They did it. The Seahawks are in the Super Bowl as we all hoped since the day after the playoff loss to Atlanta in 2013. Game thread comments come from Field Gulls and Niners Nation. I'm not going to spare us a look at our own bad moments, so there are a few big plays to San Francisco's benefit that will be featured in the screenshots below. Be sure to zoom-in for a better view of each pic:
Russell Wilson fumbles very first play of the game, leads to 49ers field goal (3-0 SF)
Colin Kaepernick gallops for 58 yard run, sets up 49ers 1 yard TD (10-0 SF)
Russell Wilson buys time, time, and more time before hitting Doug Baldwin for 51 yards to set up Seahawks field goal (10-3 SF)
Beast. Mode. (10-10)
Colin Kaepernick makes a video game-esque touchdown throw to Anquan Boldin (17-10 SF)
Russell Wilson throws (essentially) game-winning touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse on 4th and 7 (20-17 SEA)
Colin Kaepernick fumbles, Big Sexy Bennett returns it to the 6 yard line (20-17 SEA)
...But after a botched refereeing call, the Seahawks waste 4th and goal at the 1 (20-17 SEA)
Colin Kaepernick finds wide open Kam Chancellor for a Seattle 1st down, leads to field goal (23-17)
Kaepernick hits Vernon Davis for 1st and 10 inside Seattle's 20 (23-17 SEA)
The Play. (23-17 SEA FINAL)
Post-Game Reaction: That's That
Now, the officials cannot be blamed for this game. Yes, they made some rough calls, but the 49ers caught some breaks too. In the end, Colin Kaepernick, for all of his incredible plays earlier, did not come through. He may have cost himself a few million dollars Sunday night, and 49er fans should be assured that he will come back with a fire and intensity "unknown to mankind."
This post, however, will not fall to the immature level of a certain Seahawks cornerback. 49er fans, the season may be over. It may have ended in the worst way possible. Keep your heads held high, however, for someday, all this pain will make the joy of victory that much sweeter. This was our third straight NFC Championship Game, after all. They call us "49er Faithful" for a reason, and I, for one,Th am proud to wear that label. - Douglas Totten, Niner Noise
Post-Game Reaction: Worst Possible Way to Lose
The NFL is so weird. Hit a receiver in the middle of the field on a pass that the quarterback shouldn't have thrown: almost an automatic penalty. Then there are plays like the Bowman play that aren't reviewable, or Andy Lee gets hit in his plant leg (a textbook roughing the punter penalty) and it gets the lesser, five-yard flag.
BUT, BUT, BUT, the 49ers should've won despite a few wacky calls and only have themselves to blame. Kaepernick screwed up repeatedly in the second half. He turned the ball over three times, which looked especially bad since Seahawks didn't give it away once after Wilson's opening-play fumble. Kaepernick ran for 130 yards and his jumping touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin was probably the best throw of his life, but his first interception was beyond terrible and he wasn't even thinking about protecting the ball when Cliff Avril forced that fumble.
Then there was the interception caused by Sherman, who minutes later said, "When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's what you're going to get." Again, Kaepernick forces a pass to Crabtree in the corner. This is not Crabtree's fault. It's Kaepernick's for continuing to force an unlikely play, especially over a cornerback with great ball skills like Sherman. - Bay Area Sports Guy
VIDEO: 49ers fans react to Malcolm Smith interception live
Post-Game Video Crow - Mista Frisco
Post-Game Video Crow - JL 103
I will not lie. I thought the Seahawks defense would blow the game. Everything about the final drive from Frank Gore's 17 yard catch on 4th and 2 felt icky. The pass rush was non-existent, the coverage was being beaten by a smidgen, and the Niners were marching down the field with ease. It looked like another heartbreaking Seattle sports collapse.
Then Richard Sherman and Malcolm Smith happened.
I will never doubt this defense again. They've learned from 2012-13 and are now 60 minutes away from being Super Bowl champions.
The 49ers have nothing to be ashamed of. They played a hell of a game on Sunday and this is just another chapter in a burgeoning rivalry that has seen both teams reach the Super Bowl in the past two seasons. Setting aside the animosity, that's a damn good team Seattle just defeated, and it was an amazing spectacle to watch/nearly die of a heart attack from.
We now move to bigger and better things in New Jersey, where Denver awaits and either Peyton Manning will get a 2nd ring (despite being the chokiest choky QB to ever choke) or Seattle finally gets its Lombardi Trophy, cementing Pete Carroll as the greatest coach in Seahawks history and 2013-14 as the dream season some 'Hawks fans have waited 4 decades for. I'm excited and so should you.