The Seahawks had firm control of Monday night’s game in the fourth quarter, leading 21-10 and suffocating the San Francisco offense. The 49ers would get back into the game only if Seattle let them.
And Seattle did, thanks to a screwy sequence on offense.
It didn’t work.
Out came the ball (it was punched), and in went the 49ers for a touchdown that, with the two-point conversion, made the score 21-18 and dramatically altered the momentum of the game.
“What was he thinking?” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters after the game, regarding Ifedi’s decision to rumble, bumble, stumble, and ultimately fumble. “He thinks he’s going to score. What was he thinking? I think he was doing this thing, the Heisman and all that, I don’t know what he was, that was terrible.”
DeForest Buckner, who recovered Ifedi’s fumble and took it to the end zone, was as incredulous as Carroll as the play unfolded.
“I mean, we were all just rushing and Russell was just wrapped up,” Buckner said. “Pretty sure the guys got to him and I saw one of the linemen take the ball from him and was just wondering, ‘What the hell is this dude doing?’”
Ifedi didn’t take the ball from Wilson. Still, what the hell was Ifedi doing?
Ultimately, what he was doing was contributing, inadvertently, to what becomes one of the most memorable outcomes in Monday night history. Without that light-strike momentum swing, Seattle may have won the game by 14 or more.