Skip to main content

10 Takeaways as 49ers Claim NFC West Crown

SEATTLE -- "Are you not entertained?" The San Francisco 49ers are NFC West champions for the first time since 2012 following the 26-21 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. It was a nail-biter that, again, came down to the final seconds of the contest where San Francisco's defense managed a crucial fourth down stop to give them the win. Sunday's victory also marked the 49ers first win in Seattle since 2011. Here are the takeaways from the tense victory at CenturyLink Field.

1. The 49ers won the opening coin toss and chose to defer to the second half. San Francisco's defense forced three-straight punts on Seattle's first three drives. The second, featured a big third down PBU by Ahkello Witherspoon on a pass intended for DK Metcalf. The third came by the way of a sack by DeForest Buckner, which marks 7.5 on the season.

2. Seahawks kicker Michael Dickson's punt pinned the 49ers inside their own 5-yard line. Jimmy Garoppolo completed passes to Emmanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Deebo Samuel as the 49ers drove into Seahawks territory. On 2nd-and-4, Samuel took the end around up the left sideline to the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown. The rookie spun and evaded several tackles on an impressive route to the end zone to put the 49ers up 10-0 in the first quarter.

Samuel caught all five of his targets on Sunday for a team-high 102 receiving yards and added 33 yards on the ground on two carries to go along with his score.

3. Kittle reached his second-straight 1,000-yard season during the aforementioned drive. Heading into Sunday night's contest, the tight end was just 33 yards shy of the mark. Kittle caught a 15-yard pass to move the 49ers into Seahawks territory that earned him the feat. Kittle finished the game catching all seven of his targets for 86 yards.

4. Garoppolo's first incompletion of the game didn't come until the 49ers third series on a pass that bounced out of the arms of Sanders. Prior to the drop, Garoppolo was 9-for-9 passing for 115 yards.

5. Seattle didn't make their first trip into San Francisco territory until late in the first half. The 49ers defense came up big on a 4th-and-1 stop to force a turnover on downs. Marshawn Lynch took the handoff and was tackled behind the line of scrimmage by Nick Bosa.

6. While on the topic of Lynch, it's worth noting his production in his first return to Seattle since Week 10 of 2015. In the first half, Lynch was limited to just seven yards on four carries. Seattle got the running back involved in the second half as Lynch limited to just 12 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown (see No. 9).

7. San Francisco managed to hold Seattle scoreless in the first half. It's the first time in two years that the Seahawks were held without points (Week 15 vs. Los Angeles Rams). It is the third time under Russell Wilson that the Seahawks were held scoreless at the half of a home game.

8. The Seahawks managed to get something going in the third quarter, with their first touchdown of the game - a 14-yard score from Wilson to Tyler Lockett in the back of the endzone. The 49ers immediately responded with a 49-yard completion to Kyle Juszczyk on the first play of their ensuing drive. Two plays later Garoppolo connected with Samuel for a 24-yard pickup to move the 49ers to the goal line. Raheem Mostert ran the ball in for a 2-yard touchdown. The 49ers failed on the two-point conversion - a completed pass stopped just before the goal line to Kendrick Bourne.

Mostert's score marked his seventh rushing touchdown of the season and eighth of his career. He has now recorded at least one rushing touchdown in the last six games, becoming just the third player in franchise history and the first since 1995 to score at least one rushing touchdown in six or more consecutive games.

9. The 49ers and Seahawks spent the remainder of the fourth quarter exchanging scores. Wilson and the Seahawks drove down the field and scored on a Lynch 1-yard touchdown. The 49ers responded with 7-play, 75-yard drive the culminated in a Mostert 13-yard touchdown carry. With three and half minutes left in the game, Seattle cut the 49ers lead to five with a Metcalf touchdown.

An unnecessary roughness penalty led to a 49ers punt. Wilson led Seattle downfield and on 4th-and-10, converted on a pass to John Ursua. With :12 seconds left in the contest inside their own 10-yard line, Wilson attempted to convert for the second-straight time on a pass to tight end Jacob Hollister who fell just inches from the goal line. Rookie Dre Greenlaw made the stop just ahead of the goal, forcing a turnover on downs and essentially sealing the 49ers win.

10. The 49ers clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC and receive home field advantage and a first-round Bye heading into the postseason. The 49ers will face the lowest remaining seed in the NFC Divisional Round on Jan. 11 at 1:35 pm PT. For tickets, visit here.

"We worked for this all year," Kyle Shanahan said postgame. "It's always the goal to go in and just get in the tournament. And to get in there with the number one seed feels very good. We were going to be ready to deal with whatever we had to tomorrow. Whether we had to go play three games. I know we are much happier that we can stay at home now and you're two weeks away from the big one. So we're going to enjoy this Bye week. But very proud of the guys. We've had to win a lot of different ways this year. I keep feeling like we've done it every way possible and we find a new way to do it. I wish it wouldn't have been that close at the end, but it doesn't matter. I'm pumped about how they finished."