The 49ers have been out of playoff contention for some time, which leaves them to find other motivations to win games before the end of the season.
Sunday’s game against the Seahawks came with the chance to end a losing streak against a division rival that grew to 10 games when the Seahawks beat them a couple of weeks ago. After Sunday’s 26-23 overtime win, cornerback Richard Sherman said head coach Kyle Shanahan made the team aware of that streak heading into the game and Shanahan confirmed it was front and center on his mind.
“It means a ton,” Shanahan said in his postgame press conference. “Not all of us have been here since 2013, but a lot of us were here last year. We were all definitely here two weeks ago. It’s a division rival. We’re also very sick about the way we lost two weeks ago. I was really proud of the guys just not saying anything. I just knew it meant a lot to our guys. Especially after two weeks and to the fans and everything since 2013. I hated having to answer those questions all week. I definitely didn’t want to go a whole ‘nother year doing it. This was our last opportunity to end that and I’m glad we don’t have to hear that again.”
Shanahan won’t have the same material to draw on against the Bears and Rams the next two weeks, so he’ll have to come up with something else if the team is going to close the year on a four-game winning streak.