Kyle Shanahan: Dirty play by Seahawks DB Johnathan Abram motivated 49ers

49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel caught a third-and-7 pass short of the sticks early in the third quarter of Saturday’s wild card win over the Seahawks. He turned upfield and went for 22 yards and a first down that put San Francisco in the red zone when they trailed Seattle 17-16. After the play, Seahawks safety Johnathan Abram tugged and twisted Samuel’s ankle in what became a turning point in Saturday’s game.

Samuel stayed on the ground after the play and eventually walked off the field under his own power, but not before a scuffle broke out in the middle of the field after the 49ers took exception to what they perceived to be a dirty play.

San Francisco slammed on the gas pedal the rest of the way and outscored Seattle 25-6 in the second half to cruise to a 41-23 victory. Head coach Kyle Shanahan after the game confirmed the Abrams play locked his team in.

“I was worried that he was hurt on it,” Shanahan said. “I lost my mind a little bit on that, but yeah I was real concerned that he was hurt on it and I didn’t like how that looked. I thought it looked pretty bad, and the intent of the play. So I think that (expletive) a lot of people off. I think it (expletive) our team off, and I think you could kind of feel our team react to that after. I wish we were like that from the first play always, but sometimes when some stuff motivates the guys, I think it’s cool to see us rally together. I know Deebo was bothered and it’s cool he came back and answered.”

The 49ers on both sides of the ball dominated the second half after that play, and Samuel provided the exclamation point. His 74-yard touchdown catch gave him 133 receiving yards on six catches, and put San Francisco ahead 38-17 with 11:04 left in the game.

If they can find that same energy for the entirety of the playoffs, it may not matter who they play, because they turned into a buzzsaw.

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Story originally appeared on Niners Wire