SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Call it Broken Streaks Week.
A day after the Cleveland Browns ended the Denver Broncos' 11-game winning streak against them, and three days after the Los Angeles Chargers ended their nine-game play, the 49-man San Francisco made a Sunday tribe with their 26-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
Kicker's goal Robbie Gould on 36 yards with 3 minutes and 6 seconds behind ended Seattle's 10-game winning streak against the 49ers, a period that included a loss to the NFC championship game after the 2013 season. 2013, while the Niners had already beaten their formerly fierce rivals of the NFC West division.
The last defeat of the series came just two weeks ago, when the Seahawks stormed 43 to 16 from San Francisco to Seattle.
"It means a ton," said 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. "We have not been all here since 2013, but many of us were here last year – we were all here definitively two weeks ago – it is a rival of the We are also very sick of the way we lost two weeks ago.
"I was really proud that the guys did not say anything, I knew it meant a lot to our guys, especially after two weeks and for the fans and everything else since 2013. I hated having to answer these questions all week. I do not want to spend a whole year doing this, it was our last opportunity to end this and I'm glad we do not have to hear that anymore. "
Fear that Shanahan is worried about whether his team, now 4-10, could recover from this defeat and prepare to face a Seattle team that would have won a playoff spot with a win, he made a point every week to bring home the importance of ending the series.
Niners cornerback Richard Sherman, a long-time Seahawks star, said Shanahan had told his team to "painfully understand" the losing streak. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh presented to his players what Sherman described as a "video for his team" to make sure they remembered what had happened at the previous meeting.
"We took it personally," said defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. "They embarrassed us two weeks ago, everyone from top to bottom was not happy, we knew it was going to be an upcoming air fight this week and most importantly [because] we just played two weeks ago. It was two long weeks, for sure. Everyone wanted to go out and redeem themselves. From start to finish, everyone gave a little more. "
If that was not enough, according to quarterback Nick Mullens, Shanahan stood up at the team's meeting on Saturday night and delivered another simple message. Shanahan told the Niners that he did not even need to tell you everything – if you are not excited about it, there is something wrong with you. "
This message apparently echoed.
"Sometimes you have to touch the pride of the guys," Sherman said. "You have to have some pride, you're an adult man, they went there and embarrassed you, how are you going to react, and I think the guys showed how they reacted."
Richard Sherman said it meant a lot to defeat his former team, but was particularly proud of Nick Mullens, who stepped up the game on the line.
For Sherman, Sunday's victory was even stronger. After making his first trip to Seattle in a different uniform two weeks ago, Sherman acknowledged that the game had a little more meaning, even though he said it was not the case in the days that preceded.
Sherman also attacked the Seahawks and in particular quarterback Russell Wilson at his Thursday press conference of the week. Last week, Sherman was again in the middle of a battle of words with the Seahawks after Seattle defender Frank Clark declared the Sherman era in Seattle ended.
Sherman left little doubt about how much he wanted Sunday's victory early, when he spent a few minutes talking to officials who threw him a flag for apparently illegal contact. After long discussions, this flag was picked up.
At the end of the match, Sherman had a long time celebrating with his team, and Shanahan and several of his teammates emphasized the importance of winning for him.
– San Francisco 49ers (@ 49ers) December 17, 2018
When asked if he thought the Seahawks could have forgotten the Niners, knowing that they had just brutally beat them two weeks earlier, Sherman had fun with the idea.
"I strongly doubt it," Sherman said. "I strongly doubt it because in the same way that I am pretty incendiary on the other side, I am pretty incendiary on both sides.My truth is not always the truth of all the Sometimes my comments are used as – I highly doubt Pete [Carroll] is on a game that I play. And Russell too. These guys played hard. They played their game. They brought it. It was not like they were playing a non-relaxing game, but were just giving things away. They played hard. They fought. Our guys come to run in stretching. We played our tail. "
The 49ers' win was not cheap overall, though. Their fourth victory took them from No. 1 of the draft order to No. 4, with the The Arizona Cardinals, the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets are now ahead with two games to play.
Yet, no one in the Niners' locker room cared much about 2019 after following in the footsteps of the Chargers and Browns and eliminating a team that had been so long his number.
"It's huge for us," said striker Mike McGlinchey. "We're talking about it all the time, Seattle is the # 1 rival for us, we have not beaten them in a while, we have a lot of guys in that locker room that this game means a lot of Sherm, Saleh, all guys who have played there have been coaches already, it's huge for us to overcome this bump and take advantage of it over the next two weeks and of course next season. "