Russell Wilson has MVP magic as Seahawks beat 49ers in OT classic

Not long ago, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers had the best rivalry in football. That died after Jim Harbaugh left the 49ers and San Francisco fell into disrepair.

The rivalry was back, at least for one night.

Seattle and San Francisco played the best game of the first 10 weeks of the NFL season on Monday night, and one of the better games the NFL has seen in many years. An enormous 18-yard run by Russell Wilson in overtime set up a game-winning field goal attempt by Jason Myers on the final play of the game. Myers, an All-Pro last season who has been struggling since joining the Seahawks in the offseason, hit a 42-yard attempt as time expired to give the Seahawks a 27-24 win. It was the 49ers’ first loss of the season. They’re 8-1. The Seahawks are now 8-2 and right back in the NFC West race.

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The Seahawks looked like they had a win on the first drive of overtime, but Wilson threw his second interception of the season. The 49ers looked like they had the win in overtime, but their rookie kicker who was filling in due to injury missed what would have been a game-winning field goal. After a couple of punts in the last two minutes, Seattle won it at the buzzer.

Monday night’s game had a little bit of everything. It’s hard to imagine another besting it this regular season.

Quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks scrambles against the defense of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Seahawks, 49ers trade scores in fourth quarter

Monday night’s game was a tough defensive battle that looked a little like the old Seahawks-49ers games from a few years ago.

A crazy play gave the 49ers hope when it looked like the Seahawks were pulling away in the fourth quarter. Wilson was about to be sacked when the ball popped free. It landed in offensive lineman Germain Ifedi’s arms. Instead of Ifedi falling down, he tried to run with the ball. Not a good idea. Linebacker Fred Warner punched the ball out, DeForest Buckner scooped it and scored. The 49ers were in trouble when it was 21-10. After Buckner’s score and a two-point conversion, it was 21-18 and the crowd was back into it.

The 49ers later tied it on a field goal. Then the teams traded clutch drives over the last few minutes of the fourth quarter.

On third-and-6 with a little more than three minutes left in a 21-21 game, Josh Gordon ran a slant route and Wilson hit him for a huge first down. That was the first Seahawks catch for Gordon, cut by the New England Patriots a couple weeks ago. That set up Myers’ 46-yard field goal with 1:45 left, after the Seahawks looked like they were going to go for it on fourth-and-2 but called a timeout and sent the struggling Myers out. Myers’ field goal gave the Seahawks a 24-21 lead.

Then 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo got the 49ers into field-goal range and rookie Chase McLaughlin — filling in for injured veteran Robbie Gould — nailed a 47-yard field goal with one second left to tie it.

Even without the overtime, it would have been the most entertaining game this season. But there was more football and plenty of drama to go.

Russell Wilson comes through in overtime

Seattle got the ball first in overtime. Wilson hit a couple of huge third-down throws, including another one to Gordon and a third-and-16 completion to Malik Turner. It looked like the Seahawks were at least going to get a field goal to take a lead. Wilson went for a touchdown to win the game.

Wilson threw down the sideline to tight end Jacob Hollister, and 49ers rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw played it perfectly. He timed a jump and snatched the pass out of the air before heading upfield for a 47-yard return. That looked like the play that would win it for the 49ers.

The 49ers set up McLaughlin for another big kick. ESPN showed a graphic that McLaughlin had never attempted an overtime field goal in college or the NFL. McLaughlin appeared in four games for the Los Angeles Chargers as an injury replacement earlier this season and missed three of nine field goals. His game-winning attempt in overtime missed terribly to the left. The game went on.

With less than two minutes left in overtime, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had a decision. On fourth-and-2 from his own 45, the Seahawks punted. It was a gamble because the 49ers could have run the ball and taken the tie. But three quick incompletions gave the Seahawks the ball back.

Wilson dropped back on a third down, found a lane and ran through it for 18 yards on third-and-3. That gave Myers a chance to win the game. Monday night’s win against a great 49ers defense will look good on Wilson’s MVP resume.

The 49ers would have had a three-game lead in the loss column with a win. The Seahawks are right behind the 49ers now, and still get the 49ers in Seattle later this season. Hopefully the rematch is as good as Monday night’s thriller. 

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