The San Francisco 49ers closed out the 2022 regular season with a 38-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, and as a result, cemented themselves as the No. 2 seed in the conference. Up next for the team is a Wild Card matchup against their longtime NFC West rivals, the Seattle Seahawks. Saturday will mark the 50th meeting all-time between these two opponents, however, it's just the second time these two teams will face each other in the playoffs.
What the 49ers have accomplished over the last 18 weeks has been nothing short of historic. San Francisco is riding a franchise best 10-game win streak into the postseason and remained undefeated in divisional play for the first time since 1997 and for the first time since the NFC West was realigned in 2002.
However, before we continue looking ahead, let's take take one more look at Sunday afternoon's matchup. The contest marks the eighth time this season the offense has put up 30 or more points and the fifth time the defense has shut out an an opponent in the second half. Additionally, another lights-out performance by defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans' unit against Arizona allowed them to finish the year on top, as the league's top-ranked defense. The defensive unit also finished No. 1 in scoring defense and tied for first in interceptions.
Here are San Francisco's top performers from Week 18:
The veteran tight end topped all offensive performers in Sunday afternoon's matchup, earning an 89.9 overall grade for his 44 snaps versus the Cardinals. No. 85 caught four passes for 29 yards and two touchdowns on his way to becoming the team's touchdown leader (11 total touchdowns for 2022). With his 29 receiving yards, Kittle (5,254) passed Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (5,236) for the third-most receiving yards by a tight end through his first six seasons in NFL history.
"Tight end George Kittle continued his run of fine form, catching four of his six targets for 29 yards, two scores and one first down," PFF staff wrote in their game recap. "He was targeted on a quarter of his routes and generated a 100.0-plus passer rating for the eighth time this season."
Mitchell was a close second to Kittle in the offensive grades from the regular season finale. The sophomore running back came away with an 89.1 overall grade in his first game back from his second MCL sprain of the year. In his first time playing since Week 12, Mitchell was under a snap count, playing just 10 total snaps, but he made good use of them. He closed out the game with five carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns.
Top Defensive Performer: Fred Warner
The linebacker earned the top defensive mark for the 49ers with an 88.4 grade for his 35 total snaps. Warner had eight tackles and allowed just 21 yards on three catches against Arizona. He closes out 2022 as the team's tackles leader (130), an accolade he's now earned for a fifth-straight season.