SAN FRANCISCO -- Frank Gore saw a huge hole with the clock ticking down and his team trailing, and went for it with everything he had.
Maybe not a season-saving 51-yard burst, but darn close to it.
The San Francisco 49ers are far from ready to hand over their two-year division reign - and certainly not on their home field, where they rarely lose against the NFC West.
"We're playing for our lives," wideout Anquan Boldin said. "We're playing playoff football right now. It's win or go home."
Dawson's fourth field goal gave him 20 successful attempts in a row, a franchise record topping Joe Nedney's 18 consecutive kicks in 2006-07.
In an emotionally fueled afternoon of missed chances and costly penalties, this rivalry game more than lived up to the hype.
Eric Wright, who briefly left the game with a head injury, intercepted a last-ditch deep pass by Wilson with 9 seconds left to seal it.
The two young quarterbacks finished with nearly the same stats. Wilson went 15 of 25 for 199 yards and a touchdown with one interception, while counterpart Colin Kaepernick threw for 175 yards and completed 15 of his 29 passes with a TD and an interception.
Vernon Davis caught an 8-yard touchdown pass just before halftime to give San Francisco some momentum.
After a home rout of New Orleans on Monday night, the Seahawks were trying to make it two mammoth wins over NFC powers in seven days. They hurt themselves several times down the stretch.
Seattle settled for Steven Hauschka's 31-yard field goal that stayed just inside the left upright with 6:20 remaining.
While Lynch went over 1,000 yards rushing for the third straight season and fifth in his seven-year career, he slowed down in the second half. He wound up with 72 yards on 20 carries - just 22 yards in the second half - as the 49ers defense kept intact its streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher this season.
"It's December and we're playing our best football," linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. "There's something about this game that required a full 60 minutes of football."
Boldin had six catches for 93 yards for his fourth straight game with at least five receptions.
"If we keep doing our thing and they keep doing their thing, no question," Gore said.
NOTES: Seattle coach Pete Carroll expects LB K.J. Wright to miss six weeks with a broken bone in his foot. ... The 49ers didn't target CB Richard Sherman until 9:44 remaining in the second quarter and the incompletion still drew a 5-yard holding penalty and automatic first down. ... Seahawks C Max Unger sustained a second-half chest injury.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press