SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

49ers Cruise to 27-7 Win Over Seahawks Despite Losing Trey Lance for the Season

Sep 18, 2022, 6:20 PM
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers tosses his t...
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers tosses his towel to fans after their 27-7 win against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Defense was the name of the game Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara as the 49ers came away with their first win of the regular season, 27-7, over the Seattle Seahawks.

Defense coordinator DeMeco Ryans’ defense held stout for the entirely of the game, only allowing 36 rushing yards on the day. Seattle totaled 216 net yards, compared to SF’s 373 net yards Sunday.

The win comes with a somber undertone, however, as starting quarterback Trey Lance suffered a broken ankle in the first quarter, forcing him to miss the remainder of the 2022 season.

The injury occurred during the first quarter at the 2:33 mark when Lance ran up the middle on designed run play. The quarterback was tackled awkwardly by linebacker Cody Barton on second and eight inside the redzone. Lance tried to stand up but immediately collapsed onto the field, signaling to the training staff right away.

“It’s tough, you feel for someone so bad,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said postgame. “It’s a very sad moment but you don’t have time to sit there and think about it, you gotta get right back to the game. And I thought that the guys did a real good job with that…but its was little somber once you get in the locker room and see him.”

“It was real somber,” linebacker Fred Warner added. “Those things are just freak accidents. They’re unfortunate. Just feel bad for Trey [Lance].”

The second-year gunslinger out of North Dakota State was two for three passing at the time of the injury, with 30 yards as well.

With one door closing another opens up as former starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo took the field for San Francisco, delivering the goods right away with a 38-yard TD throw to tight end Ross Dwelley. The backup tight end had some work to do after the catch, squeezing past defenders before driving for the endzone.

After a muffled punt return by Seattle, the 49ers found themselves inside the the 30-yard line of their opponents. After a few first downs, San Francisco hit pay dirt again, this time with a one yard run by fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

“Ecstatic, just felt good,” Garoppolo said after the game Sunday. “We were talking earlier, kind of felt like 2017 where it’s just go throwing, make plays. That’s what I like to do.”

The veteran QB was more pedestrian after that, unable to get another passing TD with the elements forcing a more conservative approach.

His biggest contribution of the game came in the fourth quarter, running the clock out for seven minutes with good game management. San Francisco ran a 13-play, 63 yard drive, capitalized by a 1-yard Garoppolo sneak into the endzone. The veteran play-caller was visibly happy after the final whistle, fist pumping in the air and signing autographs with the faithful.

“Wasn’t my call, man. I just run the plays,” Jimmy G said with a laugh regarding his QB sneak.

Garoppolo has had an interesting timeline with the 49ers over the course of 2022. From saying goodbye to the faitfhul after the NFC Championship Game loss, to rehabbing his shoulder off to the side of training camp and to now being the starting quarterback for the team once again.

It’s been a wild ride for Jimmy G, who only wants to focus on winning football games this season.

“I mean, it’s never about you. Yeah, I’m not a big me guy. It’s about winning football games, big believer in that. People can say whatever they want, talk stats whatever. When you win football games, that’s what we’re here to do. That’s all I’m trying to do,” Garoppolo stated.

Jimmy had some friends in this one though, as the 49ers’ stellar play on the defensive side of the ball was apparent from the first snap, holding QB Geno Smith and the Seahawks to under 30 yards total in the first quarter.

A lot of that play came from drawing less penalties this week, only getting flagged for one on a questionable defensive pass interference call that would have been a pick for the 49ers. After the collapse in Chicago, the 49ers came out of half time with a different mindset to seal the victory Sunday.

“That’s definitely a big, big improvement for us. Being smarter with certain things and when you’re suffocating an offense like we have the past two weeks, that could be game changing,” defensive end Nick Bosa said postgame.

The lone score for Seattle came on a botched field goal attempt in there third quarter when cornerback Michael Jackson scooped up the ball and ran it back to the house six points. The defense continued to be solid after that, not wanting to let their opponents back in the contest.

“You never want to give a team life, especially a rival in Seattle. It’s been tough to close out [games] since I’ve been here and before. So the fact that we were clean on [penalties] is a big reason we won,” Bosa added.

Another reason they won was the play of second-year safety Talanoa Hufanga, reeking havoc across the gridiron Sunday.

After his 11-tackle, one INT performance in Chicago, the USC product followed it up with a stellar six-tackle, two PBU game in Week 2. While causal fans may not know his name, his play doesn’t come as a surprise to the team, seeing his improvement through training camp, earning the starting nod in the backline.

“You know, I’m really not surprised,” Warner said about his young safety. “He showed up this season. He had a great rookie year, got a couple of opportunities and this year he had the opportunity to really take a hold of the position and he did. He showed up ready to go. And you know, he’s receiving the fruits of his labor really.”

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