SAN FRANCISCO — Offensive coordinator Greg Roman saved the special “G” play for Frank Gore to pull out at just the right time.
Behind at home to their fiercest division rival, the 49ers needed a big gain from their go-to running back.
Gore’s misdirection 51-yard burst set up a go-ahead 22-yard field goal by Phil Dawson with 26 seconds remaining, and two-time defending champion San Francisco denied nemesis Seattle a chance to clinch the NFC West on Sunday at Candlestick Park with a 19-17 win.
Statement game? You bet.
“You guys kind of counted us out already. I felt like Seattle had our number,” 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. “It was a statement game to the world. As you guys know, this is still our division. Until a team takes that from us, we will continue to rep this division the right way.”
On Gore’s run, Roman called the play for the first time since coming to the 49ers before the 2011 season.
“I have to say thanks to my O-line, who did a great job all game,” Gore said.
Both the Seahawks (11-2) and 49ers expect another matchup before season’s end, next month in Seattle. San Francisco (9-4) has been outscored 71-16 in its last two losses in the Pacific Northwest.
“We didn’t project it to be this way,” Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said. “We expected to blow them out but they got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game, and that helps you especially on third down. We will see them again and it will be a different result.”
Jets 37, Raiders 27
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rex Ryan stuck with Geno Smith, even when it appeared the New York Jets might have needed a change at quarterback.
Smith got the message when he was benched last Sunday, and made his coach look good by delivering his best performance in weeks.
The rookie threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Jets’ suddenly resurgent offense set a season high for points and stopped a three-game skid with a 37-27 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
“I think the difference was just eliminating the indecision in my game,” Smith said. “A lot of things are happening to me for the first time. That’s not to make an excuse, but sometimes I second-guess myself and that always hurts, especially a quarterback.”
Smith certainly showed that against the Raiders, leading the offense to its best scoring day of the season.
He finished 16 of 25 for 219 yards, and ran five times for 50 yards — and was able to overcome his 20th interception of the season, which led to a field goal for the Raiders.
Chris Ivory had a touchdown run, Nick Folk kicked three field goals and Antonio Allen blocked a punt and returned it for a score to help the Jets (6-7) avoid their first four-game losing streak under Ryan.
“Man, we needed that in the worst way,” Ryan said, “to say the least.”
Matt McGloin threw two touchdown passes and fullback Marcel Reece, starting because Oakland was down three injured running backs, had a 63-yard touchdown run for the Raiders (4-9).
“Today is as bad as we played this whole season,” Raiders safety Charles Woodson said. “It was really embarrassing to be part of it. We looked like the Bad News Bears out there.”