Three Takeaways from the 49ers clinching the NFC West

Dec 16, 2022, 12:30 PM | Updated: 12:32 pm
Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after beating the Seattle Seahawks 21-13 at Lumen...
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 15: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after beating the Seattle Seahawks 21-13 at Lumen Field on December 15, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers have clinched the NFC West title with three games to go in the regular season. They be came the first to do so this season Thursday night, defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 21-13, on the road.

It wasn’t pretty by any means, but quarterback Brock Purdy and the 49ers’ defense figured out a way to win in a hostile environment. Last night’s win is also the first time San Francisco has swept the Seahawks in the regular season since 2011.

With all the praise and congrats coming their way, let’s pile on some as well. Here are three takeaways from the 49ers’ impressive win at Lumen Field.

Brock Purdy is More than Enough

Less than two weeks ago, little to none of the national NFL audience know about rookie quarterback Brock Purdy. Fast forward a bit, he’s the talk of the town.

Coming into the game injured, Purdy delivered in Seattle, posting 217 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions against their divisional foes. Both TDs were a work of play-calling art.

The first one came late in the first quarter when Purdy pump-faked to his left and right, then delivered a strike to tight end George Kittle down the middle, splitting the Seahawks’ defense in the process. With only o0e man to beat, Kittle raced on for the end-zone from 28 yards out.

The second went to Kittle once again at the start of the second half. Thanks to a little miscommunication, the tight end slips past Seahawks’ defenders into the gap on the left side. Purdy lofts the ball perfectly to his tight end, taking the ball in-stride as he races down the sideline for the 54-yard score.  

The QB was also instrumental in running the clock out, picking up a vital first down with his legs late in the fourth quarter. Understanding the situation, Purdy slide with the ball extended past the first down marker, keeping the clock running. 

All in all, there were some mistakes, but you couldn’t have asked more from the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft battling an injury to the midsection.

“He’s definitely the most poised rookie I’ve ever had,” Kyle Shanahan said postgame Thursday. “He was poised all week, even being unsure if he’d be able to go. We didn’t have any options or choices. He got comfortable and better as game went. It was pretty unbelievable…They [the team] had a lot of respect for him before that game, but they got a lot more now.”

Using a unique blend of confidence and moxie, “BP13” is keeping the 49ers’ Super Bowl aspirations alive, and that’s all he needs to do to be a hero in the Bay Area.

Nick Bosa is your DPOY

This shouldn’t come as a surprise but defensive end Nick Bosa is likely the defensive player of the year this season.

Coming into the game a sack shy of his single-seasons record (15.5), the Bosa bear did that and much more Thursday night in Seattle. He finished the game with two tackles, one sack, three QB hits, one pass break-up, and six pressures. The 49ers as a team had 27 pressures, but it was Bosa and defensive tackle Arik Armstead leading the way all night for SF.

The former Ohio State standout almost had a second sack that would have resulted in a pick-six, if not for a highly questionable roughing-the-passer call that kept Seattle from being down by four scores.

Bosa now leads NFL in sacks, pressures, QB hits and penalties drawn through 13 games played (he missed one due to injury). He is also in the top three of pass-rushing productivity and win rate. Bottom line is that the Bosa Bear is balling and he’s shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Still only 25 years old, the 49ers have their star pass rusher for the next five years, set to begin contract negotiations after the season is over.

This team isn’t satisfied with just the NFC West

The NFC west is wrapped up with three games to play, now what? Well, this 49ers team has their sights set on something a little higher, Super Bowl No.6. 

Chasing that elusive sixth title since the 90s’, the Red & Gold finally have a squad that can withstand the tests of New Year football. Thanks to last night’s win, the 49ers will have at least one playoff game at home. And with the best defense in the NFL, good luck to anyone that comes to town in January.

“But there’s no doubt about it; this isn’t our final goal by any means,” Shanahan said about the team’s mindset. “I’m very proud of our team and what we accomplished throughout the year to get to this. Our goal is to get in the tournament, and we accomplished that today, but now, it’s all trying to set that up to be the best situation we can and hopefully get some of our guys back in the process.”

Couple the defense with an offense only expected to get healthier into the playoffs (Deebo Samuel), that’s a scary recipe for all upcoming opponents. Only a half game back on the Minnesota Vikings, the 49ers could take the No.2 seed in the NFC if Minnesota losses this weekend.  As for San Francisco’s schedule, the Washington Commanders, Las Vegas Raiders and Arizona Cardinals could all be wins for the Red & Gold. 

We’ll see how the seeding shakes out, but the 49ers could have more than one home playoff game this season.



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