San Francisco came out of the gate firing on all cylinders on defense at Candlestick Park, but couldn’t punch the ball in the end zone on the other side of the ball.
A blocked punt by Kassim Osgood, constant pressure on Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson and prime field position led to two Phil Dawson field goals –23 and 48-yards, respectively — and a 6-0 49ers’ lead over Seattle at the end of the first quarter.
Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch marched the Seahawks right down the field to start the second, and the 49ers failure to capitalize on two touchdown opportunities left them trailing 7-6 after an 11-yard Lynch scoring jaunt.
San Francisco’s subsequent drive went 10 plays and 40-yards, but again stalled and ended up in a Dawson field goal – this time from 52 yards out – and the 49ers retook the lead, 9-7.
Dawson set a franchise record with the kick:
Phil Dawson with a 52-yard FG for a club-record 19th consecutive FG and the 49ers take 9-7 lead with 7:56 left in the first half.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) December 8, 2013
While the 49ers were kicking field goals, Seattle was engineering touchdown drives. The Seahawks next possession went 7-plays, 72-yards and ended in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Wilson – rookie tight end Luke Wilson – and Seattle again led, 14-9.
San Francisco finally broke the trend, engineering a 9-play, 72-yard drive that culminated in a Colin Kaepernick 8-yard touchdown throw to tight end Vernon Davis and the 49ers took a 16-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The 49ers and Seahawks exchanged punts after the break before Frank Gore, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and company put together a promising drive into Seahawks territory midway through the third quarter. That drive too, however, would be thwarted when a Kaepernick pass intended for Crabtree was picked off at the 1-yard line by Seahawks’ corner Byron Maxwell.
After three quarters of play, the score remained: San Francisco 16, Seattle 14. Also close was the total yardage – the 49ers with 246, the Seahawks with 245 — entering the 4th.
The NFC West division rivals exchanged punts again to start the 4th. Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate returned Andy Lee’s second punt of the quarter 38-yards all the way to the 49ers’ 27-yard-line, setting up a 31-yard Steven Hauschka field goal to put the Seahawks on top 17-16 with 6:25 remaining.
With the offense sputtering virtually the entire second half, San Francisco got the big play it needed on their next drive. Gore busted loose for a 51-yard run down to the Seattle 18.
After another first down bringing the 49ers’ within the Seattle 10-yard line, San Francisco settled for another Dawson field goal — 22-yards — putting them up 19-17, but milked the clock down to 26-seconds in the process.
Eric Wright intercepted Russell Wilson’s last-ditch effort throw and San Francisco ended a 2-game losing streak to the Seahawks.
San Francisco (9-4) travels to Tampa Bay next week. Seattle (11-2) plays at the New York Giants.
Kaepernick – 15-of-29, 175 yards, TD, INT.
Gore –17 rushes, 110 yards.
Anquan Boldin — 6 rec., 93 yards.
Michael Crabtree — 4 rec., 40 yards.
Davis — 2 rec., 21 yards, TD.
R. Wilson — 15-of-29, 199 yards, TD, INT.
Lynch — 20 rushes, 72 yards, TD.
L. Wilson — 3 rec., 70 yards, TD.
Tate — 6 rec., 65 yards