The Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers with great drama on Monday night, taking a 27-24 victory in overtime and giving the Niners their first loss of the season.
It was an instant classic for “Monday Night Football” with both teams pulling off late scoring drives to bring the best out of their opponent.
The game on the field was great, but play-by-play man Joe Tessitore and color commentator Booger McFarland once again struggled to connect with fans. They created some controversy with some fans for their call on a late missed field goal.
The 49ers needed any score to win after stopping the Seahawks on the opening possession of overtime, and San Francisco lined up for a 47-yard field-goal attempt.
Kicker Chase McLaughlin is an undrafted rookie who was playing in his first game for the 49ers. He had already nailed three field goals on the night, and with this kick had the opportunity to play hero for his new team. Instead, he missed the kick, punching the ball wide left to keep the overtime period going.
“The moment was too big,” Tessitore said.
Tessitore’s turn of phrase might have gone unremarked upon had McLaughlin not already made kicks from 43, 39, and 47 yards earlier in the game, with the last coming as time expired in regulation.
The kick McLaughlin made was arguably bigger than the one he missed — the Niners would have lost had he missed his final kick in regulation, but were still alive to win or at least tie the Seahawks after his miss in overtime.
On Twitter, fans unleashed some frustration with Tessitore’s commentary, specifically his implying that McLaughlin cracked under pressure.
Had Tessitore let the moment speak for itself, things would have been fine. The fans watching the game already knew McLaughlin was playing in his first game, and a moment like this would have made him a folk hero in the Bay Area for some time.
But instead, Tessitore buried him after the miss, and his criticism failed to land since McLaughlin had already proved earlier in the game that “the moment” — kicking a field goal from 47 yards out with the game hanging in the balance — was not too big for him.