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5 Reasons Why San Francisco 49ers Defeated Seattle Seahawks

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San Francisco: 5 reasons why the 49ers defeated the Seahawks

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The NFL season is in the final stretch, and the San Francisco 49ers continue to trend upward. With the win over the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers are now at 9-3 and are on a three-game winning streak. The special teams of the 49ers played a major role in the close 19-17 win over Seattle, but does the win over Seattle put the 49ers in the driver's seat in the NFC?

In this heavyweight fight, the 49ers came out swinging from the very beginning, but had to withstand Seattle's strong second quarter performance. San Francisco finally delivered the knockout punch when Frank Gore busted off a 51-yard run late in the fourth quarter. In the last three games, the 49ers have been reincarnated and are now performing up to their capabilities. The team seems to have created a new identity, but can the 49ers sustain this new-found success? As the playoffs approach, every player is kicking it into overdrive and once a team is in the playoffs, anything can happen. After the game Sunday, Anquan Boldin stated "We're playing for our lives; we're playing playoff football right now. It's win or go home."

Even with the loss, Seattle remains at the top of the division and still hold down the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Seahawks have been virtually unstoppable at home, but Seattle has been vulnerable away from the CenturyLink Field. This loss was the first real crack in the armor for the Seahawks and Seattle will need to stop the bleeding before the playoffs start. In all likelihood, Seattle will remain the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs, but everyone knows how well that has worked out for teams in recent years.

San Francisco and Seattle could meet again in the playoffs, but would the 49ers finally be able to get a win at CenturyLink Field when it matters most? These two teams are playing the best football in the NFC at the moment and both have a real chance at running the table, but who will prevail when it is all said and done?

Greg Douglas is an NFL writer for Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.

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Frank Gore

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Gore rushed for 110 yards in the win including a 51-yard run that set up the game-winning field goal. In his previous two games against Seattle, he had only accounted for 58 total yards. Gore provided balance to the offense while running through one of the best defenses in the league.

If Gore continues to rush like he did Sunday, no one will be able to stop this offensive attack. If the 49ers meet Seattle again in the playoffs, Gore will need another breakout performance, especially in the unfriendly confines of CenturyLink.

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Colin Kaepernick

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Colin Kaepernick recorded his first win as a starter against the Seahawks. Kaepernick did not put up stellar numbers against the Seahawks, but he led his team to a win in spite of adversity. He threw for only 175 yards and a touchdown, but a late run helped the 49ers milk the clock.

Just like many other quarterbacks, Kaepernick has struggled in Seattle. If the 49ers want a return trip to the Super Bowl, Kaepernick will have to perform in the raucous environment.

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Jim Harbaugh

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Jim Harbaugh got a win over his longtime rival Pete Carroll. The two coaches have had bad blood between each other going back to their college coaching days. Harbaugh had the edge over Carroll this week, but a playoff rematch is what both coaches will savor.

Harbaugh had the edge because he did not take many risks. He played for field position, kicked field goals and was conservative with the play calls. Coaches that try and get cheeky with this disciplined defense usually end up paying for it.

In a rematch, Harbaugh will need to stick to the game plan and not get cute with the Seattle defense. If he calls the game like he did this week, the 49ers will be in the game to the very end.

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Special Teams

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Phil Dawson hit four field goals in the win, and two of them came from 45-plus yards. The 49ers have had glaring holes at special teams in the past, but this year the kicking game has been sound. The return game was also effective in the game.

For San Francisco to win in the playoffs, Dawson just needs to do what he has been doing all year.

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Home-Field Advantage

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Home-field advantage has been key in this rivalry for years. San Francisco held serve at home and avenged the loss at Seattle, but can the 49ers go on the road and get wins?

The 49ers are the most balanced team in the NFC and San Francisco will need that balance when playing on the road. San Francisco has the best chance of any team to dethrone Seattle at home because of the team's balanced attack and dynamic playmakers.