SANTA CLARA – Raheem Mostert charged forward full speed ahead, churning hard to convert a 49ers third down. He was only two yards away but ended up just short, so close a replay review was required to confirm it.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was faced with a fourth-and-short deep into Monday’s overtime period against Seattle and sent out the field goal unit without a second thought.
“Honestly, it never entered my mind right there,” Shanahan said. “We were 3-for-3 at the time, and it was certainly close enough for him.”
Shanahan wasn’t referring to former All-Pro Robbie Gould, someone as clutch as they come since joining the 49ers in 2017. He was out with a groin injury that forced the 49ers to sign a new kicker off the street.
Chase McLaughlin got the gig and made the most of his first three opportunities. He was nails from 43 yards out to open the scoring. He converted again from 39 to tie it midway through the fourth quarter. And then, with the game on the line and regulation time expiring, McLaughlin drilled one straight and true from 47 yards away.
McLaughlin faced the exact same distance to win it in overtime. That’s why Shanahan didn’t even consider going for it on fourth down.
This one, for all the marbles, didn’t go as planned. It went well wide left. Like, really wide. Like, so wide it sent folks ducking in the tunnel.
Um.... this is not where the ball is supposed to go. pic.twitter.com/Ie5EfA9Mq8— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) November 12, 2019
“I don’t know exactly what happened,” McLaughlin said. “I’ll have to look at it on film, but I rushed it a little bit and hit it a little high. Unfortunately, I missed it.”
The 49ers forced a punt after that but gave Russell Wilson too many bites at the apple and the clutch quarterback eventually set his Seahawks up for a 27-24 victory at Levi’s Stadium.
His new 49ers teammates certainly felt for the 23-year old, who came through big-time at the end of the fourth quarter but couldn’t come through in overtime.
“You absolutely feel for Chase,” fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. “He really did have a good game. That’s a lot to ask for a new kicker to come in and make all those kicks. I feel for him, but we all let him know we have his back.”
[RELATED: Where 49ers stand in playoff race after loss]
That includes Gould, despite the team being hopeful he'll be ready next week game against Arizona. The veteran spoke to McLaughlin about the tough break that was a major reason why the 49ers are no longer unbeaten.
“He just said, ‘Keep your head up,’” McLaughlin said. “This game has a lot of highs and some lows. Unfortunately, today was one of them.”