These two NFC West foes were set to battle it out in a prime-time Thanksgiving contest, which kicked off at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Both teams entered the fray with 7-4 records. Seattle held the No. 6—and final—seed in the NFC, while San Francisco, on the outside, was at No. 8. Needless to say, there was far more riding on this contest than just payback for what took place the last time these two teams met in the NFC Championship Game last January.
San Francisco was coming off a 17-14 victory over the Washington Redskins in Week 12—a game in which the offense largely sputtered, yet the defense carried the day. Seattle bested the conference-leading Arizona Cardinals in another low-scoring contest.
While this matchup figured to be another defensive standoff between two top-tier defenses, the onus would be on the 49ers offense to get back on track. Underwhelming performances in weeks prior might have worked against inferior opponents.
Seattle was another story.
Cameras and storylines dated back to the end result of what happened in the NFC Championship Game. No one needed reminders of the Michael Crabtree/Richard Sherman saga heading into this game. While this was a focal point, the real story was what's at stake—a potential playoff berth.
The defenses of both teams came out strong early. But a late first-quarter interception by Sherman led to a Robert Turbin touchdown reception that gave Seattle the lead. The Seahawks then added a field goal after reaching the 49ers' 1-yard line on a 63-yard pass from quarterback Russell Wilson to tight end Tony Moeaki.
Seattle added another field goal on its subsequent drive.
Offensively, the 49ers' woes continued through the first 30 minutes. Over that period, San Francisco averaged just 2.6 yards per play.
Seattle opened up the scoring in the second half—a 35-yard field goal by kicker Steven Hauschka. The 49ers were able to sustain an elongated drive afterwards, but only concluded it with a Phil Dawson field goal—their first points in the contest.
Yet the Seahawks answered back with a field goal of their own, which turned out to be the final scoring play of the night.
The story was the ineptitude of the 49ers offense—a unit that has essentially gone absent for the last three weeks. Now, the question will be whether that ineptitude cost San Francisco a playoff berth in 2014.
It very well might have.
FINAL: Seahawks 19, 49ers 3
Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, covering the San Francisco 49ers. Be sure to check out his entire archive on 49ers news, insight and analysis.
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