San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon breaks up a pass intended for Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) in the second half Sun Jan 3, 2021 (Rick Scuteri / The Associated Press)
By Joe Hawkes
GLENDALE, Ariz — San Francisco’s defense held the Seahawks scoreless for 27 minutes before the Seahawks woke up, scoring three touchdowns in the final period to slip by the 49ers 26-23 on Sunday afternoon at State Farm Stadium to close out the regular season.
Seattle (12-4) sweeps the regular season series from the 49ers. The Seahawks will be the three-seed in the playoffs where they will face the Los Angeles Rams on Wild Card Weekend in Seattle. This will be the third matchup between the two NFC West foes, with both teams splitting the regular season series 1-1.
Entering the fourth quarter, the 49ers held a 9-6 lead over the Seahawks. 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. would extend San Francisco’s lead to 16-6 on a 7-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
But Seattle responded behind quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Tyler Lockett big fourth quarter. Wilson avoided a tough 49ers pass rush, finding Lockett for a diving 6-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone capping off a 8-play, 75-yard drive cutting San Francisco’s lead to 16-12. Seattle kicker Jason Myers missed the extra point.
Following a 49ers’ punt on the ensuing drive, Wilson marched the Seahawks 85 yards on 14 plays and scored the go-ahead touchdown on fourth down on Wilson’s 4-yard toss to Lockett. Wilson completed 20-of-36 passing for 181 yards. Lockett finished with 12 catches for 90 yards.
Running back Alex Collins for an 8-yard touchdown with 1:49 left in the game to push Seattle’s lead to 26-16
San Francisco (6-10) falls to 1-7 in home games played at Levi’s Stadium and at State Farm Stadium this season. The 49ers were eliminated from playoff contention a few weeks ago and have been based in Arizona for more than a month because of coronavirus restrictions in Santa Clara county.
C.J. Beathard completed 25-of-37 passing for 273 yards and a touchdown, but his fumble late in the fourth quarter would set up Collins’ touchdown. Tristan Vizcaino, making his first career start, booted his first three NFL field goals after signing with the 49ers earlier this week.
It was Beathard’s second-straight start, who helped the 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals last week.
After rushing for a career-high 183 yards on 22 carries last week, Wilson rushed for 76 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns. With the 49ers trailing 26-16, Wilson caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Beathard to make the score 26-23.
Wilson finishes the season with 600 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns on 126 carries, becoming the fourth different player to lead the 49ers in rushing under head coach Kyle Shanahan. He follows Carlos Hyde, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert.
When you add in his two receiving touchdowns, Wilson has scored a career-high nine touchdowns this year.