Rapid Reaction: Seattle Seahawks

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 19-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Candlestick Park:

What it means: Seattle’s NFC title goals will have to wait at least one more week. The 49ers showed they can get it done, at least at home, against the best team in the league and their division rivals. This was a game the 49ers needed to win much more than the Seahawks did, and it showed.

Stock watch: Seattle’s run defense failed when the Seahawks needed it the most on a 51-yard run by Frank Gore late in the fourth quarter that set up the winning field goal for the 49ers. … It was clear early on that the 49ers were going to test Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell, and he took his lumps at times. But he also came up with a touchdown-saving interception in the third quarter, the first pick of his NFL career. … Seahawks receiver Golden Tate had another solid day, with six receptions for 65 yards and a 38-yard punt return that set up a third-quarter field goal.

Costly penalties: The Seahawks have won games this season despite their penchant for too many penalties, but it hurt them Sunday on the road against a quality opponent.

Willson’s best game: Maybe he was happy about his Rice Owls on Saturday clinching their first conference title in more than a half century. Whatever it was, Luke Willson had his best day as a pro. The rookie tight end had a big first half with two catches for 68 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown in the second quarter when he ran right by 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis and was wide-open over the middle.

What's next: The Seahawks play their final road game of the regular season against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. A victory would give Seattle a franchise-best six road wins this season. The Seahawks hope this game is a preview of the place where they will return in six weeks for the Super Bowl.