The San Francisco 49ers traveled to Lumen Field in Week 12 for their first meeting of the season against the Seattle Seahawks. Neither team has played in a Thanksgiving Day game since 2014 when the Seahawks ran away with the 19-3 victory at Levi's® Stadium. On Thursday, San Francisco settled the Turkey Day score in resounding fashion, outscoring the Seahawks 31-13. With the win, the 49ers have improved to 3-0 in NFC West play and solidified themselves as the frontrunners in the division race.
"Just getting a win, I feel great," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Especially, to have three days off after this, it's a different three days when you don't get it with a win.
"The way the defense played tonight was unbelievable - just to keep them out of the end zone the whole game, the six sacks, the way our corners played on the outside. It was just a really impressive game. I'm really excited to watch it."
Here are five takeaways from Thursday night's game:
Rebuilding the CMC Touchdown-Scoring Streak
Running back Christian McCaffrey is steadily working back up to his historic 17-game touchdown scoring streak from earlier this season. With his one-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter, the seventh-year pro helped extend the 49ers lead to 14-3 with 13:11 left in the half and has now officially restarted his streak. McCaffrey has scored in back-to-back games, and on Thursday, he found the end zone multiple times.
McCaffrey barreled in for his second score of the night just eight minutes after his first touchdown. On first-and-goal from Seattle's eight yard line, the veteran running back ran up the middle, broke multiple tackles and was brought down by a Seattle defender in the end zone to put San Francisco up 21-3. He went on to close the day with 19 carries for 114 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in addition to five catches for 25 yards.
"I think any time you run behind this O-line, you just have to have a lot of trust and patience," McCaffrey said when asked about his second touchdown run. "They did such a great job all day. The tight ends blocked super well. Kyle Juszczyk always blocks well. These guys work so hard in the run game, receivers blocking, so you just have to trust it, stay on your landmarks and you never know when the hole can open."
Feeding Deebo Samuel on Thanksgiving Night
The 49ers 'wideback' had the hot hand on Thursday night, racking up multiple large gains and a rushing touchdown for San Francisco in the first quarter alone. On second-and-goal from the two yard line, Samuel ran into the end zone untouched to get San Francisco on the board. During the next offensive series, quarterback Brock Purdy linked up with Samuel on two-straight deep shots near the left sideline good for a total pickup of 46 yards. He ended the first half with five receptions for 70 yards, three carries and a rushing touchdown.
Winning the Turnover Battle in Seattle
The 49ers turnover-happy defense didn't skip a beat against the Seahawks. On Seattle's third offensive series, the 49ers pass rush collapsed the pocket and forced Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith to make a throw under pressure which was then intercepted by cornerback Ambry Thomas and returned for two yards. The pick was the first of the season for Thomas and set the 49ers up on the Seahawks 42 yard line.
The second takeaway of the night was generated by the 49ers special teams unit late in the second quarter. On the 49ers third punt of the night, Seattle running back DeeJay Dallas muffed the return, and with an assist from tight end Charlie Woerner, wide receiver Ronnie Bellrecovered the loose ball. San Francisco took over at the Seahawks 22 yard line and turned that takeaway into three points off a 32-yard Jake Moody field goal.
Another Productive Night for the 49ers Defensive Line
The 49ers racked up six sacks of Seattle quarterback Geno Smith with five of those takedowns coming at the hands of San Francisco defensive linemen. Javon Hargrave got home late in the second quarter, bringing down Smith for a loss of eight yards as he attempted to escape the pocket on third down. Seattle punted on fourth-and-18.
Nick Bosa was the next pass rusher to net a sack on Thursday night. On the opening drive of the second half, Bosa wrapped up Smith for a loss of seven yards on third-and-four and pushed the Seahawks out of field goal range. With the sack, Bosa upped his season sack total to seven and added two more half sacks before the end of the night.
The third of the defensive line's sacks was split by Hargrave and Arik Armstead and came on third-and-goal from San Francisco's seven yard line. Hargrave and Armstead backed up Seattle's offense five yards and forced them to settle for the 30-yard field goal. The kick brought Seattle within 11 points with 3:13 left in the third frame. Armstead went on to split one more sack with Bosa in the fourth quarter to stall the Seahawks surge. A final sack shared by Bosa and Kevin Givens rounded out a five-sack outing for the D-line.
Following the conclusion of the game, Bosa spoke about the defensive line's increased sack production over the last three games.
"Just execution, getting back to how we rush and quarterbacks are holding it a little longer," Bosa said. "Our backend is playing awesome and adding Chase Young, all those things."
Injuries of the Game
The 49ers took another big hit at the safety position and on special teams with George Odum suffering a biceps injury midway through Thursday's contest. He was injured near the two-minute mark of the second quarter during the fumble recovery on Seattle's muffed punt return. Odum was later ruled out of the game, leaving San Francisco with no other active safeties behind starters Tashaun Gipson Sr. and Ji'Ayir Brown.
"We're looking at (Odum) tomorrow, but he most likely tore his (biceps)," Shanahan said. "It's usually season-ending but you never know if he can have a chance to come back later. We'll have to look into that tomorrow."