For the fifth straight game at Candlestick Park, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks to move their record to 9-4 on the season. Jim Harbaugh improved his record against Pete Carroll and the Seahawks to 4-2 since became the head coach. The five-game home winning streak is the longest against Seattle in franchise history.
The 19-17 home win for the Niners continued their dominance at Bill Walsh Field against NFC West division rivals. Since 2009, the 49ers are 14-0-1 against NFC West teams when playing on their home grass.
As expected, the 49ers-Seahawks game was a back-and-forth slugfest, reminiscent of a heavy-weight boxing match where the last man standing is victorious. Frank Gore’s gallop in the fourth quarter put the Seahawks on the ropes with just over four minutes left in the game. Gore’s 51-yard run forced Seattle to burn their final two timeouts and allowed the 49ers to run as much time off the clock as possible. But more importantly, Gore’s gallop set up the knockout punch that came in the form of a 22-yard field by Phil Dawson, which gave San Francisco a 19-17 lead.
Never mind that Gore hadn’t rushed for over 50 yards at all in the past three games. Nor that he had a combined 120 rushing yards the past three weeks. He is a workhorse who knows he just has to wait for his opportunities to make big plays. He got that opportunity in the fourth quarter and took full advantage of it to help keep San Francisco’s playoff chances alive by holding down the sixth spot in the NFC.
I will never forget that play, nor my reaction to seeing Gore run wild for 51 yards. I am sure a lot of Niner fans reacted the same way, yelling, ‘Gore! Gore! Gore!’ For some reason, my wife decided to walk our dog in the middle of the fourth quarter. After she came back she knew the Niners had won. She heard loud cheers coming from multiple houses in our SF neighborhood.
Onward to Tampa Bay…
Michael Crabtree on why the Niners won:
We made plays down the stretch. That’s clutch. We were out there fighting and came up with a ‘W,’ that’s great for the team. It was a big for us. I said it was going to be a fight. We all played together and made it happen. It was real fun. It was competitive. It felt like a heavyweight fight.
Anquan Boldin on the trash-talk on the field with the Seahawks:
It is what it is. That’s the way that I play. If guys want to pretend to be tough, then I look forward to it. Talking, that’s just what they do, you know what I’m saying? So, I let my play speak for itself.
Harbaugh asked if he enjoys Seahawks rivalry:
Enjoy it? That’s not the word I would use…These games are only for the tough.
Harbaugh asked if the game was playoff-like:
Yeah, it was a big game. You could say that.
NaVorro Bowman if the win made a statement:
You guys kind of counted us out already. I think it was a statement game to the world. As you guys know, this is still our division. Until a team takes that from us, we will continue to rep this division the right way…We needed to play from start to finish and I think we did that today.
Frank Gore on what it took to win:
We knew we had to attack all four quarters…have to go take it. Big win. It took all the playmakers to do something in this game. Tough game. Seattle’s a great team.
Greg Roman on the play called on Gore’s 51-yard gallop:
We’ve never run it before, 97 G-Ro. It was something we were keeping in the pocket at the right time. It’s all about timing.