San Francisco 49ers: David Akers

Week 13 and 15 games against Seattle jump off the schedule. These are the two best teams in the NFL, and the late-season battles loom huge. But the truth is the San Francisco 49ers cannot afford any stumbles. They started 1-2 last season and could never catch up as the Seahawks finished 13-3 and the 49ers 12-4. It cost the 49ers home field in the playoffs. They have road games at Dallas and Arizona and home games against Chicago and Philadelphia in the first quarter of the season. If they are anything less than 3-1, they could be in a hole. On the flip side, if the 49ers -- who will not be at full strength on defense to start -- can navigate a perfect first quarter, it could set up a special season.

Complete 49ers season preview.

Upon Further Review: 49ers Week 14

December, 9, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- A review of four hot issues from the San Francisco 49ers' 19-17 win over Seattle:

[+] EnlargeSan Francisco's Kassim Osgood
AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezKassim Osgood's blocked punt led to a field goal.
Gore comes through: In the previous three games, the San Francisco 49ers’ ground game struggled. Sunday, though, it helped fuel the win over the Seahawks. Starter Frank Gore had a 51-yard run on the 49ers’ final drive to set up the game-winning field goal. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the 49ers had 137 rushing yards before contact. It was a season worst for the Seattle defense.

Osgood factor: San Francisco's special teams are much improved. That has helped the 49ers all season, and Sunday was no different. Special teams ace Kassim Osgood had a blocked punt in the first quarter, which led to a field goal. Had Osgood not blocked the punt, the 49ers may not have won this tight game. Osgood has been making plays all season, but this one was his biggest.

Dawson is on fire: Speaking of outstanding special teams play, kicker Phil Dawson continues to be one of the 49ers’ most vital players. He had four field goals Sunday, including the game winner with 26 seconds remaining in the game. Dawson has made 20 straight field goal attempts. He has been a major upgrade over David Akers.

Message sent: Niners guard Alex Boone said 49ers players told Seattle players after the game that they will see them in Seattle in the postseason. It could happen. If so, the 49ers will be confident based on this performance. Yes, the 49ers have been beaten by a combined score of 71-16 in the past two games in Seattle, but Sunday’s win shows San Francisco can still play with the Seahawks.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Phil Dawson missed both of his field-goal attempts when the San Francisco 49ers played at St. Louis in Week 4.

That was the last time he missed.

Dawson will head into the 49ers’ home game against the Rams on Sunday on a big roll. He has made 13 consecutive field goals, including seven in the past three games.

Dawson is giving the 49ers everything they were looking for when they signed him in the offseason. David Akers struggled last season, and the 49ers were looking for more consistency. After a fairly slow start -- he missed three of six attempts in the first three games -- Dawson has been his usual solid self. .

And during his streak Dawson has hit several long field goals; he is known for his accuracy on long attempts. His season long is a 55-yarder at New Orleans.