On October 3, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers 28-21 at Levi’s Stadium, snapping a two-game losing streak. The defense struggled to contain an injury-plagued offense, but one player stood out when it counted the most. Ryan Neal, a dime cornerback, was a constant presence on the field and made multiple plays to get the defense off the field.
At the start of the second quarter, the fourth-year corner made his presence known. The 49ers were facing a third-and-15 situation at the Seahawks’ 30-yard line. On a screen, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo connected with tight end George Kittle, but Neal tracked him down after only a seven-yard gain. This forced punter Mitch Wishnowsky to attempt a field goal, which he missed while filling in for an injured Robbie Gould.
Neal made another big play late in the second quarter to keep the Seahawks in the game. He intercepted a pass intended for Kittle and forced a 46-yard punt. This play ended the drive after only 1:37 and gave Russell Wilson and the battered offense one more chance to gain positive yards. The offense responded with a six-play drive that culminated in DK Metcalf scoring in the end zone.
After Trey Lance replaced an injured Garoppolo in the second half, Neal continued to make plays. He forced a punt by stopping the rookie on a run early in the third quarter. During the fourth quarter, he made another stop against Lance, forcing another fourth down. While Neal consistently made plays during his limited time on the field, the secondary as a whole struggled early and often.
The Secondary Continued To Struggle Against Wide Receivers
While Neal consistently made plays during his limited time on the field, the secondary as a whole struggled early and often. The game could easily have gone 49ers 21-7 at halftime, but missed opportunities by Garoppolo and his teammates kept the Seahawks in it.
Sidney Jones made his Seahawks debut after being acquired via trade on August 30. He started in place of Tre Flowers across from DJ Reed, and he battled Deebo Samuel on several occasions. He, on the other hand, struggled to keep opposing players at bay. On third-and-10, Jones gave up a 10-yard gain to Samuel for a first down. In the third quarter, he was also involved in a blown coverage that resulted in a 76-yard touchdown. Jamal Adams had Samuel covered at first, but he moved inside as the receiver bolted to the outside.
During his postgame press conference, head coach Pete Carroll stated that Jones made a coverage error on the play. He was supposed to move to the outside with Samuel, but instead he joined two other defenders on the inside with Brandon Aiyuk. The receiver was all by himself, sprinting to the end zone.
During the trip to the Bay Area, the Seahawks’ defense surrendered 314 passing yards. The team, on the other hand, made plays when it mattered. They managed to keep Lance and the offense out of the end zone long enough for Wilson to score 28 points.
Wilson Delivered a Historic Performance
The Seattle Seahawks’ trip to the Bay Area started off badly on both sides of the ball. In the first half, the offense punted five times before finally putting together a drive to tie the game. However, as the game progressed, the group made strides, culminating in Wilson’s historic performance.
The Super Bowl champion quarterback has won his 100th game in the NFL. He and Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to reach this milestone in their first ten seasons as starters.
In addition, during the 28-21 victory, the quarterback threw two touchdown passes, giving him 276 for his career. He moved into sole possession of 17th place on the all-time passing touchdowns list, passing Vinny Testaverde. Wilson has closed the gap on legendary Indianapolis Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas (290).
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