How Johnathan Abram's dirty Deebo Samuel play lit 49ers defense's fire

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Abram's dirty play on Deebo lit fire under 'mad' 49ers D originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA — It wasn’t just the 49ers' offense that was fired up after Seattle Seahawks safety Johnathan Abram took things a little too far after tackling Deebo Samuel in the third quarter of San Francisco's 41-23 win over Seattle in the NFC Divisional Round Game at Levi's Stadium on Saturday.

The play also lit a fire under the defense as well.

After Abram pulled and twisted Samuel’s ankle enough to where the “wideback’s” body weight was off the grass, the entire San Francisco offense was ready to fight. The 49ers' offense met the Seahawks' defense between the hash marks where there was a little pushing and a lot of yelling, but no flags were called.

After the game, Arik Armstead discussed how the play increased the team’s sense of urgency on both sides of the ball.

“It definitely made us mad,” Armstead said. “I think it made the whole team mad. Things kind of went bad for them from there. It’s a little bit of karma.”

The play occurred on the 49ers' opening drive of the second half. Quarterback Brock Purdy was moving the team down the field and on a third-and-7 situation, the rookie completed a pass to Samuel for 21 yards before he was tackled by Abram.

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After the play was blown dead, the Seattle safety did not let go of Samuel’s foot, and then proceeded to pull and twist Samuel’s foot from a standing position. Linebacker Fred Warner felt the shift in energy after the play.

"Most definitely,” Warner said. “I don’t know what he was trying to achieve by doing that, but it wasn’t the smartest move for sure.”

Five plays later, Purdy successfully carried the ball one yard up the middle for the score. On Seattle’s ensuing drive, Warner and the defense took a little revenge out on Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith — but in a clean way.

On the 12th play of the drive, 49ers defensive end Charles Omenihu fought through the Seahawks' offensive line for a strip-sack of Smith that was recovered by Nick Bosa.

RELATED: Purdy impresses 49ers teammates with 'slithery' ability

The next two Seattle drives ended in a punt and an interception. To say that Abram provided the turning point in the game might be an understatement.

San Francisco's locker room is known for being very tight-knit. One reason is because of the way the locker room is arranged. Position groups do not have their lockers next to each other which means offensive and defensive players regularly commingle.

When something happens to a player — especially in Samuel's situation, the entire roster is ready to attack.

“I think they were doing a little dirty stuff to our offensive guys and I would not piss off the dudes on offense, especially Deebo because he will make you pay,” Bosa said. “It’s playoff football, it’s our rival so I wouldn’t expect anything less. But yeah, don’t poke the bear.”

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