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Russell Wilson fumbles on the first play of Seahawks-49ers game; 49ers recover

Russell Wilson fumbleRussell Wilson's day did not start well. (Pouya Dianat/SI)

It's been a rough go for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson over the last few weeks. The Seahawks hosted the NFC Championship Game with a 13-3 record in part because Wilson has been great at times this season, but he's thrown for more than 200 yards just once in his last five games, and he's been facing constant pressure all season.

On Seattle's first play from scrimmage against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, it all caught up with Wilson when he rolled to his left and saw outside linebackers Aldon Smith closing in on him. Wilson tried to keep the play alive, but to no avail -- and to make matters worse, Wilson fumbled the ball on the five-yard sack and handed it over to the 49ers at the Seattle 15-yard line.

(GIF via @@mshamburger1)

It was fortunate for Seattle that San Francisco was only able to manage three points out of its subsequent drive -- Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner stopped quarterback Colin Kaepernick at the Seattle 7-yard line on 3rd-and-11, and Phil Dawson salvaged a score with a 25-yard field goal.

If the Seahawks are going to win this game, they'll have to start by eliminating any more mistakes like that. These teams are too similarly constructed, and too similarly strong, for any errors on either side to go unpunished.
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