The banged up San Francisco 49ers couldn't get anything going, again, Sunday against the Seahawks, falling 17-7 in a game that will be remembered as the final stand of the 2014 season.
And it might be the last time they take the field with Jim Harbaugh as head coach in a meaningful game. They were officially eliminated from playoff contention, not making it for the first time in Harbaugh's four seasons.
The 49ers (7-7) did not have a terrible showing, but the Seahawks (10-4) took command in the second half, running the ball down San Francisco's throat to come back from a 7-3 halftime deficit.
The 49ers lost dynamo rookie linebacker Chris Borland with an ankle injury on the last play of the second quarter. That came after losing starting running back Frank Gore (concussion), and then rookie standout Carlos Hyde (ankle), forcing them to call on third-string running back Alfonso Smith in the second half.
It allowed Marshawn Lynch to score a four-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter to give the Seahawks a 10-7 lead they wouldn't relinquish, after calling seven runs on the 10-play scoring drive. Second-year player Nick Moody, who would be the team's fifth-inside linebacker if the group normally featuring All-Pros Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman was fully healthy, received his first meaningful snaps of the season.
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Seattle's rookie wideout Paul Richardson scored a dagger of a touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard post route in between safeties Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid. It came moments after Moody drilled quarterback Russell Wilson on a third-down throwaway that drew a personal foul flag.
Referee Ed Hochuli said the penalty was for hitting the quarterback in the chest with the crown of his helmet. But replays indicated Moody did not lower his head to hit Wilson. Instead of kicking a field goal to make it 13-7, the Seahawks' touchdown made it a two-score game.
San Francisco was unable to score another point on their next two drives, turning the ball over on downs against the Seahawks' top-ranked defense.
Colin Kaepernick and the offense had a far better showing than Thanksgiving night's 164-yard performance, totaling 245 yards. But San Francisco netted just 105 passing yards thanks to six sacks behind a makeshift offensive line featuring their third center of the season in Joe Looney and backup right tackle Jonathan Martin. But they did not turn the ball over.
Gore's 10-yard touchdown early in the second quarter was the lone highlight for San Francisco. He left the game with a concussion late in the second quarter when blocking linebacker Bobby Wagner down field during a 22-yard run from Kaepernick. Hyde, who ran for six carries and 55 yards, left the game after the 49ers' first drive of the second half, twisting an ankle when awkwardly tackled on a short run.
The Seahawks outgained the 49ers 290-245. Russell Wilson completed 12 of 24 for 168 yards with a TD and interception. Kaepernick did not turn the ball over, completing 11 of 19 throws for 141 yards.
San Francisco had 140 rushing yards on 32 carries, including 46 yards from Kaepernick.