Sherman’s big night leads Seattle past 49ers again
SANTA CLARA, California (AP) — Richard Sherman provided the moment of the game against the 49ers once again, a mere 10 months after his touchdown-saving deflection in the NFC championship that sent the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl.
Sherman set up the only touchdown with another key defensive play in this heated rivalry, then made a second interception with the 49ers driving late, helping the Seahawks end a five-game losing streak on San Francisco’s home field with a 19-3 win Thursday night.
In other games, LeSean McCoy ran for 159 yards and a touchdown and Mark Sanchez had his first scoring run in almost three years as Philadelphia beat Dallas 33-10 in a battle of NFC East co-leaders at Arlington, and the Lions boosted their playoff hopes with a 34-17 win over the Bears at Detroit.
Back at Santa Clara, Sherman offered plenty without opening his mouth this time: Blowing kisses to the crowd, then putting a finger to his lips to make the hush sign before waving goodbye.
Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals and the Seahawks’ stout defense held Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree in check as Seattle (8-4) overcame 14 penalties for 105 yards, including an offensive pass interference that negated a touchdown.
Russell Wilson passed for 236 yards and thoroughly outplayed Kaepernick, who had one of his worst performances for the 49ers (7-5) in a game with high stakes for the teams’ playoff hopes.
“My team’s all together, we are buddies. It’s a hard thing to do, winning on their turf,” Wilson said. “The NFC is not easy to win against. We are excited about that opportunity.”
After his second pick, Sherman looked at those fans still remaining in half-empty stadium on a Thanksgiving night and waved. The Seahawks won by the identical score they beat first-place Arizona five days earlier.
“Their fans were saying some pretty vulgar things to us earlier, you never want to hear that,” Sherman said.
Kaepernick was 16 for 29 for 121 yards and the 49ers were outgained 379-164.
Sherman and Crabtree were at the center of the decisive play in January’s NFC title game, when Sherman deflected a pass headed his way in the end zone and Malcolm Smith intercepted it with less than a minute remaining to seal the Seahawks’ 23-17 victory. Sherman later called Crabtree “mediocre.”
San Francisco’s offense might have earned that distinction after its latest dud snapped the Niners’ three-game winning streak.
In the waning moments with thousands of red seats already empty, 49ers CEO Jed York posted on Twitter: “Thank you (hashtag)49ersfaithful for coming out strong tonight. This performance wasn’t acceptable. I apologize for that.”
At Arlington, the Eagles (9-3) opened with quick drives of 80 and 88 yards for touchdowns. They took sole possession of the division lead with four games remaining, including a rematch in less than three weeks.
Tony Romo looked ragged in the first quick turnaround for his surgically repaired back as the Cowboys (8-4) lost their third straight home game.
McCoy, who led the NFL with 1,604 yards last season, had his fourth 100-yard game in the past seven after going without one the first five weeks and secured his fourth 1,000-yard season since 2010.
At Detroit, Calvin Johnson caught 11 passes for 146 yards and two first-half touchdowns.
After losing at Arizona and New England and falling out of first place in the NFC North, the Lions (8-4) spotted Chicago a 14-3 first-quarter lead before rallying with relative ease in the second.
Joique Bell ran for two touchdowns for the Lions, and Jay Cutler threw two scoring passes for Chicago (5-7). Detroit’s Matthew Stafford went 34 of 45 for 390 yards with the two touchdown passes to Johnson.
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