|Jim Harbaugh is not a sane man and you do not want to mess with him. (AP)|
Jim Harbaugh accidentally orchestrated one of the more insane moments in gambling history on Thursday night when he declined a safety at the end of the Seattle-San Francisco game Thursday night game, leading to a 13-6 49ers win.
Russell Wilson, on 4th-and-17, threw a deep pass down the middle to Ben Obomanu from his own end zone. But a chop-block call on Pat McQuistan led to a safety (it was in the end zone) on the play. Because Obamanu was short of the first-down marker, Harbaugh declined the penalty, avoided the safety, and gave the Niners the ball with a chance to take knees.
They did just that and Seattle lost by seven, when they entered the game dogs by nine. Nine points -- completely coincidentally -- would've been the difference in winning the game if Harbaugh had taken the safety.
"[I thought] that we could just knee on the ball and have the game be over," Harbaugh said. "Otherwise they'll onsides kick it and you give them a chance to win the game."
Of course, taking the safety would've resulted in Seattle attempting a free kick that would've meant additional plays for his special teams unit and the potential for injury.
So the move makes sense. But it's still not something you see regularly, and most teams would've taken the safety, handed a victory to Las Vegas (though rumors had money "pouring in" on the Seahawks late) and gifted fantasy owners of the Niners defense two extra points.
Instead, San Francisco took over, won the game by seven and nearly broke Twitter. Justin Smith probably summed it up best following the game.
"Forget everything else, stats are for losers," Smith said.
Unless, of course, you put your mortgage on San Francisco covering 7.5 points. Because at that point, you know how you feel.