It wasn’t pretty, but the 12th man prevailed once again.
Down by 6 at the Seahawks 18-yard line, Colin Kaepernick turned the ball over for the 3rd time of the game on an interception by Malcolm Smith after Richard Sherman knocked the ball away from Michael Crabtree allowing the Seahawks to advance to the franchise’s first Super Bowl since 2005 with a 23-17 win over the 49ers.
The first half was relatively uneventful with the 49ers leading 10-3 at the break. Then in the 3rd quarter, beast mode came alive when Marshawn Lynch broke a 40-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 10.
Colin Kaepernick responded quickly driving 83-yard on 6 plays and hit Anquan Boldin on a 26-yard touchdown giving the lead back to San Francisco.
Stephen Hauschka went on to kick a 40-yard field goal to cut the Seattle deficit to four. That’s when the game started to become insane. On a 4th and 7 from the San Francisco 35-yard line, Peter Carrol was indecisive about what whether to kick a field goal or not. He ended up having to call a timeout, and instead of cutting his losses, went for it all on 4th down.
On that 4th down play, Russell Wilson found Jermaine Kearse on a 35-yard touchdown putting Seattle back out in front 20-17. That was followed by mistakes on both sides. Kaepernick was strip sacked by Clint Avril and Michael Bennett recovered and ran to the 49ers 5-yard line.
Wilson would drive Seattle to the 1-yard line, but Marshawn Lynch mis-handled the exchange with Wilson and the 49ers recovered. On the play, Novarro Bowman suffered a gruesome knee injury and would not return.
The momentum though still appeared to swing back to San Francisco, but 2-plays later Kaepernick was picked off by Kam Chancellor which resulted in another Haushka field goal to make the score 23-17.
On the ensuing drive, Kaepernick capped off his mistake field half by being picked off by Malcolm Smith sealing the 49ers fate.
Other than fumbling at the one-yard line, Marshawn Lynch ran for 109 yards, and became the first player of the season to eclipse 100-yards rushing against San Francisco.
Russell Wilson made the plays when he had to for the Seahawks completing 16 of 25 passes for 215 yards, a touchdown. He fumbled the ball after he was sacked on the first play of the game, but other than that took great care of the football.
Kaepernick’s struggles at Century Link Field continued. He completed 14 of 24 passes, compiled an un-impressive 56.4 passer rating, and turned the ball over 3 times. Kaepernick was effective running though compiling 130 yards on the ground.
The stage is now set for Super Bowl 48. It will be the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks squaring off at MetLife Stadium on February 2nd.