The San Francisco 49ers locked up the NFC West with their 21-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks. This is the team's first division title since the 2019 season, and the first series sweep of their division rivals in over a decade. San Francisco's win in primetime also marks their seventh-straight victory and improves their record to 10-4 on the year.
"Right now, I'm so excited to have a few days just to reflect. That's the coolest thing about Thursday games," head coach Kyle Shanahan said when asked about the team's push for the second seed in the NFC. "A big win tonight to be able to clinch the division and just have a couple days, we can relax a little bit, but there's no doubt about it. This isn't our final goal by any means. I'm very proud of our team and what we accomplished to get to this."
Here are seven takeaways from the 49ers-Seahawks game:
Brock Purdy Good on the Road
The 49ers rookie quarterback came away with the "W" in his first-career start on the road. In the hostile environment of Lumen Field, San Francisco's QB1 couldn't of asked for a much better start, going 11-of-11 for 98 yards and a touchdown. His first incompletion didn't come until well into the second quarter of Thursday night's contest. One of his more impressive throws of the night was his double pump fake to tight end George Kittle for the 28-yard score with 3:49 left in the first quarter. Purdy went 17-of-26 for 217 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers division-sealing victory.
"He's definitely the most poised rookie I've ever had," Shanahan said. "He's been like that since he got here. From what I hear about him in college, I think he was very similar, just starting as a freshman. He's been great. He's been poised all week, even him being unsure of whether he'd be able to go or not."
Talanoa Hufanga Adds a Sack
San Francisco sophomore safety made it home on second-and-seven of Seattle's third offensive series for a loss of 11 yards and a forced fumble. Hufanga's sack of Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith was his second of the year and forced Seattle into a third-and-long they could not overcome. The play was part of an impressive showing by DeMeco Ryans' unit in the first quarter that resulted in two total net yards for the Seahawks and three first half points. Hufanga closed out the game with five total tackles and one pass defended in addition to the sack and forced fumble.
Christian McCaffrey Gets Carried Away in Seattle
The do-it-all back carried the 49ers ground game on Thursday night. McCaffrey had 13 carries for 57 yards and a rushing touchdown in the first half, and outside of one rushing attempt by Purdy, was San Francisco's only rusher through two quarters.
In the second half, No. 23 also took a bulk of the carries adding another 13 carries for 51 yards to total 26 carries for 108 rushing yards and a touchdown. Through the air, he had six catches for 30 yards.
"It's nice to be able to celebrate this one with an amazing group of guys," McCaffrey said in his post game address. "I'm just so fortunate to be a part of this team."
Big Play Dre Greenlaw Shines Again
The third-year linebacker played a huge role in the 49ers last division title win at Lumen Field (2019) and had a very similar impact this time around. Greenlaw went in on a hit with defensive back Jimmie Ward to knock the ball loose from Seattle running back Travis Homer late in the second quarter. The play resulted in a forced fumble that was recovered by cornerback Charvarius Ward and returned for 40 yards to Seattle's six yard line. The 49ers went on to score on the ensuing drive to take the 14-3 lead.
Two Touchdown Day for "The People's Tight End"
Kittle had himself a day out in Seattle, hauling in two touchdowns for the 49ers for a second time this season. The tight end was on the receiving end of a 28-yard touchdown pass from Purdy to get San Francisco on the board in the first quarter. His second score of the night came in the second half off of a deep pass from No. 13. Kittle made the grab and added another 34 yards after the catch to secure the 54-yard touchdown and extend San Francisco's lead.
"When Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt we said, 'Our best players need to step up and make bigger plays,'" Kittle reflected. "Deebo gets hurt, 'Hey, our best players need to step up even more and make even bigger plays.' That's what we're doing, and that's what we're going to continue to try to do."
Kittle entered the day 11 yards shy of becoming the NFL's sixth tight end with 5,000+ receiving yards in his first six seasons and surpassed that mark with four catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle.
Nick Bosa Leads the League in Sacks, Again
The 49ers defensive lineman sacked Smith in the third quarter to bring his sack count up to 15.5 on the year. He entered Thursday night's contest tied with New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon for the top spot on the league's sacks leaderboard (14.5) and overtook him with the takedown. Bosa was part of a three sack effort by the 49ers defense against Seattle.
"It's one of our rivals, so it's just a great feeling to be in the mix," Bosa said following the 49ers victory.
The cornerback and wide receiver both made early exits from Thursday night's game. Thomas sustained an ankle injury in the first half and did not return to game action. Gray was listed as questionable with a hamstring injury in the third quarter and did not return to the field. Ward was evaluated for a concussion in the second half and was replaced by Janoris Jenkins before being cleared to return in the fourth quarter.