49ers dominate Seahawks on the road to hand them Turkey Day defeat

Nov 23, 2023, 10:44 PM

Ambry Thomas #20 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates an interception with teammates during the se...

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The 49ers went into Lumen Field the only way they know how: Feasting on the Seahawks for Thanksgiving.

The San Francisco 49ers walked into Seattle on primetime to hand their arch rivals a big loss, 31-13, Thursday. With the win, SF now has a two-game lead on the Seahawks for the NFC West. The two teams will meet again in two weeks, but for now, the Red & Gold hold the bragging rights over their rivals on the holiday.

And here’s how the happened.

San Francisco’s offense was in full gear early, marching down the field for a touchdown on the opening possession. Quarterback Brock Purdy opened the day with nice throws to running back Christian McCaffrey and tight end Charlie Woerner to get the chains moving. Then, McCaffrey broke loose for a 27 yard scamper to put the 49ers in the redzone.

A few plays later, wide receiver Deebo Samuel took the outside handoff to the house for six. 7-0 to the visitors in five minutes.

On the flip side, Seattle struggled to get their offense going, going Three and Out on four of their first five drives of the game. But after a good kick return of 66 yards, the Seahawks were already in field-goal range and converted to cut the lead to four points.

The 49ers offense stalled out momentarily next, able to get a few first downs before a holding call backed them up. The drive ended with a McCaffrey screen pass being stuffed to force a punt.

Seattle couldn’t capitalize though, remaining rudderless for the time being. QB Geno Smith almost gave the 49ers a safety when he tripped on his running back’s leg near the goal-line. That drive ended like the last for the home side, with a punt.

The 49ers did capitalize on the next drive, going on nine play drive. SF dud face some adversity though, forced into tough third down situations. WR Jauan Jennings converted a big third and eight with an extra effort play to cross the line to gain. And then, they were bailed out by an illegal contact on Seattle to keep the drive alive.

A few plays later, McCaffrey got into the endzone from a yard out to make it a two-score game, 14-3, at the start of the second quarter.

The next series for Seattle saw them get one first down before the 49ers took back control. Geno Smith was looking for wideout Tyler Lockett when cornerback Ambry Thomas jumped the route to get the interception at Seattle’s 41-yard-line.

Unfortunately, the 49ers couldn’t capitalize, going three and out. The Seahawks offense also went three and out next, unable to convert on a deep shot to WR D.K. Metcalf.

The 49ers offense then came alive once more, going down the field on eight plays.

Purdy started off the drive with play-action pass to WR Brandon Aiyuk for 22 yards, getting the offense rolling. Then, he converted another third down to tight end George Kittle for 11 yards. The young gunslinger then converted another third down to Samuel to set up the 49ers on first and goal. The next play, McCaffrey took a negative run to the house, fighting though tackles to the endzone.

21-3 to the 49ers with five minutes left in the first half.

The next two drives didn’t amount to much for either side, going three and out for both. But when the 49ers punted away, Seattle gave the visotrs another chance to score with a muffed punt. RB DeeJay Dallas fumbled the football, getting it knocked away before 49ers players landed it for the turnover. With the takeaway, the 49ers now rank first in the NFL this season (21).

Unfortunately though, the 49ers offense went three and out, turning to kicker Jake Moody for three points, 24-3.

Seattle attempted to get more points before the half, moving downfield with efficiency. Eventually in field goal range, they attempted a 55-yarder, missing it right to end the first half.

The second half started a bit different than the first, with Seattle able to move the football for a few first downs. But eventually, the 49ers defense stool tall to force a punt.

Then things got weird.

Brock Purdy and the offense were backed up near the goal-line, trying to get more room to work with. on two consecutive plays, the QB called last-second checks to fool the defense. Instead, the defense fooled him, forcing two errant throws. The second one was costly, coming off of McCaffrey’s out-stretched hands to fall for linebacker Jordyn Brooks, running to the pylon for six.

24-10 was the score, and the game had some life to it.

It didn’t help that the 49ers punted on their next two possessions, unable to keep the chains moving away miscommunication and penalties backed them up.

On the other end, Seattle had their most successful drive of the game, going 14 plays. Smith used both his arm and his legs to pick up first downs, picking apart the 49ers’ secondary. But when Seattle got to first and goal, the 49ers defense stood tall.

Thomas mustered up a big pass break-up on WR Jaxson Smith-Njigba to force third down. Then the pressure got home for the Red & Gold, with defensive tackles Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave getting home to force a field goal.

24-13 was the score, a huge statement stop for the visitors.

The 49ers offense still couldn’t get much to go however, notching 38 yards before a false start on fourth and short made them punt the football back to the Seahawks in the fourth quarter.

But the defense did their job once more, with Armstead and Bosa getting to Smith to force another punt after five plays.

Then the 49ers offense and Brock Purdy woke up.

Purdy orchestrated a six-play, 64-yard drive to ice the game, starting with a play-action bootleg to Samuel for seven yards. Then, the running backs chimed in, with McCaffrey getting 12 yards on a carry. Backup Elijah Mitchell got in on the action next, churning up 17 more yards on three carries.

The next play was the clincher, with Purdy sliding to his left before firing back over the middle to Aiyuk perfectly for a 28-yard score. 31-13, halfway through the four quarter, curtains on the contest.

A perfectly-thrown ball, Purdy had to lay it in between two levels to get to his receiver, surprising his coach to say the least.

“Couldn’t believe he was throwing it. The zone coverages guys were so deep…Brock thought he could drop it in over the guy. It was just a clear view for all of us and just a hell of a throw, perfect touch, got it over him, a big play that sealed it,” Kyle Shanahan said postgame.

His teammates weren’t surprised though, especially Aiyuk.

“That was what you call a dot,” the wideout stated about Purdy’s throw.

The 49ers defense responded with one more stand to put the final nail in the coffin.

After Seattle picked up a few first downs, they faced a fourth-and-inches situation near the redzone. But the Red & Gold were prepared, sniffing out the run with Nick Bosa and Fred Warner getting the tackle for loss to close the show.

And that was all she wrote, as 49ers players gathered around the table for a victory feast at Lumen Field.

For the first time in franchise history, the 49ers have won in back-to-back seasons in Seattle, a feat that some of the greats could not accomplish. Additionally, this is the largest margin of victory for the 49ers in Washington since 1988.

And a large part of that was thanks to the defense, not allowing a touchdown in two of the last three games.

“The way the defense played tonight was unbelievable,” Shanahan stated. “To keep them out of the end zone the whole game, the six sacks, the way our corners played on the outside…Real impressive game.”

San Francisco’s offense stepped up at the right time as well, including Brock Purdy. While his statline wasn’t impressive (21/30, 209 passing yards, one TD, one INT), he made the plays that mattered most in the end.

“Oh, he’s playing at a high level right now. Especially for what we do and all the plays and stuff we threw at him this week. Just to come out on a short week and play the way he played. It was amazing,” Samuel said about Purdy.

Christian McCaffrey was also a star on Thanksgiving, going for 139 all-purpose yards and two TDs. He is now the franchise leader for most rushing scores in a single season, and total TDs by an RB (16).

San Francisco moves to 8-3 on the season, now on a three-game win streak after the bye week. And with the Detroit Lions loss eerier in the day, the 49ers now have a chance at the No.2 seed in the NFC.

The Red & Gold will now enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday with three days of rest before getting ready for their biggest game of the season: A road trip to Philadelphia for a rematch with the NFC-best Eagles next Sunday.

Upcoming San Francisco 49ers Schedule

  • Sunday, Dec. 3rd @ Philadelphia Eagles – 1:25 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 10th vs. Seattle Seahawks – 1:05 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 17th @ Arizona Cardinals – 1:05 p.m. PST
  • Monday, Dec. 25th vs. Baltimore Ravens – 5:15 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 31st @ Washington Commanders – 10:00 a.m. PST

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