SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Early impressions from the Seahawks’ 27-24 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football:
Overtime overdrive madness
Russell Wilson picked the worst time imaginable for his second interception of the season. Wilson had tight end Jacob Hollister — the hero of last week’s overtime victory over Tampa Bay — again open near the goal line, but Wilson’s pass was underthrown and intercepted by San Francisco’s Dre Greelaw.
Wilson’s 18-yard scramble on third down got the Seahawks into 49ers’ territory with 1 minute left. DK Metcalf added an 8-yard catch, and Chris Carson ran for 7 yards to the San Francisco 31 — setting up Jason Myers’ 42-yard game-winning field goal as time expired in overtime.
Teammates lifted Myers on their shoulder to celebrate at midfield.
Did you get all that?
The 49ers had a chance after Wilson’s interception early in OT. Greelaw’s 47-yard return set up the 49ers to potentially win the game. But San Francisco kicker Chase McLaughlin — signed just the other day after veteran Robbie Gould was injured — missed from 47 yards.
The Seahawks, trailing 10-0 early, had taken a 21-10 lead into the fourth quarter. But the 49ers got back in on a wild sequence that started with a strip-sack of Wilson and also included a fumble by Seahawks right tackle Germain Ifedi — which the 49ers’ DeForest Buckner returned for a touchdown.
The Seahawks drove into field-goal range in the final two minutes and took a 24-21 lead on Myers’ 46-yard field goal with 1:45 left, a moment of redemption for Myers after he missed the potential-game winning kick at the end of regulation last week against the Tampa Bay.
How much fun was that?
OK, OK, so all the fumbles (there were a lot of them) and all the stomach-turning momentum swings (breathe, people, just breathe) and all the missed calls (um, were those Pac-12 refs?) perhaps made this Monday night game more maddening than anyone would have preferred.
But you can’t deny this: The Seattle-San Francisco rivalry has been cranked up to 100 once again.
Did you see Richard Sherman there in the fourth quarter, after successfully breaking up Wilson’s third-down pass intended for Metcalf? Sherman sprang to his feet, turned around and stared down the Seahawks sideline, bobbing his head and skipping slowly back to the other side of the field. Sherman knows all about this rivalry, and you know he could feel it boiling back up in the buildup to Monday’s game.
The league’s last undefeated team, the 49ers came out trying to prove once and for all that they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
The Seahawks came in needing a victory to, frankly, have any legitimate shot at reclaiming the NFC West crown.
This game meant something within the context of these teams and their postseason aspirations. But you know it meant that much more because of the history of these two teams — and the personalities of those still involved in it.
Where is this Seahawks defense without Jadeveon Clowney?
The star defensive end had his best game for the Seahawks, returning a fumble for a touchdown in the first half and forcing another fumble in the second half that helped set up another Seahawks touchdown.
He added five tackles, one sack and five quarterback hits on Jimmy Garoppolo — helping the Seahawks overcome their three lost fumbles.
Seattle’s defense had just 15 sacks in their first nine games — ranking among the worst pass-rushing teams in the NFL — and they had five on Monday night to overcome a brutally bad first quarter (in which SF outgained the Seahawks 118-5 in total yards and built a 10-0 lead).
Clowney will be a free agent after this season — remember, when the Seahawks traded for him late in the summer they agreed not to place the franchise tag on him. And his performance Monday night showed he could command top dollar on the free-agent market. This is a question for down the road, sure, but still worth asking how: Can the Seahawks afford to let him go?