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49ers notebook: Cold Candlestick, hot kicker

  • Phil Dawson delivers the game-winning points in the game's final minute. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)

SAN FRANCISCO — The Seahawks didn't have to ice the kicker as he lined up for do-or-die 22-yarder with 26 seconds on the clock. Polar Candlestick Park did all the icing necessary.

“I don't know if you can ever get used to them,” Dawson said of cold-weather games, though his 14 years in Cleveland were the best preparation you could get.

Dawson's kick was true, which came as absolutely no surprise to anyone who is paying attention. It was his 20th consecutive successful field goal, a 49ers record. He's 23 of 26 for the season, harkening back to David Akers' record-setting 2011 campaign.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks

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Dawson said that when his team is driving, he matches his practice kicks with the position of the ball on the field, e.g. left or right hashmark. When the 49ers centered the ball on a final Frank Gore run, the kicker made sure he took one more swing into the net from straight ahead. It's the sort of attention to detail that has defined Dawson's stellar career.

“Phil works on the days he doesn't have to,” linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. “That's what makes players great.

Asked whether he pays attention to his streak, Dawson answered: “I try not to think about it. I try to treat every kick the same. You have to have a bad memory. Unfortunately, I have a really good memory so I can remember my last miss.”

That's pretty good recall, considering it happened Sept. 26 at St. Louis.

Wright heals quickly

When you hear the words “ ... has a head injury; his return is questionable” these days, you can usually expect the afflicted player to chill for the rest of the game, if not longer. But after taking a knee to the back of the helmet late in the third quarter, 49ers nickel back Eric Wright wasn't done. He returned late in the contest and wound up with the game-clinching interception.

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