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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers entrenched in playoff picture but are focused on winning

Rohan Chakravarthi
Nov 28, 2021 at 6:30 PM--

The 49ers arguably had their biggest win of the season on Sunday, except for maybe their Week 10 win against the Rams, as they extended their winning streak to three games with an impressive outing against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium

Behind a rushing attack that exceeded 200 yards, led by rookie Elijah Mitchell, the 49ers were able to control the pace of the game following a shaky start, as they had a 15-minute time of possession advantage over the Vikings, helping them win this much-needed game.

Coming into Sunday's matchup, both the 49ers and the Vikings were 5-5 and battling each other for playoff seeding, with San Francisco taking sole possession of the sixth seed in the NFC playoff rankings after the win coupled with Panthers, Eagles, and Saints losses.

Even more importantly, San Francisco is now just one game out of the NFC's fifth spot in the playoff standings, which is currently held by the division-rival Los Angeles Rams with a record of 7-4 after their loss in Green Bay on Sunday.

Despite the traction that San Francisco is making, head coach Kyle Shanahan put aside all rumors of playoff thoughts, instead focusing towards the remaining part of the 49ers' schedule.

"That's good to hear [that we're in sole possession of 6th place], but I actually don't know any scores right now," Shanahan said. "And it's way too early to care. I mean, you look at that stuff at the end of the day, but what do we have left? Six games? There's a lot left to be played."

Shanahan wasn't the only person highlighting the future as the current focus rather than playoffs, as star defensive end Nick Bosa, who notched his 11th sack of the season on Sunday, reiterated Shanahan's words that the team should continue their focus towards winning.

"Yeah, I think we're in [the playoff hunt] right now, but we've just got to keep winning," Bosa said.

Second-year receiver Jauan Jennings had himself a nice day, catching a 21-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo in a tight window during San Francisco's first drive, corralling a touchdown, which tied the game before halftime, and then adjusting his body to make a dynamic play for another touchdown grab, which was ultimately overruled as his knee hit out of bounds.

Jennings shared more excitement about the 49ers' current playoff ranking, but also understood that the team cannot spend much time celebrating, and rather focus on more wins.

"It's very exciting to see the position we are in right now," Jennings said. "But it was two teams in that position today, and for us to come out and get that win, it was big, but we can't go to sleep. We can't be satisfied. We've got to go back to work. We've got a game next week."

Next weekend, San Francisco heads to Seattle for a divisional matchup at Lumen Field, where the 49ers will look to improve their record and gain their first win against the Seahawks this season.

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