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Seattle clinches playoff berth with rout of 49ers
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Russell Wilson added to his resume for Offensive Rookie of the Year, carving up one of the league's best defenses and helping the Seattle Seahawks clinch a playoff spot with a 42-13 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Wilson was 15-of-21 for 171 yards with four touchdown passes.
"I am getting more comfortable in my reads, the offensive line is playing great," Wilson said.
Marshawn Lynch scored two first-quarter touchdowns as Seattle (10-5) kept its hopes of winning the NFC West alive.
In order to capture the division crown, the Seahawks will need to close out the regular season with a win against St. Louis and have the 49ers (10-4-1) lose to Arizona.
Lynch finished with 111 yards on 26 carries, while Doug Baldwin had two scores among his four receptions and Richard Sherman returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for another touchdown.
San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick completed 19-of-36 passes for 244 yards with one late touchdown and an interception.
"We just didn't come out and play well," Kaepernick said.
Lynch scored touchdowns on each of Seattle's first two drives.
The 49ers went three-and-out to begin the game. Seattle took over at the San Francisco 35 after a 15-yard return by Leon Washington and an unnecessary roughness penalty on the 49ers' Tramaine Brock.
The Seahawks needed just two plays to grab a lead. After Wilson completed an 11-yard pass to Zach Miller, Lynch rumbled around left tackle to the end zone.
On the second play of Seattle's next touch, Wilson connected with Baldwin on a juggling grab that advanced the ball into enemy territory. The downfield strike covered 43 yards, and Lynch capped the nine-play trek with a 9-yard touchdown reception.
The start to the ensuing drive was a near-disaster for the Niners as Frank Gore fumbled. The Seahawks, at first, appeared to make the recovery, but the ball squirted loose and San Francisco managed to retain possession.
Given a second chance, the 49ers looked to capitalize and marched to the Seattle 20-yard line late in the first quarter. On 3rd-and-6, tight end Vernon Davis caught a pass along the right sideline, but Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor dislodged the ball with a concussion-inducing hit at the two.
Chancellor was flagged for the hit, but Seattle's defense forced a field goal try less than a minute into the second quarter. Red Bryant blocked David Akers' 21-yard attempt and Sherman sprinted untouched after scooping up the ball.
The Niners then caught a break when a screen pass deflected off the hands of Robert Turbin into the arms of linebacker Patrick Willis. The interception, just the second at home by Wilson this season, gave San Francisco the ball at the Seattle 16-yard line.
But the 49ers gained only one yard, resulting in a 33-yard Akers field goal.
Washington returned the subsequent kickoff 42 yards and Wilson extended Seattle's lead to 28-3 with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Anthony McCoy.
Akers drilled a 54-yarder prior to halftime and the Niners threatened on their first drive of the third quarter. Kaepernick completed passes of 13 and 35 yards before hitting Mario Manningham on a short toss. Manningham, though, fumbled while grimacing in pain and Chancellor recovered at the Seattle 32.
Manningham suffered a knee injury on the play, and like Davis, did not return.
Wilson then directed a 15-play drive that ended with his 4-yard TD pass to Baldwin.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Sherman picked off Kaepernick in the end zone, resulting a touchback. Seattle capitalized on the interception as Wilson capped another lengthy drive with a second touchdown toss to Baldwin.
Kaepernick hit Delanie Walker for an 18-yard score with 1:40 remaining.
Wilson finished 115.3 quarterback rating ... Seattle was 11-for-13 on third down ... Gore carried the ball only six times for 28 yards ... San Francisco's Michael Crabtree was targeted nine times, but made only four receptions for 65 yards.
12/24 00:45:05 ET