Jan 20 2014, 5:48am CST | by Poch de la Rosa
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman deflected a pass intended for 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree which landed into the hands of Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith with just 22 seconds remaining to seal the game's final outcome.
Smith told Clare Farnsworth of the Seahawks' official website how well he and his teammates work so well together.
"This is our team, man. We just work so well together. I'm just so happy to be part of this. It couldn't have worked out any better."
It was a sweet ending for the Seahawks, who battled back from an early 10-0, second-quarter deficit. San Francisco established that lead with a field goal from Phil Dawson and a one-yard touchdown run from Anthony Dixon.
A little more than four minutes later, the Seahawks' Steven Hauschka made a 32-yard field goal to put his team on the board and peg the score at 10-3 in San Francisco's favor at halftime.
Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch then rumbled 40 yards along the right sideline for a touchdown to tie things up at 10 apiece with 9:51 to play in the third quarter.
The 49ers then marched the fooball 74 yards downfield in three-and-a-half minutes, culminating in a 26-yard touchdown by wide receiver Anquin Boldin off a pass from quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Seahawks came right back with an electrifying 69-yard kickoff return by Doug Baldwin which made the sellout crowd at CenturyLink Field erupt. That return set up a 40-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka to trim the deficit to 17-13.
Midway through the fourth quarter, 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman suffered a knee injury which coach Jim Harbaugh suspected to be a torn ACL, per ESPN. Bowman was eventually carted off the field.
Hauschka's 47-yarder with 3:34 left to play proved to be the last points either team would score the rest of the way.
Kaepernick was eventually able to lead San Francisco to the Seattle 18 in the waning seconds, but Sherman made a heads-up play, denying Crabtree what would have been the game-winning touchdown.
CenturyLink Field and the Seahawks' vaunted 12th Man exploded once the final horn sounded -- Seattle is making its first Super Bowl appearance since 2005, when it squared off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the game's 40th edition.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told ESPN it will be "a great matchup."
"It will be a great matchup. I think it's an extraordinary opportunity to go against a guy that set all the records in the history of the game."
For his part, Wilson, who went 16 of 25 for 215 yards and a touchdown, told Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times there were absolutely no doubts they would make it to the big game.
He quipped,"We believed from the beginning of the year we could get there."
His counterpart, Kaepernick, who wound up 14 of 24 for 153 yards for a touchdown and two interceptions, told Eric Branch of SFGate.com his turnovers were costly. He said,"I didn't play good enough to win. I turned the ball over three times. I cost us that game."
"I was making sure everyone knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver. And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that's what happens. I appreciate that he knows that now."
The Seahawks will take on the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in New York City.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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