scored on a handoff one play later to put the 49ers up 21-10. They needed a spark and Samuel has provided it.

– Woof. The 49ers defense is on its heels again. Kenneth Walker had a great run back against the grain after getting stacked up. Then Noah Fant the TE was wide open to get the Seahawks near the red zone.

– The two fake screens then the throw to the TE over the middle is the exact play the 49ers got the Seahawks with last season in Seattle. Yikes. This is very much a ball game.

– Two-point conversion fails. 21-16, 49ers.

– Another big catch-and-run by Samuel ends the third. He looks like a completely different player the last two weeks. Shades of his 2021 All-Pro season.

End of third quarter: 49ers 21, Seahawks 16

Fourth quarter

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

– That’s one way to open a quarter. After a short gain for McCaffrey the 49ers go play action with Kyle Juszczyk in motion left. Seahawks DB Julian Love got beat bad and had to hold George Kittle as he ran past him. The hold didn’t matter. Kittle still got free for a 44-yard touchdown. That was a really nice throw by Purdy and then his TE did the rest thanks in part to a business decision by Seahawks S Quandre Diggs. It’s 28-16, 49ers.

– There’s the turnover from Lock. He’s tried throwing a couple interceptions and this time Ji’Ayir Brown snagged it away from DK Metcalf. That’s two for Brown in his rookie season.

– What a rough play for Aiyuk. He made a tough catch in traffic then broke a tackle for big yards after the catch that would have put the 49ers in the red zone, but Love stripped him from behind and Seattle recovered the fumble. Aiyuk is still up to 127 yards.

– Another near interception with Lenoir knocking a throw away from Metcalf.

– Third-and-6 and there’s Bosa for a sack. He lined up over the center and worked left before flying back to the right to grab Lock as he started to scramble.

– This has a weird feel in the final half of the fourth quarter. The 49ers offense hasn’t been able to convert a couple third downs, but they don’t look super urgent on that side. It’s like they think Seattle can’t score two TDs.

– Big sack from Randy Gregory puts Seattle in a third-and-10 near midfield with six-ish minutes to go. Gregory showed off his explosiveness on that play to chase Lock down from the back side.

– An INT is negated by an offsides penalty on Bosa and it gives the Seahawks a first down on fourth-and-4. That’s his second one of the game.

– Another sack. Bosa got home first, and Javon Kinlaw helped finish it off. That brings up a fourth-and-13. This pass rush is so tough in these spots.

– Interception by Fred Warner as Lock’s throw flutters to the middle of the field. It looks like he got hit by Chase Young as he was throwing. Warner pitched it to Dre Greenlaw and Greenlaw spent way too much time running around before going down.

– Tons of extra curriculars after the play with DK Metcalf getting in Warner’s face. Lenoir and Metcalf were ejected after the kerfuffle. It didn’t look like Lenoir did much to earn an ejection.

– There’s the game-sealing first down. Purdy found Kittle wide open down the left side on a third-and-7. That’ll do it from Santa Clara.

Final score: 49ers 28, Seahawks 16

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