BY Art Thiel 02:54AM 11/12/2019

Thiel: Fresh crazy, but like old times with 49ers

This one will be talked about for years, but the Seahawks will be the ones to brag about it after going to the 49ers house and hanging the season’s first ‘L’ there.

DE Jadeveon Clowney scooped and scored the Seahawks’ first touchdown. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

When your children’s children’s children hear you talk about the Monday Night Football game of Eleven Eleven Nineteen, they will whisper among themselves: “How come the implant in his brain doesn’t shut off the babble?”

The oldest child explains, “That is the only one the government allows to pass. It keeps them happy.”

The ocean of serotonin produced in Seattle by the Seahawks’ preposterous 27-24 overtime win (box) over the previously undefeated 49ers should linger long. And probably splash upon Sounders parade downtown Tuesday celebrating their second MLS Cup in four years.

Don’t know if there is such a thing as civic sports-success overdose, but really, who would care?

Even Seahawks coach Pete Carroll went a little metaphysical on us.

“It took us all the way,” he said, “until there was nothing left.”

Seventy minutes of warrior football stirred the embers of what was the greatest recent rivalry in the NFL. Rarely pretty (the longest pass completion was 30 yards, the longest run 22 yards, seven combined turnovers) but breathtakingly ferocious (the 49ers may be out of players) and almost perpetually absurd (330-pound tackle Germain Ifedi with a critical carry and lost fumble), the game started off the rails and stayed there.

Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin made a potentially game-saving pass defense in overtime. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

“Craziest game I’ve ever been a part of,” said QB Russell Wilson, whose biggest play was a run, an 18-yard scramble to set up the game-winning field goal by Jason Myers as the OT clock hit 0:00. It was also the run-heavy Seahawks’ longest rush by nine yards.

The question at the end of the evening at Levi’s Stadium: How many times can two good teams not win a great game that lasted five quarters?

The 49ers were up 10-0, and should have been up 21-0. The Seahawks were up 21-10, and should have been up 31-10. Then the teams were tied at 21 and 24, and spent overtime as if they were two guys carrying an upright piano down five flights of stairs.

But before we get too wrapped around the axle of our perverse little narrative, let’s make one thing clear:

Jadeveon Clowney.

Man of the Match. Maybe Two Men of the Match.

He had 10 quarterback pressures, five QB hits, a sack, a forced fumble, five tackles and another for a loss, and a scoop-and-score touchdown that broke the Seahawks’ first-half torpor.

If Niners’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo dares to go sleep Monday night, we know why he’ll wake up in the next minute.

“Jadeveon played lights out — that why we got him,” said Wilson.

“Jadeveon was fantastic,” Carroll said. “This is a breakout game for him. I thought he was so impressive all night long. We would have liked to have seen it a little earlier (in the season), but if this is where we kick it high gear . . .

“Our defense looked pretty good tonight. They were tired of listening to all that stuff.  Obviously they popped up in a great way.”

After weeks of big plays smashed upon them, the Seahawks defense held the NFL’s No. 1 rushing team to 82 yards, and 302 yards of total offense. Garoppolo was sacked five times, fumbled twice and intercepted once, although the Seahawks dropped at least four other interceptions.

Most impressively, over the final 11 possessions, the Seahawks allowed only 126 yards.

Another key defensive development was the insertion of newcomer Quandre Diggs at free safety in place of rookie Marquise Blair, who replaced Tedric Thompson. He had the one pick and because he’s a fourth-year pro, knew how to play the position.

‘Quandre did great, good to see him out there,” Carroll said. ‘You can tell he’s played a lot of football. That’s why we traded for him — more experience. It felt like we were letting some things get away from us because we so inexperienced.”

But the big deal was Clowney, who apparently has stepped up as a bit of a leader after his in-season acquisition from Houston.

“I didn’t talk much at first,” he said. “First time I talked was (Saturday) night to the team. I said, look, I’ve been around other teams. Y’all got great guys here. We just need to play together, communicate, fly around, and have great energy to carry us where we want to go.

‘Took five quarters to do it, but we did what we wanted to do.”

They accomplished the goal of bring back to earth the 49ers from their 8-0 orbit, while improving their own road mark to a remarkable 5-0, a first in franchise history. For the third time this season, they’ve won after trailing by 10-plus points, an NFL high. They finally have a signature win against a quality opponent.

“We need to play teams like this, in tough situations on the road, all the way down to the nub; it makes us better,” Carroll said. “This was a significant opportunity because they’ve had so much success, and they happen to be in the division. That’s a big deal.

‘”Next week’s game (after a much-needed bye) is just as important. But I do recognize it’s Monday night and San Francisco was rolling . . . ”

So they put on a show.

“We had 1:23 left and no timeouts,” said Wilson of the final possession in overtime. “Gotta find a way to win. There’s no words to explain how crazy it was.

“It felt like the old days of Seahawks-49ers.”

Wilson, who nearly threw the game away with a red-zone interception on the first possession of extras, drove Seattle 40 yards on seven plays to set up Myers’ kick on Seattle’s third possession of OT. Wilson was 3-of-3 for 15 yards, and the 18-yard scramble.

Then the Seahawks slipped the shiv into the 49ers, winning for the 10th time in the series’ past 11 meetings.

Took them all the way, until nothing was left.

Just like the old days.

Bruise sends Tyler Lockett to SF hospital

A bruise to his lower left shin was significant enough to keep WR Tyler Lockett out of the late fourth quarter and overtime Monday night and put into Stanford University hospital. ESPN reported he spent the night there.

“He’ll be OK but it was a pretty severe situation for game night,” Carroll said. “There was a lot of swelling right away, and some concerns about that.”

Lockett, the Seahawks’ leading receiver, had three catches for 26 yards as the Seahawks resorted to a quicker passing game to counter the 49ers’ pass rush.

Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman have a post-game public exchange of jerseys, a gesture to ease relations between the former teammates. / Drew McKenzie, Sportpress Northwest

 


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YourThoughts

  • Steed

    Holy Moses! Jumpin Jiminy! The only way I thought the Seahwaks had a chance was under the “they seem to get up for national tv games” concept. I thought Niners blowout win was likely.

    So many turnovers! Crazy turnovers. The kind that make you smash the remote, tape it back together, them smash it again! Metcalf with a burly run after the catch, then gets the ball stripped at the goal line. Russ fails to just fall to the turf and take an obvious sack, then Ifedi somehow starts running with the ball and fumbles it.

    Pete said, of Ifedi “What was he thinking? He thought he was going to score.” Hilarious.

    What was I thinking? That the Seahawks had almost no chance to win. This was going to be the Niners revenge for our guys eating turkey on their field. The Niners statement to the NFL that they are #1. Instead, it’s another gem of a Seahawks win.

    • art thiel

      All of this is why NFL fans are insatiable for this kind of action.

    • Chris Alexander

      To be fair, it would have been pretty hard for Russell to just go down when one defender was holding him up and another was whipping his head around by the facemask.

  • Tim

    No words….okay a few. This was one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen. The turnovers were almost excusable for each side given what amazing plays were made to cause them. I still don’t know how a player standing out of bounds is allowed to to take a ball from a player in bounds and have it stand. Wow. Epic game. so proud of our Hawks (and Sounders)!

    • Lightninbug

      Many questionable calls by the refs. The 9ers were stretching Seahawk jerseys on every play yet only got called once for holding. Their sins are too numerous to list here. Disgraceful officiating.

      • art thiel

        Well, yes. I’m beginning to believe the layers of new rules over the last several years are making the game ungovernable.

    • art thiel

      While teams always aspire to zero turnovers, their absence isn’t necessarily the sign of a well-played game, nor their presence a sign of crappiness. Most of he errors were forced by the ferocity of play, which is the mark of excellence.

  • DJ

    Art – THANK YOU for describing so well the game that has us all still smirking and rubbing our eyes in disbelief. The game that you want so bad to win, but don’t want to end did not disappoint. No mistakes were made – they were forced by the opponent – body blows. The words “HOLY BLEEP” are still echoing in my head from that great pick The Niners’ 57 made of Russell’s would-be winning touchdown pass. “ How many times can two good teams not win a great game that lasted five quarters?.” says it well!

    Awesome game plan by the Seahawks, and over the top execution.

    Diggs showed us how the number 37 can remind you of 29.

    I can’t believe it took 10 weeks for the D-line to finally play up to their potential, and for Clowney to step up and tell all what was so obvious to him, that the little old wire between the plunger and the TNT had been disconnected this whole time – KABOOM!

    This team has really come together thanks to all of the great play, unselfishness, and steadfast belief of their leaders, old and new. Very special!

    • art thiel

      The Seahawks he that Clowney sustains the effort and isn’t just a big-stage guy. But he, Diggs and and Gordon are in-season acquisitions that might get Schneider exec of the year.

      • DJ

        That would be cool, and obviously well overdue. Just more to anticipate and hope for as the season continues on.

  • Matt712

    That Niners defense was as advertised. The Seahawks defense was not. Thank God!

    • art thiel

      Remarkable turnaround. Big question: Can Clowney maintain that edge the rest of the way?

      • antirepug3

        Now when Ziggy becomes a dog too, watch out!

        • art thiel

          I don’t think Ansah is salvageable this year. Hasn’t recovered from shoulder surgery.

          • antirepug3

            The anticipation of pain on a previously injured part is tough to get by even though that part may physically be 100%.

  • coug73

    To the familia in the Bay Area, some one had to win and I’m glad it was the Seahawks. Stay strong, there’s a lot of football to be played.

    • art thiel

      If the 49ers get healthier, the last regular-season game between the teams should be, to use a fancy high-tech term, a slobberknocker.

      • coug73

        Yeah, snot bubble hitting or slobberknocker or all elbows and assholes.

  • Will Ganschow

    I went to bed last night excited about reading your column today like a kid on Christmas Eve. I ran out of brain trying to review all of the players and their plays that significantly contributed to the season defining win by the Seahawks. Massive team effort. From my seat (and from where I danced nervously around the living room half the time,) at 10-0 some switch flipped and from then on I watched a team play each and every play as if it were the decisive play of a Super Bowl. Like the Thrilla in Manilla. Watching Russel Wilson dance across the field like a ten year old and the look on his face as he connects with Pete Carrol could be the subject of the joint statue of them the owners place outside the Clink years from now
    Like the game, your column includes so much essential info about the game while like the game twisting and turning and doubling back on itself and for me makes what you do so much about what I enjoy about being a sports fan and rooting for my favorite teams. Overtime being two piano movers and five flights of stairs may be a new pinnacle for you and yet like the game, there are at least three places in your column that grammatical typos result in a colloquial manner of speech which in this PC era would get you suspended if you weren’t your own boss.
    Who predicted the Seahawks 8 and two? Who knows what the remainder of the season will bring?

    • art thiel

      Thanks for the kind words, Will. I enjoying stay up until 3 for readers like you.

      Truly a memorable evening.

      • Ken S.

        I think that game will easily be one of the top 5 in MNF history! Lately there’s been a lot of doggy games in prime time. I know the schedulers can only work with history but some NFL teams are perennial barkers.

        • art thiel

          It’s a random thing. What isn’t random is the Seahawks are 25-10
          on Monday night, a winning percentage of .714 that is the best in the NFL since the MNF franchise began in 1970. That includes
          a 9-2 record on MNF under Carroll and now 28-5-1 in prime time since Carroll took over in 2010.

          • Husky73

            Howard Cosell or Booger McFarland?

          • art thiel

            Cosell was annoying, but he always asked the tough questions. Last national TV sports reporter to do so.

          • Pat McCormick

            Anybody named “Booger” that made it to TV must be pretty good.

  • Matt Kite

    I couldn’t have been more wrong about this game. I was certain RW would have to be perfect in order for us to have a chance. Turns out we have a defense that can be a difference maker.

    • art thiel

      Reasonable logic, but that’s why the NFL works as entertainment — a fan cannot often anticipate from where the decisive moments will come, especially in a restrictive, rules-dominant, collision sport.

    • antirepug3

      If I had laid money on the game my wallet would be considerably lighter. GO HAWKS!

  • Kevin Lynch

    It may have been Veteran’s Day but it played like Halloween. The gift giving was outrageous. Tricky turnovers and touchdown treats. The play stoppages, for various reasons, were also interesting. And the game’s length. My takeaway, apart from the Hawks being deserving winners, was the incredible distance between Russell Wilson’s aplomb and coolness and Jimmy G.’s thousand mile stare. He was really shaken. I know he was missing his top two receivers but he was WAY off the mark. His happy feet were missing. He was slow making decisions. He locked on primary targets and didn’t move well in the pocket. Hawks have a legitimate shot at the division now. Good to point out the 5-0 road record. In their history Seattle has only been as good as 6-2 once. The Super Bowl victory year.

    • dingle

      Jimmy’s no Russel Wilson, and he had some happy feet and off-target throws, particularly late in the game (two of which probably should have been intercepted).

      But in his defense, his receivers dropped at least 6 (probably more) very catchable passes, a number of which would have been for first downs and significant yardage. Between those and the 47-yard shank that ended up somewhere in Milpitas, the Hawks were fortunate to escape with a victory.

      Very rarely is football must-see TV for me, but last night qualified.

      • art thiel

        Injuries aside, 49ers offense made numerous unforced errors. At home. Yet nearly won.

    • art thiel

      Jimmy G isn’t quite ready. Your points were clear to the 49ers front office too. They have to wonder if he can be coached up to be cool.

  • Ken S.

    Win or lose, it was a gutsy game played by both sides. Frisco has nothing to be ashamed of. I’m just happy that the Hawks outlasted the 49ers.

    …they will whisper among themselves: “How come the implant in his brain doesn’t shut off the babble?”
    The oldest child explains, “That is the only one the government allows to pass. It keeps them happy.”
    Lets hope this doesn’t become reality. You’re closer to the ‘mark’ than you may know, Art!

    • art thiel

      Well, yes. I do know a few things besides sports.

      • Ken S.

        With your writing style, doesn’t surprise me one bit! I’ve been reading your columns for decades, Art. Don’t change a thing!

  • ll9956

    I was thinking that this was a win for the ages, but somehow that label didn’t quite fit, due to all the errors. I think I’d prefer to stay with Wilson’s description as the “Craziest game . . . ” I can remember. The Hawks still have to face the 49ers one more time this year–this time at the Clink. That should be interesting.

    One somewhat unrelated gripe: Why did ESPN first report that Tyler Lockett stayed overnight at Stanford hospital? Why wasn’t it Pete Carroll or John Schneider? It just galls me that the east coast mafia always is the first to report stuff.

    • art thiel

      ESPN owns the broadcast rights to the game, and teams are either obligated, or volunteer, to share information with the corporation that pays most of their salaries.

  • Kevin Lynch

    Maybe the single strangest thing about this strange game came at the end. Shanahan had a chance to run out the clock with 1:40 to play but let Jimmy keep throwing. A tie would have really benefitted the Niners. Huge error.

    • antirepug3

      Best not interrupt any of the opposing teams whilst they are making a mistake. LOL

    • art thiel

      Shanahan is taking some heat for not playing for a tie, but I have a hard time blaming a coach for not working through the NFL standings this far ahead of the end of the season and playing to tie now. But trying a run on first down for four yards would have helped.

      • Kevin Lynch

        I’m trying to remember how it worked out for Ara Parseghian and Notre Dame in 1966. And that was a much more obvious and debatable situation.

  • antirepug3

    “Don’t know if there is such a thing as civic sports-success overdose, but really, who would care?”

    Maybe that is like ‘too much of a good thing is a great thing’?

    • art thiel

      Or as John Belushi’s tombstone reads, “Too much is not enough.”

  • Warchild_70

    After a tank of O 2, no booze just me and the Secretary of War (Wife) I could not have imaged a more intense battle of the Titans of the NFC West. 49r QB will have nightmares for a week, PK played very well until the bone crushing pressure was too much for a rookie. Thank our Lord we’ll have a week off to lick the wounds then strap in for the rest of the season. GO HAWKS!!

    • art thiel

      This is breaking news that God is the NFL scheduler. I knew the NFL was bigger than life itself, but . . .

      • dingle

        Considering we’ve already had Steelers/Bengals, Patriots/Jets, and Cowboys/Giants on Monday Night, I’m going to assume that Satan gets some input as well.

  • dharmabruce

    Lol, as if the people would trust “the people” with brain implants. Everybody knows only Fox News has earned that thrust. Jeez, Art, get with the programming.

    Putting aside our dystopian times, what a game! Our pets were huddled under the bed as we screamed and gnashed our teeth. The Wife joined them after Russel’s OT interception, unable to stomach such a loss. Russel looked like he’d blown his full pack of platitudes on the sidelines. Thank goodness he’s made of nails and not Garopillows.

    [*THWAP* Brain implant snaps closed 😱 ]

    • art thiel

      Good to know the implants have hinges, and let me know if/when your wife emerges.

  • antirepug3

    A real slobberknocker game…just like a game should be. Blowouts are not near as much fun to watch.