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Game at a glance: Seahawks 23, 49ers 17
A recap of the Seahawks’ 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s NFC Championship game before a CenturyLink Field-record crowd of 68,454:
PLAYER OF THE GAME: MARSHAWN LYNCH
The Seahawks’ Beast Mode back was at his beastly best, as Marshawn Lynch set the tone by running for 109 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown to tie the score at 10 in the third quarter.
After the Seahawks generated 126 yards in the first half while falling behind 10-3, Lynch ran for 70 yards in the third quarter. And his 40-yard burst to the end zone was as timely as it was impressive.
And Lynch also went where no other back had this season against the 49ers’ defense: 100 yards. His 109 yards came on 22 carries.
“He’s a good runner,” 49ers nose tackle Glenn Dorsey said of Lynch, who had 98 yards against San Francisco in the Seahawks’ 29-3 win in Week 2. “He was able to catch us over-pursuing, or something like that. They do a good job with their scheme. He found a whole and just ran through it (on his TD run).”
UNSUNG HERO: DOUG BALDWIN
A one-time rookie free agent, Doug Baldwin again flaunted his productivity and versatility. He had six receptions for 106 yards, including a 51-yarder to set up one of Steven Hauschka’s three field goals. He broke a 69-yard kickoff return to set up another Hauschka field goal.
Baldwin is starting at flanker because of a season-ending injury to Sidney Rice. Baldwin is returning kickoffs because Jermaine Kearse got a concussion in November and Percy Harvin has been limited to two games this season because of injuries.
“Doug Baldwin did a great job,” QB Russell Wilson said.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
It came on a “free play,” because the 49ers had jumped off offside on Wilson’s double-count cadence. It came because the receivers ran the right routes, and Wilson made the right throw to the right receiver.
“We waited it out, and we had an incredible play by Russell and the protection that set it up,” Carroll said. “And Kearse comes up with a heroic touchdown pass to put us ahead.”
“It was fitting that we’d finish it there with another turnover and a great play by Richard and Malcolm to end the game,” Carroll said.
Special teams: The third of Hauschka’s three field goals, the 47-yarder with 3½ minutes to play to stretch the Seahawks’ lead to six points. Hauschka has had three field goals in each playoff game, tying his club postseason record from the wild-card win over the Redskins last season.
Baldwin left the game with a hip injury after making his 51-yard catch, but returned. Cornerback Byron Maxwell also went down, but also returned.
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner had a career-high 15 tackles, while All-Pro strong safety Kam Chancellor had 11. 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman had 14 tackles before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a possible torn knee ligament.
Lynch’s 40-yard run was the second-longest in franchise history in the postseason to his 67-yard TD run against the Saints in the 2010 wild-card game.
Baldwin’s 69-yard kickoff return also was the second-longest in franchise playoff history to Charlie Rogers’ 85-yarder for a touchdown in the 1999 wild-card loss to the Miami Dolphins at the Kingdome.
Colin Kaepernick ran for 130 yards on 11 carries, including a 58-yarder. But the Seahawks held Frank Gore to 14 yards on 11 carries, a 1.3-yard average.
Each team finished with 308 offensive yards.
|YOU DON'T SAY|
"You're not going to get in Peyton's head. You get in Peyton's head, you get lost."
All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, when asked if planned to get in Denever Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s head before the Super Bowl
The crowd of 68,454 was a CenturyLink Field record, topping the mark of 68,388 from last week’s divisional playoff game against the Saints.
Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, Ring of Honor defensive end Jacob Green and nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones were the honorary captains for the Seahawks.
Owner Paul Allen raised the 12th Man flag above the south end zone just before kickoff. He also did the honors at the 2005 NFC Championship game, when the Seahawks defeated the Carolina Panthers to advance to the franchise’s first Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl will match the Seahawks’ defense that ranked No. 1 in the NFL during the regular season against the Denver Broncos’ offense that ranked No. 1.