Joe Staley signed a contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers in June with the hopes of winning a championship by the time he calls it a career. He wants that to happen with the team that drafted him, the team with which he has spent all 13 years of his NFL career.

This year may be the veteran tackle's best shot since Jim Harbaugh was his head coach.

Staley has been sidelined with a fractured fibula, which occurred during Week 2's action. He's been an observer as his team — now 8-0 — won each week. Staley is close to returning, and, barring any setback, plans to play on Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks.

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"We've been able to win a bunch of different ways this year," Staley said on Tuesday. "We've had games where our defense has had to carry us. I think this last game was the first game where they didn't play up to their standard, and [the offense] was called upon."

The offense answered the call. More specifically, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo put on a show, completing 75.7 percent of his passes for 317 yards with a career-high four touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 136.9.

"Our run game, which we've been able to make our hay on for the first half of the season, wasn't really there," Staley continued, "so Jimmy stepped up and did exactly what we all kind of expected him to do. But it was the first time he's been really able to show that this year. He's been playing absolutely terrific this year, and it's been awesome to watch."

Staley notes that Garoppolo has been able to get the ball out of his hands quickly, which has helped backup tackles Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill, who have been filling in for injured starters Staley and Mike McGlinchey.

"I've just been telling Jim, 'Don't change when I come back, now. Don't hold the ball back there for 10 seconds,'" Staley said.

The 49ers will face a difficult test to start the second half of the season when they host the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night. It's a rivalry that has been one-sided in recent years. Before last year's Week 15 win, San Francisco hadn't won against the division opponent since 2013.

"I think it's always good when that rivalry is there, and the games mean something," Staley said. "I think we haven't held up our end of the bargain in the last few years, but this is an exciting game. There's a lot riding on this game, and it's meaningful, but we can't look at it (as) anything different.

"I think one of the reasons we've been successful is that we haven't changed. We've been doing exactly what we've been doing all year. What we've been working through training camp until now, is continue to do the same things."