Errors that cost the Seahawks the game
Outside of Seattle, no one projected this game to be close. Yet, through the first half, even the Seahawks faithful probably were in disbelief that their team was within a score against the 49ers. However, everything unraveled for the Seahawks in the 2nd half quickly and they were not able to overcome the mistakes they created.
Let us revisit the obvious, however. The Seahawks were in a good shape to at least cut the 49ers’ lead with a field goal as they are at San Francisco’s 14-yard line threatening to score. At 2nd and 9, Geno Smith was able to connect with Tyler Lockett for a 7-yard gain and was looking for a 3rd and manageable at the 7-yard line. However, an ineligible man downfield penalty was called, and the play was negated. The Seahawks were pushed to 2nd and 14 and two plays after, when Geno Smith was forced to step up from the pocket, the ball got knocked out from his hands for a fumble that was recovered by the 49ers.
The costly turnover was monumental as the 49ers were able to march down the field and score another touchdown to put Seattle behind 31-17. That was not the only ineligible man penalty for Seattle as they were called for those two more times in the second half. An inexcusable penalty for the offense in need of a spotless performance against this 49ers defense. Those errors by the offense proved to be one of the decisive blows for their early exit in the playoffs.
However, we cannot solely blame the loss on the Geno fumble and the penalties. The defense also was not able to shut the 49ers down when they needed it badly. The defense was shattered in the red zone by two Brock Purdy passes to running backs in the flat for two scores. Both Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell seemed to be wide open on the scores, a mistake a team cannot afford to make in the playoffs.