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Seahawks Point to Penalties in 49ers Loss

Posted Dec 9, 2013

Seattle downplayed any rivalry with San Francisco and pointed to penalties as the difference in Sunday's 49ers win.

In the minds of the Seattle Seahawks, penalties were the biggest factor in Sunday’s 49ers win.

The visiting Seahawks committed nine penalties for 85 yards in a 19-17 loss at Candlestick Park.

“I’m probably most disappointed that there was a lot of critical penalties,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said after his team lost a fifth consecutive game in San Francisco.

“It felt like it kind of dictated the flow of it, but that is the way it goes sometimes. They call them on us, they call them on them as well. I’m not complaining about that I just wish it wasn’t a part of this game because it could have made a difference. So, it was a terrific win for them and unfortunately for us, we have to keep battling and battle through the end here, and see if we can put this thing in order.”

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

With the win, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh improved to 4-2 against the Seahawks and is now 8-3 in the month of December. San Francisco continued its home dominance in the division. The 49ers are 14-0-1 against NFC West opponents at Candlestick Park since 2009, giving the team the second-best winning percentage against divisional opponents at home during that span.

The fifth-straight win over Seattle gave San Francisco its longest home win streak against the Seahawks in franchise history, too.

“This was a very good game, a tough loss and a good environment,” said Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson who was held to 2 rushing yards, a single-game career low.

“We felt like we should have won that game. We missed on a couple of opportunities. The penalties really hurt us offensively. They really got us off schedule.”

The 49ers committed penalties, too. Seven to be in fact. For all intents and purposes, the difference in the game was San Francisco’s 11-play, 76-yard scoring drive that was capped by Phil Dawson’s fourth made field goal of the game, a 22-yard kick that was the 20th consecutive make by the veteran specialist.

The game featured seven lead changes and was quite different from what Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman expected.

“This is a glorified practice!” the emotional defensive back told his teammates before the game.

When the final outcome was determined, Sherman didn’t back down from his confident view.

“We didn’t project it to be this way,” said Sherman, who recorded three tackles, was flagged once for defensive holding and had another holding penalty declined by the 49ers. “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.”

Sherman, like his coach and quarterback, has not won a game in San Francisco.

Seattle’s personnel would not discuss a rivalry with the 49ers. For them, it was another matchup with a divisional opponent.

“We don’t look at it that way,” Caroll said. “It is a great division matchup and they are still trying to get their season in order and we are trying to get ours in order. I love that they are a really good football team. They call for you to play great, to beat them. They have helped us because they are good.”

Iron sharpens iron in the 49ers-Seahawks matchup, rivalry, or whatever you want to call it.

As the playoff seeding currently stands, the NFC Championship game will take place in Seattle, home of the No. 1 seed.

For now, the 49ers can take pride in holding their own with one of the NFL’s top teams.

Another matchup in January could be in the works.

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