Final

Seahawks 6

(4-3, 1-3 away)

49ers 13

(5-2, 3-1 home)

Coverage: NFL

8:20 PM ET, October 18, 2012

Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 3 3 0 06
SF 3 0 7 313

Top Performers

Passing: A. Smith (SF) - 140 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: F. Gore (SF) - 16 CAR, 131 YDS

Receiving: F. Gore (SF) - 5 REC, 51 YDS

Frank Gore rushes for 131 yards, leads 49ers past Seahawks

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco 49ers sit alone atop the NFC West for now -- hardly the kind of firm hold on the division they owned last October.

Alex Smith threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker late in the third quarter, and San Francisco held off the Seattle Seahawks 13-6 on Thursday night as the 49ers won their long-awaited division opener.

Frank Gore ran for 131 yards, and the 49ers (5-2) took over sole possession of first place in the NFC West by making just enough plays to win this defense-first game featuring two teams allowing fewer than 16 points per game.

"That was the most physical 30 minutes of football in the second half that I have ever seen our football team play," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "It's a sweet win. It was a real football fight, and our guys won it."

Walker's score was San Francisco's first touchdown in seven quarters after an embarrassing 26-3 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday in a lopsided rematch of the NFC championship game. The tight end broke his jaw in two places at Seattle last Dec. 24 and sat out until the title game.

Smith went 14-of-23 for 140 yards in another subpar performance. The defense hung tough down the stretch.

NFC rushing leader Marshawn Lynch finished with 103 yards for Seattle (4-3).

It's now Harbaugh 3, Pete Carroll 0 since these two coaching rivals started facing off in the NFL last year after all those memorable moments in the college game.

Harbaugh's teams sure have shown they are quick to forget their losses. The 49ers improved to 5-0 after regular-season defeats since reigning NFL coach of the year Harbaugh took over before last season.

Pulling off this one could give the 49ers some momentum, too. It was the first of two straight prime-time games for San Francisco, which doesn't play again until Oct. 29 at Arizona.

The defensive fight left the animated coaches shaking their heads and hollering on opposite sidelines all game, offering plenty of entertainment for the sellout crowd of 69,732 at balmy Candlestick Park.

"We found ourselves in a real slugfest here today," Carroll said. "I'm not surprised it could have gone that way with two good defenses and two teams committed to running the ball."

These teams met in Weeks 1 and 16 last season, with the 49ers beating Seattle 33-17 at home for Harbaugh's first victory as an NFL coach.

This one was close until the end.

"We had a long drive in the third quarter. We just kind of felt them start to give up a little bit, and they knew we were just going to keep running the ball on them," 49ers right guard Alex Boone said. "It was more of, 'Let's get back to our roots and do what we're good at' -- that's being physical, pounding the ball. Frank's a great runner."

After Walker's touchdown, Dashon Goldson intercepted a deep pass by Russell Wilson to thwart Seattle's next drive after NaVorro Bowman clobbered the rookie quarterback as he was trying to throw.

Smith gave the ball back with an interception of his own early in the fourth quarter. His fifth interception of the season matched his total from all of 2011.

Harbaugh went to backup Colin Kaepernick for one keeper play that lost a yard, then Smith returned for third-and-goal on the 7. He scrambled to his left looking for an open receiver, and Brandon Browner jumped in front of a pass intended for Randy Moss.

That gave Seattle the ball back with 11:58 remaining. Yet again, the Seahawks couldn't capitalize on a night of missed opportunities and dropped balls.

Gore had his third 100-yard game of the season, not to be outdone by Lynch on the other side.

"I just got in that rhythm, and once I get in that rhythm, I feel I can't be stopped," Gore said.

Lynch carried 19 times and bounced back from a 41-yard outing in Sunday's comeback 24-23 home win against the Patriots. The 49ers and their top-ranked defense hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 22 consecutive home games before New York's Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 116 yards and a touchdown Sunday -- and now the Niners made it twice in five days.

Not that they should have been too surprised. This is Lynch, after all.

The last time they faced off, on Dec. 24, Lynch ran for 107 yards as San Francisco's defense had its streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher end at 36 games. And his 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter also was the first TD rushing allowed by San Francisco all season.

Wilson, who said leading up to the game that he couldn't wait for his introduction to this heated rivalry, went 9-of-23 for 122 yards, an interception and two sacks. Aldon Smith sacked him with 1:25 left, then Paul McQuistan was called for a chop block on Smith in the end zone with 43 seconds left. It would have been an automatic safety, but the 49ers declined the penalty. The play was reviewed, and Seattle was short of the first down.

Wilson struggled four days after he threw two late touchdown passes as the Seahawks rallied for 14 points over the final 7:31 to stun New England on Sunday.

"The way we lost was frustrating. We could have done some things better," Wilson said. "I could have done some things better."

San Francisco was in control of the division at this stage last season -- sitting at 5-1 -- but needed a big second half Thursday after a quick week of preparation to stay in first place.

Steven Hauschka kicked a 52-yard field goal as Seattle scored first for the seventh time in as many games this year. He added a 35-yarder early in the second quarter but missed wide left on a 51-yard try later in the quarter.

David Akers, who had eight of his NFL-record 44 field goals in the two games against the Seahawks last season, booted a 38-yarder late in the first quarter to make it 3-3.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SEA
SF
1st Downs1318
Passing 1st downs
59
Rushing 1st downs
68
1st downs from penalties
21
3rd down efficiency
4-133-11
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Plays5457
Total Yards251313
Yards per play4.65.5
Total Drives1010
Passing115138
Comp-Att
9-2314-23
Yards per pass
4.65.5
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-72-2
Rushing136175
Rushing Attempts
2932
Yards per rush
4.75.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-00-0
Penalties3-205-40
Turnovers11
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession27:5932:01

Passing Leaders

SEAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Wilson9/231225.3012-7
SFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Smith14/231406.1112-2

Rushing Leaders

SEACARYDSAVGTDLG
Lynch191035.4015
Turbin4174.3015
SFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Gore161318.2037
Hunter9313.4010

Receiving Leaders

SEARECYDSAVGTDLG
Obomanu35016.7036
Rice23216.0027
SFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gore55110.2015
Crabtree4317.8016

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSEASF
seaFG5:34Steven Hauschka 52 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 62 yds, 5:05
30
sfFG0:31David Akers 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 60 yds, 5:03
33
SECOND QUARTERSEASF
seaFG12:12Steven Hauschka 35 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 63 yds, 3:19
63
THIRD QUARTERSEASF
sfTD4:36Delanie Walker 12 Yard Pass From Alex Smith (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 86 yds, 6:20
610
FOURTH QUARTERSEASF
sfFG5:28David Akers 28 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 39 yds, 4:47
613

Research Notes

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are 4-0 against teams not in their divsion, including big wins over the Packers and Patriots, but against the NFC West it's been a much different story. Wilson is 0-3 against divisional foes and is completing less than 54 percent of his passes with 5 interceptions.
  [+]
Alex Smith has struggled on throws of more than 20 yards downfield since spraining his finger in Week 5 against the Bills. Over his last two games, Smith is 1-5 (20.0 percent) with one interception on such throws. Smith's 58.3 completion percentage (7-12) on throws more than 20 yards downfield was first in the league among qualified quarterbacks in the first five weeks of the season.
All 16 of Frank Gore's rushes came in between the tackles Thursday. Gore's 131 yards on such rushes is the fifth most anyone has had in a game this season. Frank Gore gained 107 of his 131 rushing yards before he was contacted by the Seahawks. The last time he had more yards before contact in a game was against the Cardinals in Week 14 of 2009 (115).
  [+]
Alex Smith utilized short passes against the Seahawks, with 12 of his 14 completions coming on throws five yards or fewer downfield. Thursday was the fourth time in the last three seasons that Smith has completed at least 80 percent of his throws within five yards of the line of scrimmage.
  [+]
The 49ers were able to prevent the big play from Russell Wilson, defending two of his passes traveling more than 15 yards downfield and intercepting another. Entering Thursday, Wilson had completed 57.1 percent of such throws, the second-highest percentage in the NFL (Alex Smith - 59.3).
  [+]

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