49ers’ Kyle Shanahan reveals turning point that ‘p—ed the team off’ in big win over Seahawks
The San Francisco 49ers jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but they trailed 17-16 at halftime and were suddenly in trouble.
They needed a momentum move against the Seattle Seahawks, and they got it.
They outscored the Seahawks 25-6 in the second half and, after the game, coach Kyle Shanahan shared what sparked the dominant second half.
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San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) is protected by Seattle Seahawks safety Johnathan Abram (23) and cornerback Tariq Woolen (27) in the third quarter of a wild-card game at Levi’s Stadium. (Cary Edmondson/USA Today)
About five minutes into the third quarter, Deebo Samuel drove the Niners into the red zone, but Seahawks Johnathan Abram appeared to twist the receiver’s ankle during the tackle.
At the very least, Abrams took Samuel’s leg and dragged him a few inches.
As Samuel asked for a flag, the players had to keep their distance from each other. Samuel was slow to rise from the game.
Shanahan said the treatment “upset the team” and the Niners refused to take their foot off the gas pedal.
That car ended in a Brock Purdy high-speed crash. On the Seahawks’ ensuing drive, the Niners recovered a Geno Smith fumble and returned it for another touchdown. The Niners scored on each of his possessions in the second half.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) reacts after a play in the third quarter of a wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium. (Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports)
49ERS DOMINATE SEAHAWKS IN SECOND HALF TO ADVANCE IN NFL PLAYOFFS
Speaking to reporters after the game, Samuel said he stayed on the ground because, apart from the tackle that hurt his ankle, he wanted to keep calm and control his emotions.
Samuel got his revenge later in the game with a 74-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
“I don’t know what he was trying to accomplish by doing that, but it wasn’t the smartest move, for sure,” Niners linebacker Fred Warner added, referring to Abrams.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs for a touchdown during the second half of a wild-card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. (AP Photo /Jed Jacobsohn)
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Samuel missed time early this season with an ankle injury, only returning last week.
The Niners won their 11th straight game and await their divisional round opponent.