The San Francisco 49ers swept the Seattle Seahawks, clinched the division and secured the No. 2 spot in the latest NFL power rankings with their 21-13 victory on "Thursday Night Football." Now, all eyes are on playoff positioning as the team gears up for the home stretch of the season. Up next for San Francisco is a Week 16 showdown with the Washington Commanders who are in the midst of their own push for the postseason.
"Anyone who plays defense as well as they do and commits to running the ball, usually that's a recipe to be in the playoffs," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "They're No. 1 in the league in time of possession, top four in yards, third in third down (conversion), top five in least amount of explosives. They're a top five defense... They don't give up big plays. They make everyone work for everything. Then, on the other side of the ball, they're controlling that clock. So, usually when they take care of the ball, they win."
The 49ers are coming off a seventh-straight win with contributions from all three phases. Quarterback Brock Purdy delivered a second-straight game with a 100+ passer rating, connecting on 16-of-27 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end George Kittle was on the receiving end of both those touchdown passes, and running back Christian McCaffrey added another score on the ground. On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans' unit allowed just three points in the first half, produced one takeaway and sacked Seattle quarterback Geno Smith three times on the night.
Here's a look at the latest NFL power rankings from several national outlets:
Around the NFL Writer Dan Hanzus
"Brock Purdy has been tested twice, and the rookie has aced both exams with flying colors. It's a best-case scenario for the 49ers, who initially profiled as would-be Super Bowl contenders ruined by bad injury luck after Jimmy Garoppolo was lost to a broken foot in Week 13. Instead, Purdy has kept the offense efficient and productive while the defense continues to squeeze the life out of its opponents. Geno Smith and the Seahawks found that out the hard way on Thursday as the Seattle quarterback was sacked three times and hounded relentlessly by a savage San Fran pass rush. Winners of seven straight, the Niners are NFC West champs for the first time since 2019."
NFL Writer Nick Wagoner on His Pleasant Player
"Dre Greenlaw had been a solid player when healthy in his first three NFL seasons. However, he missed 17 games over the past two seasons and it was unclear whether he would ever take the next step. With three games left this season, it's safe to say Greenlaw has taken more of a leap forward. He leads the Niners in tackles (111) and has two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception and seven pass breakups. Fred Warner rightfully gets much of the credit for leading San Francisco's defense, but Greenlaw has enjoyed a breakout season that has thrust his name into the conversation of the league's best off-ball linebacker."
Fox Sports: 5
NFL Writer David Helman
"There's almost an air of inevitability with this 49ers team. They never completely pulled away from Seattle, but when their defense is dictating the game so effectively, it doesn't even matter. What they're currently getting from Brock Purdy is more than enough to beat most teams in the league. Because, honestly, how many squads are putting up more than 17 against these guys?"