Maybe it makes sense that in a season when the Seahawks so often seemed to win by a thread that they lost the division title by a fingernail.

“As close as it gets,’’ said coach Pete Carroll of Seattle’s 26-21 loss to the 49ers, which was in doubt until a review determined that Jacob Hollister had not gotten in the end zone on the Seahawks’ final play.

(Rich Boudet / The Seattle Times)

That Seattle got that close typified the season.

Seattle was down 13-0 early and seemed ready to get run out of the building.

Instead, as they have done all season, the Seahawks rallied and they seemed on the verge of their most improbable win of this season — and maybe in franchise history — before the frantic ending.

And yes, give the coaching staff a failing grade for the delay-of-game penalty.

Everybody seemed a little relaxed at the time, seeming to maybe think the game was won.


But if we learned anything in this Seahawks season, the game isn’t over until it’s over.

On to the grades:


The stats don’t really show how well Russell Wilson played. He ran as much as he has all season on a night when he had to, and he was as on target with his passes, which was needed on so many third- and fourth-down plays.

There were a few incompletions on the final drive that might have been the result of some miscommunication.

If Seattle had pulled off four TD drives in four possessions in the second half, it would have been one of Wilson’s most shining moments.

Grade: A-

Running back

Marshawn Lynch turned back the clock a few times.

But the real revelation was Travis Homer, who could hardly have done more in his first start with 62 yards on 10 carries and five receptions on five targets for 30 more yards

Lynch was better than his stats show — 34 yards on 12 carries — as he often had nowhere to go. The 15-yard run in the third quarter illustrated there is still some spring in his step.


Grade: A

Wide receiver

The receivers had trouble getting open much of the night, and basically never did against former Seahawk Richard Sherman.

But they came up big at the end, forcing the 49ers to bench Ahkello Witherspoon for the final drive.

DK Metcalf had a costly drop but also had a TD and six receptions overall.

And John Ursua almost made the play of the season on the first catch of his career.

Grade: B-

Tight end

Jacob Hollister also almost made the play of the season and also appeared to get interfered with on the final drive — and what a difference that could have made. Seattle should get Luke Willson back next week.

Grade: B

Offensive line

It was bad early but pretty good late as Wilson was sacked just once and Seattle averaged 4.2 yards per carry against one of the best defensive fronts in the league.


 George Fant got the start at left tackle in place of injured Duane Brown — second-year player Jamarco Jones got the start last week but this time was used in Fant’s usual role as an eligible tackle. That seemed to help a lot and expect Fant to stay there.

Grade: B-

Defensive line

Quinton Jefferson had what at the time was Seattle’s fourth sack in its last five games on the first series.

But Seattle finished with just two sacks and the 49ers often had far too much time to throw.

Ziggy Ansah missed a chance to tackle George Kittle behind the line of scrimmage on a running play on the series after Seattle cut the lead to 19-14, which got the 49ers going on a scoring drive.

And Jadeveon Clowney made an impact at times but his injuries seem to have caught up to him a little bit.

Grade: C


Seattle’s linebackers had trouble guarding Kittle in man or zone coverage early on.


Kittle found an easy hole in the zone behind Bobby Wagner for a 26-yarder in the second quarter, to name one play.

On the positive side, Wagner had the stop on the two-point play that almost proved to be the difference.

K.J. Wright blew up a pass to Kittle on the first series of the third quarter, which forced the 49ers to punt for the first time in the game.

Mychal Kendricks was beaten for a 49-yard pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the third quarter, then limped off and was replaced by rookie Cody Barton.

Grade: C


A bit too out of position and some missed tackles at some key moments.

Tre Flowers had a sack when he came in unblocked on the first series of the game, which might have been the difference in holding the 49ers to a field goal instead of a touchdown.


Marquise Blair played in the team’s dime defense and forced a fumble that kept the 49ers to a field goal following their third series.

Maybe he will some more playing time in place of Lano Hill, who was on the bad end of a few big plays.

And the corners had a few struggles — Deebo Samuel blew past Shaquill Griffin, who missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury — at the line to catch a 19-yarder midway through the fourth quarter to covert a third-and-five that set up a TD.

Grade: C

Special teams

Michael Dickson was again a weapon — his second punt of the game went for 50 yards and was downed by Ugo Amadi at the 6.

Marquise Blair had a nice tackle on the first punt of the game to pin the 49ers at their 21.

And David Moore had a nice punt return to set up Seattle’s first TD.

Grade: B