SANTA CLARA – Things got a lot more interesting in the NFC West.
The 49ers, unbeaten through the first nine weeks of the NFL season, proved they are beatable. Or, more to the point, this game against the Seattle Seahawks beat them up.
Jason Myers kicked a 42-yard field goal with no time remaining in overtime, as the Seahawks got right back in the NFC West race with a 27-24 victory over the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers fall to 8-1 on the season, while the Seahawks are just a half-game back at 8-2. The 49ers could have created some separation with a victory.
Instead, Seattle is right back in the race after making it through the first half of the division schedule unbeaten. The clubs meet against in Week 17 in Seattle.
Quarterback Russell Wilson had an 18-yard scramble in overtime to set up the winning kick for the Seahawks. Wilson completed 24 of 34 pass attempts for 232 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
During the course of Monday’s game, the 49ers lost wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (rib), nose tackle D.J. Jones (groin), defensive end Ronald Blair (knee) and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (concussion) to injuries.
Here are three things you need to know about the 49ers in Week 10:
Passing game stalls as injuries pile up
Tight end George Kittle did not suit up for the game due to knee and ankle issues, but the club saw the returns of fullback Kyle Juszczyk and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey.
However, more injury issues cropped up in the first half, as receiver Emmanuel Sanders left with a rib injury and did not return. Center Weston Richburg was sidelined near the end of the first half with a hand injury.
The loss of Richburg was almost immediately felt, as Seattle defensive tackle Jarron Reed broke free, working a stunt against backup center Ben Garland and left guard Laken Tomlinson. Reed sacked Jimmy Garoppolo and stripped the ball. Jadeveon Clowney scooped up the fumble and returned it 10 yards for a touchdown to cut the 49ers’ lead to 10-7.
Richburg returned at the beginning of the second half.
The 49ers had a difficult time gaining any consistency in the passing game without Kittle and Sanders. Garroppolo was not sharp, and he got no help from his receivers with approximately seven dropped passes along the way.
Garoppolo completed 24 of 46 pass attempts for 248 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
In the Chase because of McLaughlin, but . . .
Rookie Chase McLaughin booted a 47-yard with one second remaining in regulation to force overtime ... for the 49ers.
But he blew his opportunity to be a hero with 3:06 remaining in overtime when he badly hooked a potential game-winning kick from 47 yards.
The 49ers signed McLaughlin off the street on Thursday, two days after veteran kicker Robbie Gould sustained a right quadriceps strain. McLaughlin came in and was perfect on Monday, including his pressure kick at the end of regulation.
McLaughlin made all three of his field-goal attempts, making kicks of 43, 39 and 47 yards, before missing in overtime.
The game-tying drive came after Myers kicked a 46-yard field goal with 1:45 remaining to give the Seahawks a 21-18 lead. Garoppolo and the 49ers drove 45 yards on 10 plays to put McLaughlin in position for the tying points.
Picking up the defensive slack
The 49ers lost some playmaking when Kwon Alexander sustained a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 9.
Rookie Dre Greenlaw took over in the starting lineup for Alexander, and made the play of the game when he made a leaping interception and 47-yard return midway through the 10-minute overtime period. Russell Wilson was trying to get the ball to tight end Jacob Hollister when Greenlaw made the leaping interception.
Linebacker Fred Warner and nickel back K’Waun Williams came through with plenty of big plays for the defense. Warner recorded two sacks and a forced fumble, while Williams had a half-sack and two forced fumbles.
The 49ers looked to be done early in the fourth quarter before the defense came up with a huge play.
Williams and Arik Armstead teamed up for a sack of Russell Wilson, with Armstead getting credit for forcing the ball loose. Seattle right tackle Germain Ifedi picked it up, and Warner forced a fumble.
That enabled DeForest Buckner to scoop up the ball and return it 12 yards for a touchdown. After Garoppolo hit Kendrick Bourne on the two-point conversion, the 49ers pulled to within three points at 21-18.