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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers clinch NFC West with 21-13 win over Seahawks

Dec 15, 2022 at 8:19 PM--

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 7 7 7 0 21
SEA 0 3 3 7 13

The San Francisco 49ers clinched their first NFC West title since 2019 on Thursday night and their 21st overall with a 21-13 win over the Seahawks at Lumen Field in Seattle.

The 49ers got strong play through most of the game from their defense, which held the Seahawks out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, quarterback Brock Purdy put together a solid game for the 49ers on offense, throwing for 217 yards on 17-of-26 passing with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Running back Christian McCaffrey was a workhorse for the 49ers, rushing for 108 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries while also catching six passes for 30 yards.

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith finished with 238 yards and one touchdown on 31-of-44 passing. The Seahawks were limited to 70 yards on the ground and were outgained 381 to 277 while being held to 4-of-13 on third downs.

First Half

The teams traded punts to start the game, then after a second punt from the Seahawks following a three-and-out, the 49ers found some offense on a nine-play, 86-yard drive that ended with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Purdy to tight end George Kittle. The 49ers moved downfield on a combination of runs and passes (with seven of eight plays going to McCaffrey), then on a 2nd-and-8, Purdy faked two screens before finding Kittle wide open down the middle for the game's first score.

Three more punts followed the touchdown, with the 49ers hurting themselves with 10-yard penalties on each of their two possessions (a holding call on tackle Mike McGlinchey that negated a first down on the first possession, followed by a ten-yard illegal block penalty on wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk on the second possession). Then the Seahawks found some offense late in the second quarter, putting together a 12-play, 62-yard drive that finished with a 38-yard field goal from kicker Jason Myers to cut the 49ers' lead to 7-3 with just under five minutes remaining in the half.

The Seahawks appeared to be building momentum as the second half came neared a close, with their defense forcing a punt after dropping a third down interception on the next possession and their offense starting off with a first down following the punt. But then the 49ers came up with a game-changing play on defense when linebacker Dre Greenlaw knocked the ball free from the arms of running back Travis Homer, resulting in a fumble that was picked up by cornerback Charvarius Ward and returned 40 yards to the Seahawks' 6-yard line. McCaffrey ran in from one yard out two plays later to give the 49ers a 14-3 lead with 47 seconds remaining.

The Seahawks punted after three plays on their final possession of the half before the 49ers ran out the clock to go to halftime. The 49ers outgained the Seahawks 152 to 116 in the half, with penalties being a key stat for each team (four 49ers penalties for 35 yards, six Seahawks penalties for 55 yards). Purdy finished the first half 12-of-16 for 96 yards with a touchdown after starting the game with ten consecutive completions, while McCaffrey had 19 total touches for 87 yards (57 rushing, 30 receiving) and one touchdown.

Second Half

The 49ers got on the board in a hurry to start the second half due to two chunk plays, the first one coming on special teams when Ray-Ray McCloud opened the half with a 39-yard return to set the 49ers up at the 49ers' 41-yard line. After a five-yard run from McCaffrey, Purdy found Kittle wide open downfield for a big completion, then Kittle made two defenders miss before running into the end zone for a 54-yard score and a 21-3 lead.

The Seahawks avoided disaster on the next possession when a pick six by cornerback Deommodore Lenoir was overturned on a head-scratching roughing the passer call on defensive end Nick Bosa, after which they were able to move deep into 49ers territory before a holding penalty nullified what would have been a 22-yard catch that set up a 1st-and-Goal at the 2. A second-down sack from Bosa put the Seahawks in a 3rd-and-32, then the drive ended with a 51-yard field goal from Myers to cut the 49ers' lead to 21-6.

The 49ers answered the field goal with an eight-play drive into Seattle territory that ended with a punt that was downed at the Seahawks' 4-yard line. The Seahawks then went on a 10-play drive into 49ers' territory but were forced to punt after a third down sack by defensive end Samson Ebukam. The punt was downed at the 1-yard line and was followed by another punt by the 49ers, which gave the Seahawks the ball at their own 46-yard line with just under 11 minutes remaining in the game.

Smith was flagged for intentional grounding on the first play after the punt, which drove the Seahawks back to their own 33-yard line. A punt came two plays later, leading the 49ers to take over at their own 13-yard line with 9:34 remaining. The 49ers then moved 53 yards in eight plays to set up a 43-yard field goal attempt from Robbie Gould, but Gould's kick sailed wide right, leaving the score at 21-6 with 5:05 remaining.

The Seahawks followed the missed field goal with their first touchdown drive of the night, a seven-play, 67-yard possession that ended with a 10-yard scoring pass from Smith to tight end Noah Fant. Smith led the offense downfield in just one minute and 25 seconds before finding Fant wide open in the end zone to trim the lead to 21-13.

The 49ers took over with 3:35 remaining in the game and were able to force the Seahawks to use each of their two remaining timeouts, one of them coming on a failed replay challenge on a third-down conversion run by Purdy, before icing the game on a 56-yard run by rookie running back Jordan Mason with 1:14 remaining. The 49ers were able to run out the clock from there to seal the victory.

The 49ers moved to 10-4 on the season with the win, while the Seahawks fell to 7-7 with the loss.

Notes: The 49ers have now won seven consecutive games and have outscored their last seven opponents by a combined score of 193-77... Per NFL research, Kittle's first quarter touchdown catch made him the fourth fastest tight end in NFL history to reach 5,000 career receiving yards (79 games). Only Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce and Kellen Winslow accomplished the feat faster... Kittle's third quarter touchdown was the longest touchdown catch for a tight end in the NFL this season... Purdy became the second quarterback since 1950 to have a passer rating of at least 115 in his first two starts (Aaron Rodgers)... The Seahawks entered the game with a 30-18 series edge against the 49ers, with wins in 17 of the past 21 meetings... Thursday's win marked the first time the 49ers swept the Seahawks in a season since 2011... The 49ers will be back in action next Saturday with a home game against the Washington Commanders (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS). The Seahawks will be on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs (1:05 p.m. ET, FOX).

SF Team Stats SEA
211 Passing Yards 207
170 Rushing Yards 70
381 Total Yards 277
8.35 Avg Yards per Pass 5.41
5 Avg Yards per Run 5
0 Fumbles Lost 1
0 Int Thrown 0
1 Sacks Allowed 3
00:33:01 Time of Pos 00:26:59
7 Penalties 8

49ers Player Stats
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Christian McCaffrey 26 108 4.2 1
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
George Kittle 4 5 93 2
Jauan Jennings 3 5 31 0
Christian McCaffrey 6 8 30 0
Tyler Kroft 1 1 28 0
Brandon Aiyuk 2 4 19 0
Ray-Ray McCloud 1 3 16 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Robbie Gould 0 1 0 3
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 6 42.2 3 46
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 67 33.5 0 39
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 2 8.5 0 9
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Deommodore Lenoir 9-1 0 0 0
Fred Warner 6-2 0 0 0
Charvarius Ward 6-0 0 0 0
Dre Greenlaw 4-4 0 0 1
Talanoa Hufanga 4-1 1 0 1
Jimmie Ward 4-0 0 0 0
Tashaun Gipson 3-2 0 0 0
Azeez Al-Shaair 2-1 0 0 0
Janoris Jenkins 2-0 0 0 0
Nick Bosa 1-1 1 0 0
Kerry Hyder 1-0 0 0 0
Arik Armstead 1-0 0 0 0
Samson Ebukam 1-0 1 0 0

Seahawks Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Geno Smith 31/44 238 1 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Geno Smith 1 18 18 0
Travis Homer 1 5 5 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Tyler Lockett 7 9 68 0
DK Metcalf 7 9 55 0
Noah Fant 5 6 32 1
Travis Homer 4 4 25 0
Will Dissly 1 1 13 0
Marquise Goodwin 2 5 10 0
Penny Hart 1 1 3 0
Colby Parkinson 0 1 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Geno Smith 1 0
Travis Homer 1 1
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Jason Myers 2 2 51 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Michael Dickson 7 49.9 3 64
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Godwin Igwebuike 83 27.7 0 31
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Cody Barton 6-4 0 0 0
Mike Jackson 5-0 0 0 0
Uchenna Nwosu 4-2 0 0 0
Jordyn Brooks 3-5 0 0 0
Quandre Diggs 3-4 0 0 0
Ryan Neal 3-2 0 0 0
Bruce Irvin 2-1 0 0 0
Quinton Jefferson 2-0 1 0 0
Tanner Muse 1-3 0 0 0
L.J. Collier 1-1 0 0 0
Myles Adams 1-1 0 0 0
Jason Myers 1-0 0 0 0
Justin Coleman 1-0 0 0 0
Will Dissly 1-0 0 0 0
Darrell Taylor 1-0 0 0 0
Jon Rhattigan 1-0 0 0 0

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