49ers Blow Out Seahawks In Super Wild Card

By Terrance Turner

Jan. 14, 2023

The playoffs are here.

Super Wild Card Weekend began today with an NFC West showdown: the Seattle Seahawks faced the San Francisco 49ers.

Background

These two teams entered the game on different wavelengths. After longtime QB Russell Wilson got traded earlier this year, quarterback Geno Smith took the reins and led the Seahawks to an unlikely playoff berth.

Seventh-round pick Brock Purdy — the last player in the NFL draft — stunned everyone by overcoming his “Mr. Irrelevant” label. Surrounded by top tier talent — tight end George Kittle, running back Deebo Samuel and newly arrived back Christian McCaffrey — Purdy and the 49ers overcame a 3-4 start to win 10 straight games. Today, they overcame a 17-16 halftime deficit to score 25 unanswered points in the second half, blowing out the Seahawks.

1st Half

San Francisco scored first when kicker Robbie Gould made a field goal. Then Christian McCaffrey scored after catching a three-yard pass from Purdy.

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The 49ers ended the first quarter with a 10-0 lead.

2nd Quarter

2ND QUARTERSEASF
TD13:14Kenneth Walker III 7 Yd Run (Jason Myers Kick)14 plays, 78 yards, 6:57710
FG7:41Robbie Gould 33 Yd Field Goal10 plays, 60 yards, 5:33713
TD5:01DK Metcalf 50 Yd pass from Geno Smith (Jason Myers Kick)5 plays, 71 yards, 2:401413
Graphic from ESPN.

Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf caught a 50-yard pass from Geno Smith to score a touchdown and give the Seahawks the lead.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 19: Wide receiver DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks waves to fans before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lumen Field on September 19, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
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Things got close late in the second quarter, and a defensive penalty gave the Seahawks an edge. As Smith was sliding to a stop, 49ers corner Jimmie Ward dove at him, hitting him near the shoulder. Referees flagged Ward for a penalty, and it proved costly. With just one second left, the kicker made a 56-yard field goal.

Seattle led 17-16 at the half.

2nd Half

The 49ers moved their way through a 13-play drive dotted with highlights. George Kittle picked up 23 yards on the kitchen run. Deebo Samuel ran to the 16-yard line, and defender Jonathan Abram appeared to pick up his leg and then twist it — particularly dirty, given Samuel’s ankle injury earlier this season. Samuel was outraged by the call.

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 14: Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers argues a play against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Levi’s Stadium on January 14, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Refs had to break up a scuffle between the teams.

But none of that stopped the Niners from scoring. Christian McCaffrey raced his way near the end zone (and may have broken the plane). But refs ruled him short. It didn’t matter. Brock Purdy went in for the touchdown.

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 14: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers scores a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Levi’s Stadium on January 14, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Costly Fumble

The Seahawks got near the red zone on their ensuing drive. Metcalf helped with two more substantial catches. But Geno Smith got swarmed and lost the ball; Charles Omenihu forced the fumble. Nick Bosa recovered the fumbled ball.

San Francisco cashed in. Their points came after a daring play by the QB: Purdy gave chase as defenders pursued him. In trouble, he scrambled away and threw to a wide-open Elijah Mitchell. Touchdown.

The Niners went for two. Purdy connected with Kittle, who made a contested catch in the end zone.

The Seahawks picked up penalties on three straight plays: first for holding, then for a false start, then for an ineligible man downfield on 3rd and 22, Cade Johnson’s catch was well short of a first down. Seattle had to punt.

Out of nowhere, Samuel caught a ball and sprinted down the sideline for a 74-yard touchdown.

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The Seahawks’ next drive was over before it even began. Smith got picked off by Chase Lenoir. That essentially sealed the game for the Niners. Smith did locate Metcalf for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but that score came far too late.

Postgame

The 49ers won, 41-17. They finished with 505 yards of total offense — generated more offense than they’ve had in a game in three seasons, per FOX Sports. Their 41 points are the most they’ve scored in a playoff game since 2012, according to The Athletic.

Purdy threw for 332 yards — the second most ever for a rookie in the playoffs to Russell Wilson‘s 385 in a loss to Atlanta 10 years ago — and he became the first rookie QB ever to account for four TDs in a playoff game.

“We the best in the world,” one player told his teammates in the locker room. “All we gotta do is be us.”

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