49ers down but not out after first loss of 2019 season

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  • By Jelani Scott NFL.com
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Injuries, big plays and numerous twists of fate made this one an instant classic but, when it was over, the San Francisco 49ers fell short to the Seattle Seahawks for their first loss of 2019.

It took a 42-yard Jason Myers field goal in overtime with four seconds remaining to bring the 49ers back down to earth, if for only a moment, and sink their bid at a perfect season.

The game featured several plays both sides wish they could've had a second crack at. For 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, he spoke after the game about "definitely [wishing] we took more time off the clock" in OT to not give MVP candidate Russell Wilson a chance to create, which is exactly what he did on an 18-yard run to set up the game-winning kick for a 27-24 win.

Alas, this game is officially in the books, and now all Shanahan and his team can do is avoid hanging their heads and go back to the drawing board to figure out what happened Monday night.

"Obviously, it's disappointing when you don't win, especially when you felt you had a number of chances. I was very proud of our guys, I thought our guys competed very hard, guys left it all out there. I know guys are hurting right now," Shanahan said. "I thought all three phases played hard, I thought our defense was unbelievable. I thought the offense played hard as they could but made way too many mistakes to pull out a win in that game."

Like Shanahan mentioned, the defense lived up to its strong reputation for most of this one but the offense, which was without George Kittle coming in and lost Emmanuel Sanders to a rib injury early in the second quarter, struggled throughout.

Outside of a strong night from rookie receiver Deebo Samuel (8 receptions, 112 yards), the offense managed just one touchdown -- a 10-yard pass to Kendrick Bourne in the second quarter -- while the defense and special teams accounted for the rest. The 49ers' normally imposing run game underperformed with just 86 yards between their three-headed monster in the backfield.

"I think everyone on offense had their moments but I think no one was consistent enough," Shanahan said. "I thought [the offensive line] gave us some decent time to throw. We didn't always get guys open right away and I think we struggled in the run game. I think that was pretty obvious, there wasn't a lot of clean lanes that we're used to having."

After taking just 12 sacks all season, Jimmy Garoppolo was brought down five times and faced a ton of pressure from a Seattle defense which, unlike its counterpart, had not lived up to expectations. The absence of his go-to targets, numerous drops by his receivers, solid coverage from the Seahawks' secondary and three turnovers certainly didn't help, and Jimmy G was not shy while offering his take on what transpired.

"I think I could throw the ball better, we could catch it better. I think it's just a little bit of everything," Garoppolo said when asked what the offense could've done differently. "There's not one specific thing that sticks out but it's a bit of a reality check for us.

He later added that the answers to their troubles can only be found by looking within.

"You got to be critical of yourself. What could we have done better? What caused this to happen? You got to be hard on yourselves and I think we got a good group of guys in there with the right mindset. We're going to come into work tomorrow and fight."

Even with all the offensive ups and downs, the game was still within the 49ers grasp, thanks to the defense giving it their all against Wilson. It's hard to ask for so many stops facing a player of his ilk, though, and it eventually caught up to them.

Cornerback Richard Sherman, who was once a vital part of a winning culture in Seattle, said that he believes the defeat will do the team more good than harm in their quest for success down the line.

"You always learn more from a loss. I'm sure guys will take that and take the lessons that they need from that. We had chances to win, we didn't. Find out a way to correct those things and be better, Sherman said. "But it's a good lesson, you got to learn during the season in order to win championships. You got to have these lessons and they battled."

For nine straight games, the 49ers were must-see TV and, unfortunately, their streak has come to an end. But, in Sherman's eyes, onlookers haven't seen anything yet and the team we see post-Week 10 will be a group that is really worth watching.

"I expect it to be a phenomenal bounce back, it's going to be great," Sherman said. "The coaching staff will be great about it, they'll correct it. Guys will be locked in, guys will be ready to correct those mistakes and move forward. I'm excited for it."

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