7 49ers Class Winners Seal the Win: Winning was the team’s best
The 49ers extended their winning streak to seven games with a 21-13 victory over Seattle on Thursday night. The win marked the first time the 49ers had swept the Seahawks in a single season since 2011 and the first time they had won back-to-back games against a division rival since 2012.
The 49ers clinched the NFC West with the win as well, making the winning team the first of seven on Thursday night.
Winner: NFC West, San Francisco 49ers
For the second time in four years and for the second time in the Kyle Shanahan era, the 49ers grabbed the NFC West in Seattle. While the 49ers only won eight, their smallest margin of victory since Week 10, it was a game that never felt like it was out of the 49ers’ control. It got tight near the end, but a Brock Purdy scramble with two minutes left and a 55-yard run from Jordan Mason put the game away for the score.
The 49ers will likely be either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the NFC Playoffs, and seeding is what they will play for from this point forward. With Philadelphia running wild with the NFC and Tampa Bay on six wins, 49ers fans will want to keep a close eye on the Vikings, who only have a half-game lead over the No. 2 seed 49ers going into their Saturday game against the Colts.
Winner: TE George Keitel
Kittle finished tied with Jauan Jennings for second-most goals on Thursday, but made the most of it with four receptions for 93 yards and two touchdowns, the third multi-touchdown game of his career.
His touchdown was about what you would expect from George Kettle, the first coming on a fake double with Kettle leaking through the middle. Brock Purdy hit Kittle at the 19-yard line, where Kittle then switched to lead off Quandre Diggs for a 28-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to put the 49ers up 7-0.
Kittel’s second touchdown was the highlight of the game for the 49ers offense. On the kickoff of the second half, Purdy again found Kittle about 20 yards wide open with plenty of room for Kittle to run. He avoided Diggs’ attempted tackle on the sideline, and cut back to midfield while avoiding a Cody Barton attempt en route to a 54-yard touchdown run to put the 49ers over 18, putting the game away.
Winner: Dropping Objections
With the 49ers only up 7-3 with two minutes left in the second quarter, Diggs squandered Seattle’s best opportunity to get back in the game. Instead, it turned into the game’s biggest scoring streak, resulting in 49 touchdowns.
At 3rd and 11th, Purdy unleashed the worst pitch of the night, Diggs not seeing a step ahead of Jauan Jennings on the way. As a result, Diggs dropped what would have been a surefire interception that, at the very least, would have put Seattle’s offense into midfield. Instead, Mitch Wichnowski pinned Seattle again at their own 19-yard line with a 45-yard kick.
Four plays later, Geno Smith hit Travis Homer on a short pass when Dre Greenlaw forced a fumble that was recovered by Charvarius Ward and returned to the Seattle 6-yard line. Christian McCaffrey would score his only touchdown on the goal line putting the 49ers up 14-3 going into halftime.
It may not have completely changed the game in Seattle’s favor, but Diggs’ drop kept Seattle from staying in the game.
Winner: D.L. Arik Armstead
The 49ers defense dominated once again, but these four players stood out and were pillars of the defense’s success.
Armstead stood out on the inside of the defensive line despite finishing with just one tackle. Not only did he play a role in holding Kenneth Walker for his fourth straight game under 50 yards, but he also hit the quarterback for the third week in a row, and he will be credited with many pressures. His big games never translate into penalty points, but there is always an impact felt when Armstead is as dominant as he was on Thursday night.
Winner: DeNick Bossa
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Nick Bosa has a pretty good game. His third-quarter placement was 15.5 on the season, giving him back-to-back 15-sack seasons, and he’s just 0.5 sacks away from setting a new career high. He finished with a sack, two tackles, one for loss, three quarterback hits, and was on the court all night.
Bossa was likely robbed of Akbar’s night thanks to a rough sidekick on the passerby call. Bossa pressure forced Smith to throw the ball away, but Diodore Lenoir was there for an interception returned for a touchdown that would have put the 49ers ahead 27-6. However, Bossa was called out to intimidate bystanders because he could not defy the laws of gravity and keep his body weight off Smith.
Off the penalty spot, Bosa again dominated the edge of the 49ers’ line.
Winner: LB Dre Greenlaw
Greenlaw’s year continued Thursday night with an eight-tackle performance that puts him at 111 tackles of the season. His biggest play of the game was the aforementioned forced fumble in the second quarter that Ward returned inside Seattle’s 10-yard line that set up the 49ers’ second touchdown of the game. Greenlaw played well in the passing game as well, with breakout passes and a pair of punt balls on the goal line.
Greenlaw has made his mark on plenty of plays this season but none is bigger than his forced fumble on Thursday.
Winner: CB Charvarius Ward
Ward rarely follows a receiver, but he did with DK Metcalf on Thursday night. Metcalf was targeted nine times with seven receptions for 55 yards, but his longest play of the game was only 13 yards. He averaged 7.86 receiving yards, the third-lowest in a game this season and the lowest since Week 9.
Ward roped Metcalf throughout the game, breaking up a pair of passes, and even had a close quarters interception off Metcalf that didn’t drag him to the ground to draw a flag tackle.
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