SEATTLE -#8212; Carlos Rogers, the 49ers' cornerback who missed the past two games with a pulled hamstring, valiantly suited up and played against the Seahawks. And then he gave up the game-winning touchdown.
It was fourth-and 7 at the 49ers' 35-yard line. The 49ers were ahead by four points. The fourth quarter had just begun.
Aldon Smith jumped offside and the Seahawks snapped the ball. A free play for Seattle. If it didn't work out, the Seahawks could take the penalty. If the play did work out, they could decline it.
"They went to max protection and ran three verticals," said 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said of the Seahawks. Russell Wilson dropped back and fired a pass deep to one of the receivers running a vertical route -#8212; Jermaine Kearse who had beaten Rogers by a step.
"They threw the ball at me," said Rogers. "I've got to make the play on the ball regardless of if the throw is good or inside or outside."
The throw was better than good. It was perfect. Rogers jumped and missed the pass by a few inches. Kearse jumped and caught the ball in the back of the end zone.
The Seahawks took the lead and never gave it back.