San Francisco 49ers Get the Job Done, Take NFC West with Win Over Seattle Seahawks
Posted on: December 16, 2022, 02:07h.
Last updated on: December 16, 2022, 10:27h.
Kyle Shanahan and his NFL playbook are delivering some pretty amazing results for the San Francisco 49ers so far this season, regardless of who’s in the backfield. Off another solid offensive performance on Thursday Night Football, the Niners made easy work of the Seattle Seahawks to capture the NFC West division.
Brock Purdy, the rookie quarterback out of the University of Iowa, hasn’t succumbed to the pressure of being a new starter. He’s been performing like a veteran, and gave another stellar showing on Thursday night.
With the 21-13 win, the 49ers have now won seven consecutive games and 10 overall on the season. The Seahawks dropped to 7-7 and second place in the division, and are now in a difficult situation to qualify for the postseason with just three weeks remaining in the regular season.
Niners Fire on All Cylinders
Even with the return of their star running back, Kenneth Walker, the Seahawks couldn’t figure out the Niners’ extraordinary defense. On Seattle’s opening drive, they could only manage two yards before giving up the ball.
From that opening series, San Francisco took the field with a solid game plan and single-minded determination. The defense continued to pound away, allowing Seattle only two field goals across three quarters.
Just like a week ago against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Purdy had an outstanding performance. He passed for 217 yards and connected on two touchdown passes. Wide receiver George Kittle was the target for both, with running back Christian McCaffrey, who had 108 yards, adding a third.
Late in the second quarter, it looked like Seattle was finally finding a rhythm for its offense. Then, with just over a minute to go, and with Seattle in scoring range, Niners linebacker Dre Greenlaw and cornerback Jimmie Ward forced a major fumble.
Charvarius Ward scooped the ball and made it to the Seahawks’ 5-yard line before he was stopped. That led to the McCaffrey TD and the Niners’ lead.
At the start of the third quarter, the Niners’ attack continued. It began with a perfect 54-yard pass from Purdy — with a double fake — that Kittle brought down for his second TD of the game. Up 21-6, San Fran was in undeniable control.
In the final period, there wasn’t much change. The Seahawks finally found the end zone after QB Geno Smith connected with wide receiver Noah Fant. But with under four minutes to go, there wasn’t much hope. Peyton Manning pulled off a 21-point comeback in three minutes for the Indianapolis Colts in 2003 to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Seahawks aren’t the 2003 Colts.
Sportsbooks saw most of the action on Thursday night’s game placed on the Niners. DraftKings reported that 72% of the bets and 54% of the money backed San Francisco.
Where bettors missed was on the over/under, with the game coming in just under the 43 total that most books offered. 55% of the handle on DraftKings was on the under, while 62% of the bets backed the over.
Referees Continue to Disappoint
At the rate the NFL is going, it might be the National Flag Football League by 2030. It’s not uncommon each year for refs to miss calls or make bad ones, but they seem to be in bad-call overdrive this year.
Thursday night was no exception, with Niners linebacker Nick Bosa receiving a penalty for roughing the passer. It was, by any measure, a clean hit by a defensive player who was doing his job. Fortunately for San Francisco, the Seahawks couldn’t capitalize on the bad call.
Refs are increasingly calling roughing the passer penalties on clean hits and soon, anything more than touching a QB will likely draw a flag.
This could spell trouble for the league, especially if a new rule being considered by owners goes live. There’s a rumor that the league is contemplating the possibility of making the penalty for roughing the passer an ejection. With refs incapable of standardized application of the rules, this could turn games upside down.
Next up, in Week 16, the Niners face the Washington Commanders and the Seahawks face the Kansas City Chiefs.
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