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(Sunday, December 12th)
Final Score: San Francisco 40, Seattle 21
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Alex Smith threw for three touchdowns without an interception, as the San Francisco 49ers dominated the Seattle Seahawks, 40-21, at Candlestick Park.
Smith connected on 17-of-27 passes for 255 yards, and Jeff Reed was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts for San Francisco (5-8), which is only one game off the division lead, held by both Seattle and St. Louis. The Rams also lost on Sunday.
"It was a must-win game. We knew that all week," Smith said. "Our backs were up against the wall. Division game. They got after us the first game. The thing I felt best about today is that it was a total team win."
Brian Westbrook caught six passes for 87 yards and a score while rushing for 23 yards on nine carries. Vernon Davis accounted for 70 yards and a TD on five catches in the win.
Matt Hasselbeck threw for 285 yards with two scores on 27-of-42 passing, but his four interceptions were the deciding factor for Seattle (6-7), which has lost three of four.
"We just have to keep going, keep improving," Hasselbeck said. "Getting healthy would be really nice, and we need to play better football. There were times were it was like 'you've got to be kidding me that that just happened.' Bad breaks and bad decisions and bad execution, but all fixable stuff."
San Francisco capped the game's first drive when Smith hit Davis across the middle for a pass that the tight end took 42 yards to the end zone.
After the teams traded punts, Hasselbeck connected with Ruvell Martin for an 11-yard score to knot the game at seven.
The 49ers' defense stepped up during the next 2 1/2 quarters and led the charge to 33 consecutive points.
Reed, who spent the earlier parts of the season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, connected on a 33-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the first quarter to put San Francisco up, 10-7.
Seattle had the ball at midfield in the opening minutes of the second quarter, but Hasselbeck was picked off by Takeo Spikes at the Seahawks' 47. The 49ers added another Reed field goal, this time from 44 yards out, to move ahead, 13-7, with 10:31 left in the quarter.
Three plays later, deep in Seattle territory, Hasselbeck was sacked and fumbled for his second turnover of the game. Smith then hit Josh Morgan for a short strike, and he broke two tackles en route to a 15-yard touchdown and a 20-7 49ers lead.
The 49ers widened the gap to 27-7 when Smith connected with Westbrook for a 62-yard score down the middle of the field with 1:50 left in the half.
The forgetful day for Hasselbeck continued when he was picked off for the second time, this time on a 2nd-and-20 at the Seattle 10. Reed added a 22- yarder on the final play of the half to give San Francisco a 30-7 lead.
The Seahawks received the second half kickoff, but Hasselbeck was picked for the third time of the day, and Dashon Goldson returned the interception 39 yards to the end zone to put San Francisco up, 37-7.
Reed added another 36-yard field goal in the final minutes of the third quarter to cap a seven-play, 51-yard drive.
Leon Washington ended the Seattle drought as he took the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to make it a 40-14 game with 3:18 left in the third.
The Seahawks had a productive drive going in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, but after working the ball down to the 49ers' 19, an offensive holding penalty pushed Seattle back to the 29. Olindo Mare attempted a 43-yard field goal just before the nine-minute mark, but the kick went wide right.
Seattle added the game's final score when Hasselbeck capped a 9-play, 80-yard drive on a two-yard strike to Deon Butler with 1:55 left on the clock.
Morgan had three catches for 82 yards...Washington's kickoff return was the seventh of his career, which ties him for second all-time...Seattle had 20 first downs. San Francisco had 10...Butler caught five passes for 68 yards, and Martin recorded four receptions for 73 yards.
12/13 01:13:54 ET