SEATTLE — The 49ers' 30-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks happened to be their most penalized game of the season.
In Sunday's loss, the 49ers were called for 10 penalties for a total of 86 yards. Previously, their highest tally was in Week 10 when they were penalized nine times for 53 yards in their win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Six of the 49ers' penalties occurred in the second quarter, which allowed Seattle to stay in the game when Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. seemed to be on a roll. An offensive holding penalty on Trent Sherfield and a subsequent false start by Tom Compton led to a Robbie Gould field goal instead of a touchdown.
“Real frustrating,” Kyle Shanahan said postgame. “I know [Jeff Wilson] got around the corner for a big one. I don’t get to see the hold so I’m not sure about the call. You live with it, you go back, and it was tough. We wanted seven and ended up with three.
“It’s hard to win when you have turnovers and penalties.”
Later in the quarter during the Seahawks' final drive of the half, two roughing the passer penalties by Arden Key and Charles Omenihu each helped keep the Seahawks' drive alive. The mistake by the 49ers' defense helped lead to a touchdown, cutting San Francisco's lead to two points.
Nick Bosa, who rarely draws a holding penalty was frustrated by the loss as a whole but it didn’t surprise the star pass rusher.
“Yeah, it was a rough day with the refs,” Bosa said. “Kind of used to it.”
Six of the penalties called were committed by the offense, two on the final drive of the game. Offensive holding on guard Laken Tomlinson brought back a 10-yard scramble by Jimmy Garoppolo. Four plays later Sherfield was called for an illegal block in the back which negated a 10-yard gain on a completion to George Kittle.
“Refs make calls, they don’t make calls,” Kittle said with a shrug. “It is what it is. You got to live with it. It’s frustrating when it’s a drive stopper. We had a couple of penalties the last drive that we were able to overcome, so you can’t use penalties as an excuse you just have to play better.”
Azeez Al-Shaair, who took over the MIKE linebacker role in Fred Warner’s absence finished the day with 16 total tackles in the game, one forced fumble and one quarterback hit. The linebacker was also credited for half of a quarterback sack but wouldn't blame the penalties for the loss.
“It’s always tough when things aren’t going your way,” Al-Shaair said. “There have been games when those calls have gone our way and vice versa. You can never control that and you never want to leave it in the hands of anyone else. [New York Jets head coach] Robert Saleh used to always say ‘You hold the pen, don’t let anyone else write your story.’”