Bucs defense keeps 49ers out of end zone on key second-half drive
Eduardo Encina, Tampa Bay Times, published 26 November 2018

The Bucs benefited from a reversed call that took away a potential tying touchdown in Tampa Bay's 27-9 win over the 49ers, then prevented San Francisco from getting into the end zone when the ball was placed inside the 1-yard line. "That's a defense's dream, to hold an offense on the goal line like that. A dream come true for us," defensive tackle Vita Vea said.

On the first drive of the second half, 49ers running back John Wilson, Jr. turned the corner from nine yards out on first down, racing Bucs cornerback Brent Grimes for the pylon. Wilson was initially awarded a touchdown, but after a replay review, the ball was placed at the 1.

The Bucs defense then stuffed the 49ers twice, stopping running back Matt Breida on second down up the middle before preventing quarterback Nick Mullens from crossing the goal line on a keeper. The ball spot on Mullens' run was challenged and upheld.

"You always get nervous about the replays down there, because it's very hard to see down there in the huddle when everyone's on top of each other," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "From my view, I thought he got in, but obviously the ref didn't see it. Then, you've got to make a decision."

The 49ers lined up for one more attempt from the 1 on fourth down, attempting to hike the ball quickly while the Bucs celebrated, but tight end George Kittle was flagged for a false start, and San Francisco settled for a 23-yard field goal to make the score 13-9.

After that, the Bucs extended their lead, driving 75 yards on six plays for a touchdown, the beginning of 14 unanswered points to end the game. "I thought that was a huge turning point in the game, to stop them," Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said. "It's hard to stop a team three times from the 1-yard line. That was great. Then we were able to take that thing down (the field and score)."