Brock Purdy, 49ers deal heavy blow to Seahawks’ playoff hopes

Rate this post

SEATTLE — The San Francisco 49ers clinched the NFC West with a 21-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday evening. Rookie Brock Purdy, the Niners’ third beginning quarterback this season, led the workforce to a street win over a division rival 4 days after beating Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his first NFL begin.

Purdy threw for 2 touchdowns, whereas working again Christian McCaffrey rushed for an additional after the Seahawks misplaced a fumble. San Francisco’s protection stored quarterback Geno Smith and the Seahawks’ offense out of the tip zone till the ultimate minutes of the sport.

Whereas the Niners will proceed to battle for playoff seeding within the NFC, the Seahawks’ playoff possibilities drastically declined after the loss. The Seahawks have misplaced 4 of their final 5 video games and face the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and New York Jets within the subsequent two weeks.

San Francisco 49ers

For the second time in 4 years, the 49ers are NFC West division champions.

And now the enjoyable begins.

The Seahawks have lengthy been a thorn within the Niners’ aspect, particularly at Lumen Area. However the Niners, led by one other stellar efficiency from McCaffrey, vanquished their most problematic foe with relative ease Thursday evening to increase their profitable streak to seven video games.

At 10-4 and 5-0 within the NFC West division, the Niners can drop no decrease than the No. 3 seed within the NFC postseason image, which means coach Kyle Shanahan and his employees could have a little bit of a balancing act to drag off within the season’s last three weeks.

In idea, the Niners may nonetheless catch the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 1 total spot, however realistically, they’re unlikely to leap any increased than the No. 2 spot. Because it stands, the 10-3 Minnesota Vikings are a half-game in entrance of them however with an 8-2 document within the NFC, the Niners maintain a possible tiebreaker in the event that they end with the identical document as Minnesota.

Shanahan, no stranger to important accidents, may decide to handle the workload of some key gamers over the ultimate three weeks. However he most likely will not so long as the No. 2 seed is in play. What’s extra, Purdy may use as many snaps as attainable earlier than embarking on his first playoff journey.

“There isn’t any doubt about it,” Shanahan mentioned. “I imply this is not our last purpose by any means. I am very happy with our workforce and what we achieved all year long to get to this. Our purpose is to get into the event and we achieved that immediately, however now it is all attempting to set that as much as be the perfect state of affairs we are able to and hopefully get a few of our guys again, too, within the course of.”

For now, the Niners can take pleasure in a “mini bye” earlier than their Christmas Eve conflict with the Washington Commanders and take pleasure in celebrating one other division title in Seattle’s dwelling stadium.

QB breakdown: Purdy was listed as questionable with a rib and indirect damage this week, however it could have been exhausting to inform from his efficiency towards the Seahawks. With McCaffrey main the best way, Shanahan schemed up some straightforward appears for Purdy to tight finish George Kittle, and Purdy was once more largely poised and heading in the right direction.

He completed 17-of-26 for 217 yards with two scores and no interceptions for a passer score of 117.0. He additionally grew to become the second rookie quarterback in franchise historical past to win his first two begins, becoming a member of Scott Bull circa 1976.

Promising development: Kittle has remained as integral to the Niners’ offense as all the time, however that hasn’t proven within the go sport as typically as years previous. He completed with 4 catches for 93 yards with two scores on Thursday evening. With receiver Deebo Samuel nursing a sprained left knee and ankle, the Niners want Kittle to provide extra and supply a complement to McCaffrey. Thursday evening was a step in the best course.

Pivotal play: The Niners managed the sport for many of the first half however struggled to increase their lead, seemingly leaving the door open for Seattle to leap in entrance simply earlier than halftime. With the Seahawks shifting the ball late within the second quarter, working again Travis Homer caught a brief go and tried to seek out room within the open area earlier than he was hit by cornerback Jimmie Ward. Niners linebacker Dre Greenlaw converged quickly after, jarring the ball unfastened. San Francisco cornerback Charvarius Ward recovered it and raced 40 yards to Seattle’s 6-yard line, and McCaffrey scored two performs later to make it 14-3 and successfully put the sport away.

Subsequent sport: vs Commanders (4:05 p.m. ET, Dec. 24)

Seattle Seahawks

It was obvious in Week 2, when the Seahawks have been held with out an offensive level in a 27-7 loss to the 49ers in Santa Clara.

It was much more evident in latest weeks, because the 49ers widened their lead within the NFC West by blowing out one opponent after one other whereas the Seahawks misplaced three of 4, all to groups with worse data than their very own.

And on Thursday evening at Lumen Area, it was apparent as soon as once more how massive the hole has instantly change into between the Seahawks and the division rival they used to personal not way back. Going through a third-string quarterback who did not have his greatest offensive weapon in Samuel, the Seahawks watched the 49ers clinch the NFC West of their constructing by controlling the sport from begin to end.

The Seahawks are nonetheless a workforce on the rise. They’ve a robust younger core and a ship load of 2023 draft capital, together with what’s prone to be a top-five choose due to the Russell Wilson commerce. They usually’re nonetheless in playoff competition, with the identical variety of wins as the 2 groups at present occupying the NFC wild-card spots, the New York Giants and Commanders.

However they acquired one other reminder Thursday evening of how far they’re going to must go to catch as much as the 49ers. And whereas they’ve a mini bye to lick their wounds, it will not get any simpler with a sport towards the 10-3 Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Christmas Eve — particularly with broad receiver Tyler Lockett anticipated to overlook time after breaking a bone in his hand.

QB breakdown: Smith was so-so, which was about all that may very well be anticipated of him underneath extraordinarily powerful circumstances. He was already dealing with the NFL’s greatest protection with a struggling run sport, and when the Seahawks fell behind massive early on, they have been compelled into throwing mode towards a loaded go rush. Smith accomplished 31 of 44 passes for 238 yards and a late landing go to Noah Fant. He additionally threw a pick-six that was negated by an iffy roughing penalty.

Pivotal play: Late within the second quarter, with the Seahawks trailing 7-3, security Quandre Diggs was in good place to select off an over-the-middle Purdy throw. However as a substitute of an interception that arrange Seattle in good area place, the ball bounced off Diggs’ arms, resulting in a punt that put the Seahawks at their very own 19-yard line. 4 performs later, Homer misplaced a fumble that the 49ers recovered and returned to the 6-yard line, establishing a simple landing. Diggs was a Professional Bowl choice in every of the previous two seasons, however has not performed at that degree this 12 months.

Troubling development: The Seahawks have now allowed at the least 150 speeding yards in 5 straight video games, the largest means wherein their protection has regressed to its early-season type after a promising turnaround. The 49ers went for 170 on 34 makes an attempt. And whereas the Seahawks have been doing an honest job — by their requirements, at the least — to maintain McCaffrey from working throughout them for a lot of the evening, they allowed Jordan Mason to bust free for a 55-yard acquire that put the sport away. McCaffrey completed with 108 yards on 26 makes an attempt. Seattle was already enjoying with out its greatest run defender in Al Woods, and misplaced his substitute, Bryan Mone, to an ACL damage within the first quarter.

Subsequent sport: at Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, Dec. 24)

Source link