The quarter started with a continuation of a 49ers’ trudge, rather than a drive, as the Seahawks simply could not get off the field on third down.
On third-and-5 from the 49ers’ 19, Shaun Hill passed 5 yards to wide receiver Isaac Bruce. On third-and-13 from the 20, it was Hill to Bruce for 14 yards. On third-and-12 from the Seahawks’ 47, it appeared the Seahawks had stopped Frank Gore for an 11-yard gain on a pass from Hill, but cornerback Ken Lucas got his hand in Gore’s facemask and the 15-yard penalty gave the 49ers a first down at the Seattle 21.
The Seahawks finally held on a third down, as Hill’s pass was incomplete in the end zone. But Joe Nedney kicked a 39-yard field goal to run the 49ers’ lead to 23-10 with 6:53 to play. Hill was 9 of 11 on the 16-play, 67-yard possession that consumed almost 9½ minutes.
A sprained ankle finally ended Gore’s gallop toward his own record, but not until he had run for 207 yards on 16 carries. He also caught five passes for 39 yards.
The Seahawks were down on the scoreboard and down to their backups at QB, left tackle, defensive tackle, middle linebacker and left cornerback, but they refused to call it a game. Wallace drove them from their own 30 to the 49ers’ 13 – thanks to his 22-yard pass to Houshmandzadeh on 4th-and-13 – but the last-gasp rally fizzled when his fourth-down pass to Houshmandzadeh in the end zone was broken up.