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December 8, 2013
All shook up: Cornerback Wright makes game-sealing play

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SAN FRANCISCO - The 49ers' game-sealing defensive play was made by a cornerback who at one point on Sunday appeared to get knocked out of the contest and perhaps next week's game against Tampa Bay as well.

During the third quarter, Eric Wright took a knee to the side of the helmet and, after staying on the ground for several minutes, had to be helped up and to the sideline. The 49ers said that Wright was being evaluated for a head injury and was questionable to return.

As Wright was being checked out, Darryl Morris, an undrafted rookie from Texas State, filled in when the 49ers were in their nickel defense. But Wright was back in the game in the decisive fourth quarter. And when Seahawks cornerback Russell Wilson heaved a desperation pass downfield with fewer than 20 second remaining in the game, it was Wright who leaped up and made the interception.

"We were in a unique style of defense that sort of protected the sideline a little bit more than other areas of the field," Wright said. "I was able to collapse from outside in, from deep to short, and to make the play."

Asked if he had suffered a concussion earlier in the game, Wright said, "No. I'd gotten shooken up a little bit. And I just had to get cleared by the doctors to come back. They had to check it out and make sure everything was ok. I was good to go and went back out there and played."

Wright's interception was the only takeaway of the game by the 49ers, who limited the Seahawks to just one field goal after the half and held running back Marshawn Lynch to 76 yards and 3.6 yards a carry. The 49ers haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher this season.

"It was a playoff game for us," safety Donte Whitner said. "We understood that every game from here on out is going to be a playoff game. ... And that's why we played the way we did."

Just for kicks - The last time Phil Dawson missed a field goal? It came in Week 4 when he tried for a 71-yard free kick at the end of the half. Since then, Dawson has made 20 straight, including his 22-yard game-winner on Sunday.

The kick prior to that, a 52-yard strike in the second quarter, broke a 49ers record for consecutive field goals that had been set in 2007 by Joe Nedney. Dawson said his last field goal wasn't easy despite the short distance.

"In the first half, it was cold and the wind wasn't really blowing all that much," he said. "And then when we come out to warm up for the second half, it started blowing and the temperature started dropping. It definitely was the type of conditions where you have to pay attention to every little thing."

Block party - The 49ers had their second blocked punt of the year late in the first quarter when Kassim Osgood burst through the Seattle line virtually untouched.

The ball squirted off to the side at the 17-yard line and then was batted forward the Seattle 34-yard line by a Seahawks player, drawing a penalty. The officials told the 49ers if they had accepted the penalty, the Seahawks would have the opportunity to try the punt again, so the 49ers declined it.The play led to Dawson's second field goal of the game, from 48 yards.

See you again? -- Told that most prognosticators figured the 49ers and Seahawks would have a tight game, vociferous Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said "we didn't project it to be this way."

"We expected to blow them out, but they got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game, and that helps you, especially on third down," Sherman said. "We will see them again, and it will be a different result."

Et cetera -- Receiver Anquan Boldin, who had one catch for seven yards the last time the teams played, had six catches for a game-high 93 yards Sunday. He also became the 30th player to surpass 11,000 career receiving yards.

* The 49ers played their 13th game but still have only two players -- Boldin and Vernon Davis -- with touchdown catches. Davis hauled in his 11th of the season in the second quarter.

* Davis ranks eighth among all tight ends in total touchdowns with 51.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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