The Seahawks kept giving the 49ers chances, but made the last play when it mattered.
Cornerback Richard Sherman tipped a pass into the end zone to linebacker Malcolm Smith for an interception, giving the Seahawks a 23-17 win over the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
That had Sherman celebrating, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting Michael Crabtree after the play. But that’s a trade-off the Seahawks will take, after throwing the clamps on the 49ers at all the right times.
The 49ers offense was almost completely limited to quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who accounted for all but 25 of their 308 yards.
Kaepernick had 130 yards rushing and 153 yards passing, but threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter and fumbled to allow the Seahawks to head to New York in two weeks to face the Broncos.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks played a clean game, with Russell Wilson throwing for 215 yards and a touchdown, and getting through the NFC playoffs without an interception.
He’ll have to play better against Peyton Manning, but Manning also hasn’t seen a defense like this one yet.