by janie mccauley ap sports writer
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman saved the special "G" play for Frank Gore to pull out at just the right time.
Behind at home to their fiercest division rival, the 49ers needed a big gain from their go-to running back.
Gore's misdirection 51-yard burst set up a go-ahead 22-yard field goal by Phil Dawson with 26 seconds remaining, and two-time defending champion San Francisco denied nemesis Seattle a chance to clinch the NFC West on Sunday at Candlestick Park with a 19-17 win.
Statement game? You bet.
"You guys kind of counted us out already. I felt like Seattle had our number," 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. "It was a statement game to the world. As you guys know, this is still our division. Until a team takes that from us, we will continue to rep this division the right way."
On Gore's run, Roman called the play for the first time since coming to the 49ers before the 2011 season.
"I have to say thanks to my O-line, who did a great job all game," Gore said.
Both the Seahawks (11-2) and 49ers expect another matchup before season's end, next month in Seattle. San Francisco (9-4) has been outscored 71-16 in its last two losses in the Pacific Northwest.
"We didn't project it to be this way," Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said. "We expected to blow them out but they got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game, and that helps you especially on third down. We will see them again and it will be a different result."
Here are five things to take from Sunday's NFC West showdown that saw the end to Seattle's seven-game winning streak:
BIG-PLAY BOLDIN: Anquan Boldin keeps making clutch catches by the week. And it sure helps having the defense focus on a healthy Michael Crabtree.
Boldin finished with six receptions for 93 yards, his fourth straight game with at least five receptions. He became the 30th player in NFL history to surpass 11,000 career yards receiving (11,080).
The emotional Boldin didn't let the boisterous, trash-talking Seattle secondary get to him.
"If guys want to pretend to be tough, then I look forward to it," Boldin said. "Talking, that's just what they do. So, I let my play speak for itself."
SEATTLE MISCUES: Russell Wilson had a tough time getting in a groove given all of the stops and starts — and flying yellow flags.
As in nine penalties for 85 yards. They thwarted Seattle drives, or extended San Francisco's series.
In one sequence, Seattle was momentarily helped by Donte Whitner's 15-yard taunting penalty against Marshawn Lynch, then it came right back three plays later on Michael Robinson's facemask flag and Seattle punted.
With LaMichael James catching the punt, O'Brien Schofield bumped James and received a 15-yard fair catch interference penalty. That started San Francisco's drive at the 48 but the 49ers went three and out.
"We play so hard and try to do everything right," Wilson said. "They are going to call some penalties on us because of how physical we play and how we run the ball. We have to eliminate the penalties, especially offensively."
DAWSON'S STREAK: Phil Dawson doesn't keep a running count, though he always strives for consistency.
San Francisco's steady place kicker added four more field goals Sunday, and he has converted 20 straight. That is a franchise record, topping Joe Nedney's stretch of 18 consecutive field goals made in 2006-07.
"I try not to think about it," Dawson said. "I try to treat every kick the same. You have to have a bad memory. Unfortunately, I have a really good memory and I can remember my last miss."
SEAHAWKS INJURIES: Seattle will likely be without linebacker K.J. Wright for at least six weeks after he broke a bone in his foot. Seattle coach Pete Carroll is bracing for a long absence.
"I am really disappointed in that," Carroll said. "He was really upset about that. So, that looks like a six-week type injury. They have already diagnosed him."
In addition, center Max Unger injured his chest in the second half, while safety Jeron Johnson experienced yet further hamstring problems. This time, he injured the other leg after missing time earlier in the year with a strained hamstring.
WRIGHT'S RETURN: 49ers cornerback Eric Wright took a quick break for what was announced as a head injury, then returned late in the game to make the play that sealed it.
On Wilson's last-ditch deep pass, Wright jumped up to make a two-handed interception after a Seattle wide receiver fell in front of him.
He is making quite an impact down the stretch in his first season for San Francisco, despite playing only the past four games following a stint on the active non-football injury list.
"It was just about being available and having the opportunity to play whenever it came about, to maximize that opportunity whenever it happened," Wright said.
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