Who Will Win?
The Seahawks won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff.
Seattle looked to establish a running game on the opening drive but the 49ers defense refused to let it happen. Ray McDonald started the game with 2 tackles for a loss, but Russell Wilson was able to convert a third and long to Percy Harvin as he picked up 18 yards. Later in the drive on third and 3, Wilson kept the ball on an option run with Marshawn Lynch but Aldon Smith got in the backfield in a hurry, hitting Wilson behind the line of scrimmage and forcing a Seattle punt.
Unlike Seattle, the 49ers had no issues getting their run game going on their first drive. They started with 4 straight runs, including a 25 yard rush by Frank Gore, which helped set up a perfectly executed play action pass to Anquan Boldin for a gain of 17 yards, down to the Seahawks 2 yard line. Two plays later Kendall Hunter followed his blockers into the end zone to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead.
After an incomplete pass and a 1 yard Lynch run, the Seahawks were facing a third and long. Wilson threw a missile to Golden Tate which would have been a first down, but just as it hit his hands, Donte Whitner laid a big hit on Tate causing him to drop the ball. This forced a 3 and out and a Sehawks punt.
The Seahawks defense responded by forcing a 3 and out as well. Frank Gore picked up 9 yards on 1st down, then he was stopped for no gain on 2nd down, and Colin Kaepernick threw an incomplete pass on 3rd down, which was intended for Michael Crabtree but he bounced the throw.
End of 1st: 49ers 7 Seahawks 0
Russell Wilson provided a spark for the Seahawks offense as he was able to rush for 32 yards on a 2nd and 1, taking it all the way down to the 49ers 35 yard line. Lynch followed that up with an 11 yard rush of his own.
However just two plays later, Russell Wilson tried to force a ball to Percy Harvin on third down, but it was picked off for Tramaine Brock at the 15 yard line and he returned it 57 yards to set Kaepernick and the 49ers offense up at the Seattle 29 yard line.
Despite picking up a first down, the 49ers had to settle for a Phil Dawson 30 yard field goal as Kaepernick was sacked by Michael Bennett on third and short. This put San Francisco up 10-0.
Seattle was able to put together their best drive of the game up to this point, as they put together a 9 play drive which resulted in a Steven Hauschka 21 yard field goal. Wilson was able to complete some big passes on the drive, as he completed a pass to Golden Tate for 14 yards on third and 4, and then completed passes to Doug Baldwin on back to back plays for 16 and 17 yards. However the drive would stall out at the 49ers 4 yard line as Wilson overthrew Tate on a goal line fade to the corner of the end zone.
Things almost got very interesting as the 49ers set up a toss to Frank Gore on 1st down, and Bruce Irvin was able to strip the ball loose, causing a fumble but luckily offensive lineman Anthony Davis was able to recover it. On the play Davis suffered an abdominal tear and he would not return to action.
Kaepernick on the next two plays picked up 13 yards on a play action pass to Michael Crabtree and then 21 yards on a screen play for Vernon Davis. But on third and 10 Kaepernick was brought down by Michael Bennett once again and forced a punt.
With just 1:24 left in the half, the Seahawks took over at their own 4 yard line with all 3 time outs remaining.
After a Lynch 13 yard run gave the Seahawks offense some breathing room, Wilson took back to back sacks, the first by Ray McDonaold and then the second by Aldon Smith. The 49ers would then burn their second time out and force a Seattle punt. This gave Colin Kaepernick 25 seconds from his own 36 yard line with just 1 time out left.
Kaepernick hooked up with Anquan Boldin near the sidelines for a pick up of 22 yards and he got out of bounds, then connected on a screen play to Frank Gore for 18 yards and they burned their last time out, which set up a Phil Dawson 42 yard field goal as the half came to a close, giving the 49ers a 10 point lead.
At the Half: 49ers 13 Seahawks 3
It didn't take long for the 49ers to add to their lead. On just the 5th play of the drive, Michael Crabtree had 1 on 1 coverage with Byron Maxwell. Crabtree burnt Maxwell down the sideline and Kaepernick threw a bomb his way, Crabtree was able to make the catch in stride and cruise to a 60 yard touchdown, putting the 49ers up 20-3.
The struggles for the Seahawks offense continued as they were forced to punt after a 3 and out. They tried to run it to the outside with Lynch on third and 2, but Seattle's offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy blocked Tarell Brown right into Lynch and Brown made the tackle for a loss of 3.
On the first play of the drive, Kaepernick found a ton of running room up the middle of the field and was able to pick up 41 yards on the play. The 49ers received a scare when Vernon Davis was very slow to get up as he was shaken up on the play, but returned later in the drive.
On 4th and 5 instead of attempting a Dawson 51 yard field goal, the 49ers lined up to punt. However they ran a fake punt and punter Andy Lee threw to a wide open receiver who slipped on the play and was unable to make the catch.
As we have seen pretty much all game, the 49ers defense forced Seattle into a third and long, and Wilson was unable to complete a pass to Percy Harvin, forcing another punt.
The Seahawks defense was able to respond with a 3 and out of their own, stopping Gore on a 3rd and short.
As the third quarter came to a close, Wilson was able to hook up with tight end Zach Miller for a pick up of 27 yards, picking up a first down at the Seahawks 47 yard line.
After 3: 49ers 20 Seahawks 3
Just as the Seahawks offense was finally finding a rhythm, Patrick Willis was able to pick off a pass that was tipped by Justin Smith at the line of scrimmage.
Looking to kill some clock, the 49ers used 7 runs to get into Seattle territory, but on third down Kaepernick threw a jump ball into the end zone for Boldin, but Richard Sherman positioned himself perfectly and came was able to come up with the interception.
With just 3:17 left in the game, the Seahawks finally found the end zone. Seattle put together an 11 play drive, which was capped off by a Marshawn Lynch 4 yard touchdown run. This cut the 49ers lead to 20-10.
Pete Carroll elected to kick an onsides kick as he knew time was running out on his season, however the 49ers were able to recover the kick.
After two consectuive runs by San Francisco, it took the clock down to the 2 minute warning. The 49ers would run again on 3rd down, forcing Seattle to burn their first time out and Seattle would take over with from their own 20 with 1:49.
Seattle was able to pick up two first down, but the game would come to an end on a very controversial call.
Wilson threw a ball to Doug Baldwin who had to jump to make the catch. As he was in the air he turned his body as he was expecting to run with the ball after making the catch. As he turned, Patrick Willis was waiting for him. Willis lowered his shoulder to make the hit and he forced the ball loose from Baldwin and San Francisco recovered. After seeing the replay it never appeared Baldwin had complete possession of the ball as he never got both feet on the ground. But after a review of the play, the call stood and the 49ers were able to run out the clock.
Final Score: 49ers 20 Seahawks 10
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