NFL Nation: 2013 Week 14 SEA at SF Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: San Francisco 49ers

December, 8, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few observations from the San Francisco 49ers' 19-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday:

What it means: The 49ers got the stink of two bad back-to-back losses to Seattle off their minds. This was a great game, and it will serve the 49ers well heading into the postseason. They proved they could beat a good team. The 49ers were 1-4 against teams with winning records going into Sunday's game. The 49ers are now 9-4, and the Seahawks fell to 11-2. Could we see a rubber match in Seattle in January? I would be surprised if we don't.

Dawson is hot: 49ers kicker Phil Dawson had four field goals, including a 22-yarder with 26 seconds to go. He has made 20 straight field goal attempts, a team record.

Stock watch: Anquan Boldin continued to benefit from the presence of Michael Crabtree. Boldin had six catches for 93 yards. He had nine catches last week. This could be a key component for the 49ers moving forward.

Gore comes through: Frank Gore, who had three straight slow games, had a 51-yard run on the 49ers' final drive to setup Dawson's game winner.

Third-down defense wanes: The 49ers' defense has been terrific all season, but if there has been an issue, it is the occasional lapse on third down. The Seahawks made three big conversions on third down. It's something the 49ers need to clean up.

Flag day: This was a physical game and it wasn't always clean. The Seahawks were penalized nine times for 85 yards and the 49ers seven times for 70 yards.

What's next: The 49ers travel to Tampa to play the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has improved lately. It is 4-9 and 3-4 at home. The 49ers are 7-0 against teams with losing records.

Rapid Reaction: Seattle Seahawks

December, 8, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 19-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Candlestick Park:

What it means: Seattle’s NFC title goals will have to wait at least one more week. The 49ers showed they can get it done, at least at home, against the best team in the league and their division rivals. This was a game the 49ers needed to win much more than the Seahawks did, and it showed.

Stock watch: Seattle’s run defense failed when the Seahawks needed it the most on a 51-yard run by Frank Gore late in the fourth quarter that set up the winning field goal for the 49ers. … It was clear early on that the 49ers were going to test Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell, and he took his lumps at times. But he also came up with a touchdown-saving interception in the third quarter, the first pick of his NFL career. … Seahawks receiver Golden Tate had another solid day, with six receptions for 65 yards and a 38-yard punt return that set up a third-quarter field goal.

Costly penalties: The Seahawks have won games this season despite their penchant for too many penalties, but it hurt them Sunday on the road against a quality opponent.

Willson’s best game: Maybe he was happy about his Rice Owls on Saturday clinching their first conference title in more than a half century. Whatever it was, Luke Willson had his best day as a pro. The rookie tight end had a big first half with two catches for 68 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown in the second quarter when he ran right by 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis and was wide-open over the middle.

What's next: The Seahawks play their final road game of the regular season against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. A victory would give Seattle a franchise-best six road wins this season. The Seahawks hope this game is a preview of the place where they will return in six weeks for the Super Bowl.