The San Francisco 49ers survived an ugly Thursday night contest against the Seattle Seahawks, but the biggest moment of the Niners' 13-6 win came on a meaningless decision when San Francisco had effectively clinched the victory. Anyone who bet the 7.5-point spread for the game knows exactly what went down.
With the 49ers already leading 13-6, and less than a minute to play, Russell Wilson dropped back into his own end zone and fired a pass to Ben Obomanu that failed to bring enough yardage to convert the 4th and 17 situation. On the same play, Paul McQuistan committed a chop block on Aldon Smith that would have resulted in a safety if accepted as a penalty.
Niners' head coach Jim Harbaugh had the chance to either (a) decline the penalty and put his team in the victory formation, or (b) accept the penalty, take the safety and deal with the safety kick to run out the clock with a nine-point lead. He chose option (a), which meant that anyone who had bet the 7.5-point spread had money riding on the decision. David Fucillo of Niners Nation explained the situation:
There were some questions why Coach Harbaugh would turn down the points. My guess is that he wanted to avoid potential injury on the ensuing safety kick. I believe the Seahawks could have gone for an onside kick as well. Given that the 49ers would have been up by two possessions, I am inclined to think the issue is more the former with injuries rather than the latter.
Be sure to stay tuned to Niners Nation for even more coverage, because star running back Frank Gore left the game during the fourth quarter, wincing in pain, and his condition has yet to be definitively updated.
Next up for the Niners is a Monday Night Football matchup against the Cardinals in Week 8.