SAN FRANCISCO -- Frank Gore rushed for 131 yards Thursday night at Candlestick Park, leading the San Francisco 49ers to a 13-6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks and into sole possession of first place in the NFC West.
The 49ers improved to 5-3, while the Seahawks fell to 4-3 and fell into third place in the division behind 4-2 Arizona.
Gore, who rushed for a career high 212 yards against Seattle in 2006, caught five passes for 51 yards and had 182 total yards from scrimmage.
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries, cracking the 100-yard barrier for the second straight time against the 49ers' stingy run defense.
Just four days after suffering a disheartening 26-3 loss to the New York Giants, the 49ers rode Gore and their physical defense to a hard-fought victory over the Seahawks, who were flying high on the energy of a 24-23 win over New England.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson threw a game-winning 46-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice against the Patriots. This time, he couldn't come up with any late-game magic. The 49ers forced a punt with just over 2 minutes left then got the ball back on downs with 43 seconds left.
After a rough first half, quarterback Alex Smith generated enough passing offense for the 49ers to survive.
The 49ers took a 10-6 lead -- their first lead of the night -- on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Smith to tight end Delanie Walker with 4:29 left in the third quarter. That snapped a six-quarter touchdown drought for the 49ers.
San Francisco drove 86 yards in 10 plays, with Smith picking the Seahawks defense apart with short passes, most of them over the middle to wide-open receivers who discovered a soft spot in Seattle's coverage. Smith went 5 of 5 for 60 yards on the touchdown drive.
The 49ers quickly got the ball back. Wilson, trying to hit Braylon Edwards deep down the left sideline, threw into triple coverage and was intercepted by 49ers safety Dashon Goldson.
The 49ers took over on their own 27 and drove deep into Seahawks territory. But on third-and-goal from the, Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner intercepted Smith's pass intended for Randy Moss in the end zone and returned to the Seahawks 4.
Seattle went three-and-out, and the 49ers' offense took over again, this time at the Seahawks' 49. They moved 39 yards in seven plays, and David Akers drilled a 28-yard field goal, putting the 49ers ahead 13-6 with 5:24 left to play.
The Seahawks built a 6-3 halftime lead on a pair of Steven Hauschka field goals, but it was Lynch who did most of the heavy lifting. He carried nine times for 55 yards in the half, averaging 6.1 yards a pop.
Lynch picked up where he left off at Seattle last Dec. 24, when he rushed for 107 yards in a 19-17 loss to the 49ers, snapping San Francisco's streak of 36 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. He also ran for a touchdown -- the first rushing TD the 49ers allowed last season.
The Seahawks struck first, taking a 3-0 lead on Hauschka's 52-yard field goal with 5:29 left in the first quarter. Starting from their 4-yard line, the Seahawks marched 62 yards in 10 plays as Wilson completed three of five passes for 32 yards. The 49ers did their part with two penalties, including a 15-yarder on Goldson for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The 49ers answered on their next drive, marching 60 yards in 11 plays for Akers' 38-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in the first quarter. Frank Gore caught a 12-yard screen pass and raced up the middle through a huge hold for 18 yards to midfield on the drive. Smith's 16-yard pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who broke cornerback Richard Sherman's tackle, moved the 49ers to the 19.
NOTES: San Francisco wide receiver Mario Manningham, who has 24 catches for 258 yards and one TD this season, was inactive with a shoulder injury. He started four of the first six games. ... 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs, a former New York Giant, was active for the first time this season. He has been slowed by a knee injury. ... 49ers starting left tackle Joe Staley, who suffered a concussion Sunday against the Giants, was in the lineup. ... Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith suffered a concussion in the second quarter and did not return. ... Hauschka snapped his streak of 13 straight made field goals when he missed from 51 yards late in the second quarter. ... Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return.