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SANTA CLARA — The 49ers may already have made the transition to Jimmy Garoppolo without actually intending to.

With 1:07 left in their 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, quarterback C.J. Beathard threw an incomplete pass to Carlos Hyde in the flat. While Beathard released the ball, he took a hit from Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.

The play didn’t count. Bennett lined up in the neutral zone and jumped offsides before the center snapped the ball — a 5-yard penalty against Seattle. But the hit counted. It knocked Beathard out of the game.

Bennett hit Beathard in his left knee. Beathard felt pain shoot from his knee to his hip as he lay on the ground and players from both teams gathered around him. The injury seemed serious. He will have an MRI today to see just how serious the injury is.

After a couple of minutes, Beathard stood up and walked off the field. Suddenly, fans began to cheer. Not because Beathard could walk. They were cheering for Garoppolo, whom they see as the 49ers’ savior. He was coming in.

On Garoppolo’s first play with the 49ers, he scrambled through a hole between the right guard and right tackle and ran for a 4-yard gain on third-and-5.

After a false start on fourth-and-1, Garoppolo threw his first pass with the 49ers — an 8-yard strike to Aldrick Robinson on fourth-and-6. First down with 14 seconds left in the game.

While the clock ran, Garoppolo turned toward the 49ers sideline to get the play call. When he got it, he held up two fingers and yelled, “Two two two!!” to his teammates, indicating the play.

The center snapped the ball with five seconds remaining in the game. Garoppolo dropped back, looked to his right and found his primary receiver.

Covered.

Garoppolo quickly looked over the middle and found his secondary receiver.

Covered.

Garoppolo started to scramble. He ran out of the pocket to his left, bought time, set his feet and threw across his body to wide receiver Louis Murphy, who caught the ball in the end zone. Touchdown. It was like something from a fairytale.

“We got an off-schedule play,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said, referring to Garoppolo’s touchdown pass. “(Garoppolo) ran around and made a good play to Murphy. It’s nice to get in the end zone.”

Especially because the 49ers don’t get there often. Garoppolo’s touchdown throw was the 49ers’ only touchdown of the game.

Here’s the play from Murphy’s perspective: “We were in a two-minute pace and I ran a slant. Jimmy stayed alive. I tried to stay alive on my slant and kept coming across and he threw up a great ball and I came down with it.”

The entire time Garoppolo was on the field, he seemed calm, poised and confident. As opposed to Beathard, who seem shell-shocked after taking his usual beating.

“You always have to be ready,” Garoppolo said after the game. “You never know when your time is going to come, if it’s going to come, so when it does you’ve got to take advantage of it.”

Garoppolo’s time came when the 49ers were trailing 24-6. That was garbage time.

Earlier in the game, the 49ers competed with the Seahawks, mostly because the 49ers defense played well.

Safety Eric Reid intercepted Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on the first play from scrimmage. But the 49ers offense couldn’t make the Seahawks pay for their mistake. The offense went three-and-out. This was a theme.

During the first half, the 49ers defense held the Seahawks to just seven points and Wilson’s quarterback rating was 32.8. He completed just eight of 19 pass attempts for 80 yards and an interception before halftime.

But the 49ers offense scored just three points in the first half. And Beathard’s quarterback rating was 45.6.

The 49ers received the ball to start the third quarter. They drove 51 yards and kicked a 42-yard field goal, and the score was 7-6.

Then, the Seahawks scored the next 17 points as Wilson caught fire. He completed 12 of 15 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating in the second half was 147.3.

The 49ers defenders couldn’t contain Wilson. They ran out of gas as the offense provided no support.

The offense converted just five third downs the entire game. Running back Carlos Hyde gained only 47 yards and averaged 2.9 yards per carry. And Beathard averaged just 5.3 yards per pass attempt. His passer rating was 61.4.

Beathard kept checking down as fast as possible because the Seahawks were pounding him. He got hit 17 times. Three of those hits led to sacks and one led to a fumble which the 49ers recovered.

The 17th hit let to Beathard’s injury and Garoppolo’s debut at the end of the game.

For Garoppolo, that end may be his beginning.

NOTES

Left tackle Joe Staley left the game with a hyperextended knee early in the fourth quarter. But he returned one play later. After the game, he told reporters in the 49ers locker room that his knee is fine.

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin left the game with a foot injury and didn’t play during the third quarter. He returned during the fourth quarter and made two catches for 21 yards. He finished the game with four catches for 78 yards.

Rookie first-round pick Solomon Thomas played for the first time since injuring his knee against Philadelphia on Oct. 29. Thomas recorded two tackles and one hit on the quarterback.

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