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Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks edge San Francisco 49ers in Chip Kelly's last game

By Eric Gilmore, The Sports Xchange
Seattle Seahawks mascot, Blitz and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3). Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The Seattle Seahawks will have to make their playoff run without benefit of a first-round bye this year, but they weren't complaining after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-23 at Levi's Stadium on Sunday in their final tuneup for the postseason.
Seattle (10-5-1), which clinched the NFC West title on Dec. 15 with a win over the Los Angeles Rams, will open the playoffs as the third seed at home against the loser of Sunday's night's game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.
"We feel great," Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said. "We're in the playoffs. That's all it's about, getting in the tournament and anything can happen."
The Seahawks' hopes of securing a first-round bye ended when the Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints on Sunday to claim the NFC's second bye.
"I feel great," Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said. "I always feel great. Football's one of those things where you're dealt your cards and you play them through the game.
"The fans and the media are more worried about who has home-field advantage, who has this, who has that. At the end of the day it's just about lining up and beating whoever's in front of you."
The 49ers fell to 2-14 in coach Chip Kelly's final game with the team.
San Francisco CEO Jed York fired Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke, the team announced Sunday night.
Kelly earlier was asked if he'd be surprised or disappointed if he were fired after one season with the 49ers.
"I don't think anything surprises me," Kelly said. "I control what I can control. What we can control is how we coach our players and what we do with them. If that's good enough, that's good enough. If it's not good enough, then so be it. I'm proud of the way our guys played today."
The 49ers will have the second pick in the 2017 NFL Draft after the Cleveland Browns' (1-15) overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
The 49ers will have their fourth coach in four seasons next year. Jim Harbaugh was fired two years ago and Jim Tomsula last year.
"It's frustrating we're in this position again," 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said. "As a player, you have to look at yourself first. What can I do next season to make sure we're not in this position."
Wilson completed 19 of 32 passes before giving way to rookie quarterback Trevone Boykin with 9:30 left with Seattle leading 25-16. By that point, Atlanta was on its way to beating the Saints. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll began pulling many of his starters.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed his first 10 passes for 144 yards, but he finished 17 of 25 for 215 and one touchdown.
The Seahawks built a 19-14 halftime lead and extended it to 22-14 on Hauschaka's 33-yard field goal with 8:14 left in the third quarter.
The 49ers cut Seattle's lead to 22-16 on a safety when long snapper Nolan Frese sent the ball over punter Jon Ryan's head and out of the end zone with 5:04 left in the third.
Seattle answered with Hauschka's 28-yard field goal, making it 25-16 with 14:08 left to play. Kaepernick's 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Garrett Celek cut Seattle's lead to 25-23 with 5:42 remaining.
The 49ers started fast, building a 14-3 lead with 14:56 left in the first half when running back Shaun Draughn scored on his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game.
But Seattle scored 16 straight points before halftime to take a 19-14 lead.
The Seahawks cut San Francisco's lead to 14-6 on Hauschka's 32-yard field goal with 10:32 showing in the first half.
Then on the 49ers ensuing drive, Seahawks defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin forced a fumble by running back DuJuan Harris. Seattle defensive end Frank Clark recovered and returned 27 yards to the 49ers' 15. Two plays later, Wilson hit tight end Luke Wilson over the middle with an 11-yard touchdown pass. That cut San Francisco's lead to 14-13 with 6:55 left.
The Seahawks sacked Kaepernick five times.
"We did a couple little games and guys played well off each other," Bennett said. "There wasn't much blitzing. We just rushed the quarterback well today."
Seattle forced a punt then marched 91 yards in five plays for running back Thomas Rawls' 1-yard blast for a touchdown with 3:00 left. Wilson had completions of 41 yards to wide receiver Doug Baldwin and 42 to tight end Jimmy Graham on the drive.
San Francisco defensive tackle Chris Jones blocked Hauschaka's extra point try.
NOTES: 49ers starting LT Joe Staley returned to the lineup after missing three games with a hamstring injury. ... 49ers regular starting LG Zane Beadles started at center, replacing Marcus Martin, who was placed on injured reserve (ankle). Andrew Gardner started at left guard. ... Seahawks starting RT Bradley Sowell was inactive, and Garry Gilliam started in his place. ... Seahawks WR Kasen Williams, who was promoted from the practice squad, was active. ... 49ers backup tight end Je'Ron Hamm sustained an injury to his left leg during pregame warmups and was ruled out. Hamm was carted off the field and had an air cast on his left leg. ... 49ers CB Rashard Robinson was carted off the field with an ankle injury late in the second quarter and did not return.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks edge San Francisco 49ers in Chip Kelly's last game Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 4:23 AM Rating: 5

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