49ers

Deebo details funny Shanahan interaction after Aiyuk game-winner

49ers
Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk

CINCINNATI -- The play wasn't meant to find the end zone, so Kyle Shanahan would only believe Brandon Aiyuk scored to give the 49ers an overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday when the officials told him the game was over. He wouldn't take anyone's word for it.

Not even Deebo Samuel's.

"From my view, I already knew [Aiyuk] had scored," Samuel said Sunday after the 49ers' 26-23 overtime win at Paul Brown Stadium. "I ran over to the sideline and I was standing there with Kyle and he was like, 'I'm not celebrating until they call it a touchdown.' I'm like, 'Kyle, it's a touchdown.' 'I don't care, I want to see them call it.' I just knew he scored and the game was over."

No one can blame Shanahan for being reluctant to believe the 49ers had finally delivered the knock-out bowl to the Bengals.

San Francisco controlled the entire game and took a 20-6 lead into the fourth quarter. With the Bengals having issues holding onto the ball and refusing to attack the 49ers' weakened secondary, it appeared the 49ers would coast to their seventh win of the season.

But the Bengals rallied, with Joe Burrow finding Ja'Marr Chase for a game-tying 32-yard touchdown pass with 1:25 remaining to send the game into overtime after Robbie Gould missed a would-be game-winning 47-yard field goal as time expired.

The Bengals got the ball first in overtime and looked ready to deal the 49ers a crippling loss as Burrow marched Cincinnati down to the San Francisco 19-yard line. But Nick Bosa sacked Burrow on third-and-three and forced the Bengals to kick a field goal, giving the 49ers' offense a chance.

 

Shanahan, Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle and Aiyuk took care of the rest.

Garoppolo hit Kittle for 8 yards to start the drive, then found Jauan Jennings for 25, Kittle for 21 again, JaMychal Hasty for 3 and Kittle for 9 to get the 49ers down to the Bengals' 12-yard line with two minutes remaining.

That's when Shanahan dialed up a play he thought would get the 49ers right on the doorstep. But Aiyuk had other ideas.

Garoppolo faked the handoff to Jeff Wilson Jr. and booted back to the left. Aiyuk, who started the play on the right, came across, Garoppolo flipped it to him and the second-year receiver got the corner and somehow found a way into the end zone, setting off a celebration from The Faithful who traveled to the banks of the Ohio River to watch the 49ers continue their playoff push.

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"I didn't expect it to score. I thought it would hopefully get us inside the three," Shanahan said of the play. "The move that he made was unbelievable. I still don't know how he got in. I didn't really trust it until they made it official."

While Shanahan had a hard time believing Aiyuk had Houdinied his way into the end zone, Kittle had no doubt.

"I knew he was in," Kittle said after the win. "It was fun too, the ref told me there was a zero percent chance he was in. I was like, 'I don't know about that one. I wouldn't say zero,' But hey, just kudos to Brandon. He ran the heck out of that. There was like a little speed burst there at the end. It was a hell of a play by him and a hell of a play call by Kyle."