The Seattle Seahawks will not celebrate dethroning the NFC West's back-to-back champs at Candlestick Park.
After this Sunday afternoon, that much is assured.
San Francisco kicker Phil Dawson made his franchise-record 20th straight field goal with 31 seconds left, as the 49ers topped the visiting Seahawks, 19-17.
With the win, its fifth straight against Seattle (11-2, 3-1) in games played at Candlestick Park, San Francisco (9-4, 4-1) guaranteed a third straight winning season for the first time since 1998. The 49ers also delayed the Seahawks likely clinching of their division, plus a first-round bye in the postseason.
The Seahawks, which hosted and beat San Francisco handily, 29-3, in Week 2 action, got another strong performance from quarterback Russell Wilson, who was picked off by Eric Wright with 21 seconds remaining. Wilson was 15-of-25 passing for 199 yards and a score, but he was held to a single-game career low two yards rushing.
The 49ers first-half offense centered around Dawson. The 15th-year kicker executed field goals from 23 yards, 48 yards and 52 yards.
The second successful three-point try was set up by Kassim Osgood's blocked punt late in the first quarter. Osgood's block gave the 49ers possession 34 yards from the goal-line – and the team's first multi-block season since 1975; fellow special teamer Craig Dahl knocked one down against these same Seahawks in Week 2.
Speaking of records, Dawson set a franchise mark by connecting on a 19th straight field goal. The 20th would come later.
The Seahawks punted away their first three possessions before an 80-yard drive that extended into the second quarter. After Wilson connected with tight end Zach Miller (29 yards) and wideout Golden Tate (24), running back Marshawn Lynch scored the game's first touchdown from 11 yards out.
Lynch crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the season on the previous play, a six-yard run.
Seattle ended a second straight possession with a touchdown on Wilson's 39-yard toss to No. 2 tight end Luke Willson.
Then Colin Kaepernick returned the favor, leading San Francisco 72 yards down field, 29 of them on a jump ball-battle that wideout Anquan Boldin won against cornerback Richard Sherman. Kaepernick found tight end Vernon Davis for an eight-yard touchdown – and a 16-14 lead – to culminate the last possession before intermission.
Davis, who hauled in his 50th career score in Week 13, has now recorded a touchdown in four straight games and has caught 11 of the 16 Kaepernick has thrown this season.
Kaepernick threw his fourth interception against Seattle this season on the 49ers second drive of the third quarter. After an 18-yard toss to tight end Vernon Davis put the offense on the edge of the red zone, Kaepernick was picked off by cornerback Byron Maxwell while looking for Michael Crabtree at the goal-line.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Seahawks took the lead thanks to a short field midway through the fourth. Tate gave the offense the ball at the 49ers 27-yard line following his 38-yard punt return.
Seven plays later, Steven Hauschka nailed a 31-yard field goal to give Seattle a 17-6 advantage with 6:20 showing on the scoreboard clock.
Frank Gore's 51-yard run on the next drive gave San Francisco the ball at Seattle's 18-yard line and about four minutes remaining.
On 3rd-and-7 from the 15, Kaepernick ran left to set up 1st-and-goal at the seven-yard line. Dawson would finish the 11-play, 76-yard drive with a clutch three-pointer.
Kaepernick finished 15-of-29 passing for 175 yards and the touchdown.