SEATTLE — After 7½ quarters of offensive inefficiency, the Seattle Seahawks finally broke the seal on the goal line.
It took some more magic from quarterback Russell Wilson to make it happen and avoid an 0-2 start.
Wilson avoided two potential sacks and found Paul Richardson in the front corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown with 7:06 left and the Seahawks held on for an unsightly 12-9 win against the 49ers on Sunday.
It was an offensive nightmare as both teams had combined for 14 total quarters without a touchdown this season before the Seahawks finally broke through. Wilson avoided Arik Armstead in the pocket and got his pass away before DeForest Buckner could pull him down. Seattle (1-1) snapped a streak of more than 112 minutes without a touchdown, despite missing on opportunities twice inside the 49ers’ 10-yard line earlier in the game.
“We had to find a way to get into the end zone and capitalize,” Wilson said. “We had been down there a few times earlier in the game and missed our opportunities there, so this was all we got. We’ve got to go make it happen right now.”
Wilson was erratic at times and magical at the end. He was 23 of 39 passing for 198 yards. He rushed for another 34 yards, 27 coming on the decisive scoring drive. Wilson was 4 of 5 on the drive and aided by a 20-yard pass interference penalty against Dontae Johnson.
Richardson suffered a dislocated right ring finger in the first quarter that popped through the skin. The finger was put back in place and the skin stitched up so he could return and eventually made the winning catch.
“That was the goal once I got it sewed up, still go win,” Richardson said. “I wasn’t just trying to get out there, ‘Oh he’s tough, he’s finishing out the game.’ I wanted to go make a difference.”
Blair Walsh added field goals of 25 and 27 yards, but missed the extra point after Richardson’s TD that could have given the Seahawks a four-point lead. The 49ers (0-2) only needed a field goal to tie but never got into position to have an opportunity.
San Francisco went three-and-out after the touchdown, punted and never got the ball back.
“I’m not happy at all. I’m extremely disappointed,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Anytime you as a team think you put yourself in a position to win the game, you expect to win it. I felt like we had that opportunity and we didn’t get it done which is extremely disappointing.”
Robbie Gould kicked three field goals to amount for San Francisco’s output. Carlos Hyde rushed for 124 yards, including a 61-yard run in the first half, but Brian Hoyer was 15 of 27 for 99 yards passing and an interception.
San Francisco took the lead on Gould’s 34-yard field goal with 11:36 to play, but was unable to hold off Seattle’s final drive.
Seattle should have found the end zone earlier, but had dropped passes on two drives inside the 49ers’ 10 in the first half. C.J. Prosise dropped a potential touchdown near the goal line on Seattle’s first drive. Tanner McEvoy was unable to corral a high pass from Wilson in the end zone on the second drive.