Niners' unbeaten start undone by Russell Wilson's latest heroics

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Russell Wilson called it the craziest game he has been part of. Duane Brown called it a championship boxing match. The Seattle Seahawks can call it their best win of the season, despite how sloppy it was at times.

Because of it, they're still alive in the NFC West race.

The Seahawks seemed headed for a heartbreaking defeat to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday after Wilson threw an interception on the first possession of overtime, setting the Niners up with a short field. But the Seahawks overcame that turnover and three others to win 27-24 on Jason Myers' 42-yard field goal after Wilson led another game-winning drive two possessions later.

It handed the 49ers (8-1) their first loss of the season and gave the Seahawks (8-2) their second overtime win in as many weeks as they head into their bye. San Francisco remains a half-game ahead of Seattle, with a rematch set for Week 17 at CenturyLink Field. According to ESPN's Football Power Index, the Seahawks' victory Monday night gives them a 25% chance to win the division over San Francisco. That mark would have dropped to 3% with a loss.

Of the Seahawks' first seven wins, only two came against teams that had winning records as of Monday: the 5-4 Rams and the 5-4 Steelers.

"I'm happy we came out with the victory," Bobby Wagner said. "I'm happy with the way we played. It's a really, really good win going into the bye week."

The two teams combined for seven turnovers, and each scored a defensive touchdown. Jadeveon Clowney returned a second-quarter fumble for a TD as part of his monster night that included a strip sack, five QB hits, five tackles and at least two pressures that led to sacks by Seattle teammates. His score came on a strip sack by Jarran Reed, one of five sacks and 10 hits the Seahawks got on Jimmy Garoppolo as the pass rush that has been their defense's biggest weakness finally came alive.

Seattle's defense held the 49ers' offense to a pair of field goals after allowing 10 points in the first quarter, with the 49ers' lone touchdown of the second half coming on a Wilson fumble returned for a score. Garoppolo finished 24-of-46 for 248 yards, a touchdown and an interception on a tipped ball that landed in safety Quandre Diggs' hands.

The Seahawks allowed the 49ers to drive for the game-tying field goal to force overtime, survived a Chase McLaughlin miss from 47 yards out following Wilson's interception and then forced a three-and-out to get the offense the ball back for what turned out to be the winning drive. It was a bounce-back performance after the defense was carved up the previous two games by Matt Schaub and Jameis Winston.

"We just wanted to prove we were the best defense on the field today," Wagner said. "It was really our mindset because we understood what everybody was thinking because of the last two weeks. We felt like we played really well."

Officials missed a 49ers defender grabbing Wilson's face mask on his fumble that was returned for a touchdown and blew the whistle on a play on which he escaped a sack in the backfield. Those were two of a handful of calls that went against the Seahawks.

Wilson has been squarely in the conversation for MVP, having thrown 22 touchdowns with one interception entering Monday, good for the league's best TD-to-INT ratio. Because of that, an interception was the last way anyone expected the Seahawks' first drive of overtime to end after the offense reached the red zone. But Dre Greenlaw picked off an underthrown pass to Jacob Hollister. According to ESPN Stats & Information, it was the second time a quarterback threw an interception in the red zone in overtime in the past 15 seasons (Jacoby Brissett in 2017 was the other).

The Seahawks took over with 1:25 left, and Wilson drove them 40 yards on seven plays -- including an 18-yard scramble on third-and-3 -- to set up Myers' kick on Seattle's third possession of OT. Wilson was 3-of-3 on that drive for 15 yards, not including a spike to stop the clock, and he finished 24-of-34 for 232 yards, a touchdown and the interception.

Wilson also led a game-winning drive last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he has 28 such drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in his career. That ties him with Matthew Stafford for the most since Wilson's rookie season in 2012, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"Russell Wilson's the best quarterback in the league," Brown said. "When you've got him under center, I don't care how much time's on the clock. We feel like we've got a chance."

The Seahawks didn't have Tyler Lockett in overtime after their No. 1 receiver suffered what Carroll called a "really bad lower-leg bruise." Lockett had been taken away from the stadium to be evaluated by the time Carroll spoke with reporters. He said there was some concern about the swelling in Lockett's leg and consideration that he would remain in the Bay Area overnight while the team returned to Seattle. Carroll didn't think the injury would be an issue for Lockett beyond Seattle's bye but wasn't sure.

"He'll be OK, but it's a pretty severe situation for right now," Carroll said.

Josh Gordon caught two passes -- both to convert on third down -- for 27 yards in his Seahawks debut.

Teammates carried Myers off the field after his winner, which redeemed his forgettable performance last week. He missed three kicks against Tampa Bay, including what would have been a game winner. In addition to his 42-yarder that won Monday's game, Myers hit from 46 yards out to give the Seahawks a three-point lead with 1:45 left.

"It's a great illustration of his teammates supporting him throughout," Carroll said. "In the locker room immediately last week, they were supporting him so that he would be ready to do ... what we needed tonight and come through. And there ain't nothing better than coming through like that in the clutch."