QB Russell Wilson escaped a certain take-down for loss and tossed an off-balance, across-the-body, nine-yard TD pass to WR Paul Richardson with 7:06 remaining to lift the Seahawks to an absurdly difficult 12-9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field Sunday (box). The Seahawks improved to 1-1 and avoided becoming the first Seattle team since 2001 to fail to score a touchdown in consecutive weeks.
The Seahawks had a 6-0 lead on field goals of 25 and 27 yards by Blair Walsh, but could have scored TDs on both drives but for passes dropped in the end zone. The first was by RB C.J. Prosise, the second by WR Tanner McEvoy.
Two big running plays, 61 and 27 yards, by San Francisco RB Carlos Hyde, aided by a 15-yard face-mask penalty on the second run (Cliff Avril), helped set up a pair of field goals by Robbie Gould.
Early in the fourth quarter, Gould struck again from 34 yards for a 9-6 lead. But Wilson took the Seahawks 82 yards in 10 plays to win it, the 22nd fourth-quarter comeback victory of his career.
The Seahawks dominated time of possession — 36:58 to 23:02 — and ran 79 plays to San Francisco’s 48, but couldn’t capitalize due to dropped passes, penalties (9 for 71 yards) and the pressure on Wilson. Seattle hads 312 total yards after getting 225 last week at Green Bay.
Seattle needed 19 possessions to score its first TD of the season, and it didn’t come until a 3rd-and-7 play in the fourth quarter.
Wilson, who had a 69.7 passer rating against the Packers, improved to 80.9 Sunday, still way below his career average of 99.2. He completed 23 of 39 for 198 yards and didn’t throw an interception. He also recorded his 57th regular-season victory, four shy of Joe Flacco’s NFL record of 61 for most in the first six seasons of a career.
Wilson gained 34 yards rushing on 12 carries and has 74 in the first two games. In the first eight games of 2016, Wilson had 44.
The Seahawks did not activate RB Eddie Lacy and used Thomas Rawls (four yards on five carries) sparingly, avoiding over-working him in his return to action. That left seventh-round draft pick Carson to take the bulk of the carries, and he responded well.
Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin both caught six passes, Lockett gained 64 yards and Baldwin’s 44.
In addition to dropping a TD catch in the first quarter, McEvoy dropped another breadbasket ball in the third quarter, killing a potential touchdown drive.
The Seahawks held San Francisco QB Brian Hoyer to a 48.2 quarterback rating. Hoyer completed 15 of 27 for 99 yards and was picked by Seattle LB Bobby Wagner, whose interception set up a Walsh field goal. The pick was the seventh of Wagner’s career.
The Seahawks barely missed recording a safety in the third quarter when DE Frank Clark and FS Earl Thomas collaborated on a sack on Hoyer near the end zone. The ball was ruled down just inside the field of play when Clark and Thomas pushed Hoyer into the end zone.
Hyde finished with 124 yards on 15 carries, becoming only the fourth running back to post a 100-yard game against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field since 2012. The others: Adrian Peterson in 2012, Mike James in 2013 and DeMarco Murray in 2014.
After notching four sacks against Aaron Rodgers last week, the Seahawks had two more Sunday, by Michael Bennett and Clark.
K.J. Wright had eight tackles while Wagner had seven and Jeremy Lane five. Lane missed almost all of the Green Bay game last week when he was ejected in the first quarter after throwing a punch seen only by a single referee.
The Seahawks improved to 22-15 all-time against the 49ers. They have won seven consecutive games against their Bay Area rival since a 19-17 loss Dec. 8, 2013 . . . The Seahawks are 12-4 against the 49ers at the Clink . . . Seattle has won nine consecutive home openers and 14 of the past 15 . . . Pete Carroll Sunday tied Don Coryell for 36th place on the all-time list with his 114th NFL win . . . Wilson is 40-6 at home and 10-0 in September games at the Clink . . .In the Jets-Raiders game Sunday, WR Jermaine Kearse caught two TD passes (34 and 11 yards) for New York and RB Marshawn Lynch (12 carries, 45 yards) ran for a a two-yard TD for Oakland. Raiders won 45-20.
The Seahawks travel to Nashville Sunday for a 1:05 p.m., PT., meeting with the Tennessee Titans, a team Seattle hasn’t faced since 2013 (20-13 Seattle win). The game will provide the Seahawks with their first look at QB Marcus Mariota, the former Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Oregon.