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Top Seed to the Niners … by Inches

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

SEATTLE — In the stadium where they hadn’t won in eight seasons, where their Super Bowl dream once perished, where they have been derided and dominated and disregarded for so long, the San Francisco 49ers gazed at the video screen and waited to learn whether they would be feeling like that again. Already they had bolted their sideline in celebration, thinking, trusting, that they had denied Seattle the winning touchdown, but now — at the end of a confounding sequence late in a fourth quarter that unfolded as if jolted by caffeine, a triple shot of mayhem — the Seahawks were extending their arms above their heads.