The 49ers struck first with a short field goal midway through the first quarter. The Seahawks' offense got off to a slow start, and things weren't helped by a blocked punt. Seattle's defense held up to the challenge, holding San Francisco to another field goal.
The Seahawks woke up in the second quarter. Golden Tate split the defense for a 24-yard catch-and-run to set up an 11-yard touchdown by Marshawn Lynch, giving Seattle a 7-6 lead. Phil Dawson tacked on his third field goal of the day to get the lead back for San Francisco, but Seattle took it right back. Russell Wilson found a wide-open Luke Willson for a 39-yard touchdown to take a 14-9 lead. The 49ers continued the back-and-forth, as Kaepernick hit Vernon Davis for an eight-yard score at the end of the second quarter. San Francisco went into halftime leading 16-14.
After the teams traded punts in the third quarter, the 49ers threatened in the redzone again, but Byron Maxwell came up with an interception at the goal line. The Seahawks were unable to capitalize, leading to another punt. The score stayed the same heading into the third quarter.
Things stayed slow in the fourth, with penalties and sloppy play killing drives for both teams. Tate set the Seahawks up with a punt return down to the 49ers' 27-yard line and Steven Hauschka kicked a 31-yard field goal to give Seattle a 17-16 lead. On San Francisco's next possession, Frank Gore shredded the Seahawks for a 51-yard run down to the Seattle's 18-yard line. The 49ers milked the clock at the goal line before Dawson iced the game with a 22 yard field goal.
The game was defined by penalties, as divisional rivalries typically go. The two teams combined for 155 yards on 16 penalties, and that's not counting a few obvious ones the refs missed.
The Seahawks could have clinched the division and a first-round bye with a win. They failed to do both and fall to 11-2. The 49ers, now 9-4, remain in control of the No. 6 NFC seed and the division title is still in play.
Fantasy studs and duds
Gore's big run at the end was a boost to his stat line. He finished with 110 yards on 17 carries. Lynch had a workmanlike day, rushing 20 times for 72 yards and the touchdown.
K.J. Wright left the game with a foot injury and was questionable to return. He later came back to the sidelines on crutches and in a walking boot. Max Unger left in the fourth quarter with a chest injury and did not return.
Eric Wright left with a head injury but later came back into the game.
Did they cover?
The 49ers were 2.5 point favorites, according to OddsShark. They failed to cover by a slim margin.
San Francisco at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dec. 15, 1 p.m. ET
Seattle at New York Giants, Dec. 15, 1 p.m. ET