The San Francisco 49ers escaped with a 19-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon. Seattle's lead was cut to two games in the NFC West division. San Francisco maintains control as the No. 6 seed in the NFC Wildcard race.
The offense looked bleak after a scoreless third quarter as the Seahawks defensive line controlled it. San Francisco’s special teams allowed a 54-yard punt return by Golden Tate which resulted in a 36-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka to give the Seahawks a 17-16 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Frank Gore had the biggest play of the game from scrimmage with a 51-yard run which brought the 49ers in the red zone. Kendall Hunter and Frank Gore were stopped short, but Colin Kaepernick kept the clock running and chains moving with an eight-yard boot-leg run to the left.
The 49ers ate some clock with three straight running plays before Phil Dawson made a go-ahead 22-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining. Eric Wright intercepted a desperate heave by Russell Wilson to seal the game.
"We knew we had to attack all four quarters," Gore said. "We had to go take it [today]."
Frank Gore had 110 rushing yards on 17 carries against the Seahawks. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry on the ground.
Jim Harbaugh described the defense as a group that was 'hitting and running' throughout the game. He said it was a huge team accomplishment to hold the Seahawks to 17 points.
"All points on the board today were big," Harbaugh said. "It was a tight game and all was critical, all was important. They made plays and we made plays. It was one of those tight ballgames."
The 49ers started the game with two field goals by Phil Dawson. One of them was set up by a blocked punt from Kassim Osgood in the first quarter.
Seattle answered back with Marshawn Lynch getting an 11-yard touchdown run. Wilson was able to convert two third downs with passes to Luke Wilson and Golden Tate to keep the drive alive.
After another 49ers field goal to go ahead 9-7, the Seahawks took the lead again with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Luke Wilson.
The 49ers were able to settle in with a 72-yard drive engineered by Colin Kaepernick on the ensuing possession. San Francisco was able to draw two defensive holding penalties on the Seahawks CBs Byron Maxwell and Richard Sherman with Anquan Boldin being the receiver. Vernon Davis finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown reception on third and goal right before halftime as San Francisco went to the locker room ahead 16-14.
Donte Whitner feels the 49ers will see this team again in the postseason. With the team in position to take a playoff berth, San Francisco would have to win in the wildcard round before they would travel to Seattle in the divisional playoffs.
"We understand we might see them again and got to play good defense," Whitner said. "We felt like we stayed in the game. [Seattle is] our rival and they're on top of the division. We felt like needed to make a statement today and we did. We made just enough plays."
The 49ers will travel to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers in Week 15.
-Jim Harbaugh is now 4-2 against the Seattle Seahawks in his three seasons with the 49ers. He has split the last two seasons and swept them in 2011.
-Eric Wright initially left the game in the third quarter after taking a knee to the head level. He came back in the fourth quarter and eventually caught the game-sealing interception.
-Phil Dawson has made 20 consecutive field goals with his last miss being in Week 4 vs. the St. Louis Rams on a free kick. He passed Joe Nedney's previous record of 18 straight field goal attempts made.