49ers beat Seahawks, improve to 12-3

Dec 24, 2011 at 4:31 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers needed a victory to stay ahead of the New Orleans Saints in the race for the NFC's second best record. The 49ers, now 12-3, beat the Seattle Seahawks 19-17, knocking them out of playoff contention. Seattle falls to 7-8 with the loss.

Eyes now turn to Monday Night Football's matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, with the 49ers hoping for the Saints to fumble the game. The 49ers are still in control of their bye-week destiny.

While it is still statistically possible for the 49ers to win home field advantage in the NFC playoffs, Green Bay would need to lose their final two home games. They play tomorrow night against the Chicago Bears.

Alex Smith completed 14 of 26 passes for 179 yards. Running backs Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter combined for 156 yards on the ground.

According to FOX Sports, 49ers kicker David Akers broke the record for most field goals in a season with 42.

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch became the first player to score a rushing touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers defense. Lynch also became the first player to rush for over 100 yards against the 49ers defense this season.

Once again, the 49ers were without linebacker Patrick Willis. Willis missed his third straight game as he recovers from a leg injury. Tight end Delanie Walker left the game in the first half after being hit in the jaw. Wide receiver Kyle Williams left the game in the fourth quarter after being injured on a kickoff return.

Should the 49ers win out or should New Orleans stumble, a bye-week would mean that the team would not play their first playoff game, a home game in San Francisco, until the weekend of January 14, giving players plenty of time to rest.

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