NFL Game Summary - San Francisco at Seattle|
(Sunday, January 19th)
Final Score: Seattle 23, San Francisco 17
Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Richard Sherman tipped Colin Kaepernick's
pass and then celebrated when his teammate came away with the pick. Moments
later, he screamed into a TV camera that he was the best cornerback in the
One thing's for sure: The Seattle Seahawks, in front of their noisy, proud
fans, proved they were the best team in the NFC with a thrilling win over a
Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth
quarter and the Seahawks scored 13 unanswered points Sunday to beat the San
Francisco 49ers 23-17 in the NFC Championship Game.
After Sherman tipped a pass intended for Michael Crabtree in the back-right
corner of the end zone, linebacker Malcolm Smith picked it off to halt a 49ers
drive in the final minute, sealing Seattle's second Super Bowl trip.
The Seahawks will face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Feb.
2, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Denver beat New England 26-16
in the AFC title game Sunday.
Wilson passed for 215 yards, Marshawn Lynch rushed for 109 with a 40-yard
touchdown run and top-seeded Seattle erased deficits of 10-0 and 17-10 for its
seventh straight playoff win at home.
"It would really be a mistake not to remember the connection and relationship
between the team and 'The 12th Man,' the fans," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll
said on the field after the game. "It's really unbelievable."
Kaepernick piled up 130 yards rushing, including a 58-yard scramble in the
first half that set up Anthony Dixon's 1-yard touchdown for a 10-0 lead.
Sherman celebrated Smith's interception on his back in the end zone.
Replays showed him slapping Crabtree on the butt (he was penalized) and making
a choking gesture after the play, but before he screamed into Fox sideline
reporter Erin Andrews' microphone after the game that we was "the best corner
in the game" and called Crabtree "a sorry receiver."
Kaepernick had 3:37 and three timeouts to work with in the final drive and
completed 5-of-6 passes -- including a 17-yard throw to Frank Gore on fourth
down -- moving San Francisco from its own 22 to the Seattle 18-yard line
before the interception.
Kaepernick passed for 153 yards with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin
and two interceptions and had 98 yards rushing in the first half. He blamed
himself for the loss.
"I didn't play good enough to win. I turned the ball over three times. I cost
us this game," said Kaepernick, who also lost a fumble.
The fifth-seeded 49ers, in the NFC title game for the third straight season
and looking to go back to the Super Bowl after losing to Baltimore last year,
had an eight-game winning streak snapped.
The Seahawks finished a game ahead of the 49ers in the NFC West and had beaten
them in their last two meetings in Seattle by a combined score of 71-16.
This one was much closer. It was a battle, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.
"It was a 15-rounder," Harbaugh said. "Both teams played hard."
Wilson had a free throw after the 49ers went offside on 4th-and-7 and threw it
to Kearse, who leapt to pull down the 35-yard touchdown pass with a defender
on his back to give the Seahawks their first lead of the game with 13:44 left.
They were close to building on the 20-17 advantage after Cliff Avril stripped
Kaepernick and the Seahawks recovered at the San Francisco 6-yard line, but
Niners linebacker NaVorro Bowman suffered what the team said initially looks
like an ACL injury as he pulled the ball away from Kearse near the goal line
on third down and Kearse landed on Bowman's left leg, bending it sideways.
Kearse ended up putting the ball on the ground, but Lynch came away with it
after a scramble. Wilson and Lynch then fumbled a handoff on fourth down
to give the 49ers the ball at their own 15.
But Kaepernick underthrew Boldin on first down and Kam Chancellor picked the
pass off, leading to Steven Hauschka's 47-yard field goal with 3:37 left.
"This is where we want to be," Carroll said. "We have an incredible
opportunity to go to New York (for the Super Bowl). It is a challenge we will
not take lightly."
Lynch's electric 40-yard touchdown run tied the score at 10-10 in the third
He started right, cut back through the middle of the line, nearly ran into
tackle Alvin Bailey, then stumbled near the end of the run but avoided being
tackled before plunging into the right side of the end zone.
Big plays were the norm in the second half.
Kaepernick's 26-yard pass to a well-covered Boldin was tipped by Seattle's
Earl Thomas as both players leapt in the end zone, but Boldin came down with
it for a 17-10 49ers lead midway through the third quarter.
Doug Baldwin returned the ensuing kickoff 69 yards down the right sideline to
set up Hauschka's 40-yard field goal to get Seattle within four.
Earlier, Aldon Smith strip-sacked Wilson on the game's first play from
scrimmage and Phil Dawson kicked a 25-yard field goal to give the 49ers the
LaMichael James fumbled a punt in the second quarter after a brutal hit by
Seattle's Ricardo Lockette, but the 49ers recovered the ball and Kaepernick
slipped past four tacklers on a 58-yard dash that set up the game's first
Dixon soared over the line for a 1-yard score on fourth down at 10:03 of the
quarter for a 10-0 lead.
Not to be outdone, Wilson used his legs to get Seattle points. He scrambled
for time and found Baldwin behind two defenders for a 51-yard completion that
set up Hauschka's 32-yard field goal, pulling the Seahawks within 10-3.
Both teams gained 308 yards on offense ... Seattle beat Carolina in the 2006
NFC title game and lost to Pittsburgh in the franchise's only previous Super
Bowl appearance ... The 49ers fell to 6-9 in NFC title games ... Seahawks wide
receiver Percy Harvin missed the game with a concussion ... 49ers guard Mike
Iupati left the game with an ankle injury.
01/19 23:34:37 ET