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Bowman, 49ers 'D' Holds Down Wilson, Seahawks

Posted Dec 8, 2013

San Francisco's inside linebacker recorded a game-high nine tackles to lead his unit against Seattle's usually high-powered offense.


Before every game, the 49ers defense aims to hold its opponent to 17 points or less.

This wasn’t just any game. This game was against the Seattle Seahawks.

San Francisco bested its NFC West rival, 19-17, on the backs of its 11-man unit.

And it was NaVorro Bowman who set the tone. The inside linebacker sacked quarterback Russell Wilson for an eight-yard loss, knocking the ball out of bounds, to end Seattle’s first drive.

“If he wasn't ready, I think he got ready after that,” Bowman said. "The focus was on Russell Wilson, to keep him in the cage and stay in coverage. We did that today."

49ers 19 - Seahawks 17: Game Story | Photos | Highlights

Wilson, who was 15-of-25 passing, didn’t crack the 200-yard passing mark (he finished with 199) for the fourth time this season. He also rushed for only two yards, the lowest single-game rushing total of his two-year career.

“We did a good job of containing him today,” safety Donte Whitner said, who also employed the words ‘championship effort’ to describe his unit, “and we did a good job of taking away that playground football and that’s why we came away with the win.”

Beyond Wilson, San Francisco also stifled Marshawn Lynch averaged just 3.6 yards per carry – 72 yards on 20 attempts overall – although he did cross the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

The Seahawks entered Week 14 action with the NFL’s No. 3 rushing attack, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. They mustered 3.7 on Sunday.

"There's nothing magical about stopping the run," said defensive tackle Justin Smith, who was all over the place and yet somehow didn't record a tackle. "He's a heck of a running back, so it was a good matchup all day."

And it lasted until the end. The 49ers held a 19-17 lead when Wilson and Co. started their final possession with 21 seconds remaining. The first pass was thrown into San Francisco territory.

"My eyes got big," Bowman said. "We had two guys down there, so I was happy after that."

Cornerback Eric Wright, who left the game briefly with a head injury, was one of them. He earned his first interception for his hometown team.

"I was just trying to keep everything in front of me," Wright said. "They needed a lot of yards and only had a little bit of time (21 seconds) to get them, so we weren't trying to give them anything cheap... I was able to collapse from outside in, from deep to short, on a ball that was thrown to come up and make the play."