Sunday Night wrap-up: 49ers clinch top seed in NFC

Getty Images

The 49ers are hard to stop on offense right now.

Not knowing who you have to stop on a given night certainly helps.

The 49ers used their customary versatile attack to beat the Seahawks 26-21, and claim the NFC West title and the top seed in the NFC playoffs in the process.

They continued to spread it around like they have so often this year, with rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel taking the star turn this week.

Samuel finished with 135 yards from scrimmage, with his 30-yard touchdown run one of the early highlights. He also caught five passes for 102 yards.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has spread the ball around all season, but their varied running game (six different players had carries), and use of fullbacks and tight ends makes them such an interesting modern offense, with an old-school feel.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. It’s probably appropriate that the Seahawks are playing the Eagles in the wild card round next weekend.

Because both teams are out of dudes.

The injuries that have hit the Seahawks offense are ridiculous, as they’re missing their first three options at running back (Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, C.J. Prosise), and played Sunday without left tackle Duane Brown and tight end Luke Willson. Throw in tight ends Will Dissly and Ed Dickson on IR, along with center Justin Britt, and the suspension of Josh Gordon, and it’s amazing they can move the ball at all.

Oh, and wide receiver Jaron Brown left Sunday’s game with a knee injury and was immediately ruled out.

In any other circumstance, you’d count them out.

But they still have that Russell Wilson guy at quarterback, who nearly pulled this out at the end, and they’re playing team with as many Plan G options on offense themselves.

2. Speaking of offense, Marshawn Lynch had a quiet start, but eventually came to look a little like his old self.

That makes sense, since he hadn’t played football in 14 months.

He finished the game with 12 carries for 34 yards, and seemed to spend as much time in the first half as a decoy as anything else. Getting stuffed on fourth-and-inches was a sign that perhaps there might not be a storybook ending, at least this week.

He hasn’t been around long enough to be functional in the passing game (he wasn’t targeted), but they’ll probably try to incorporate him in some way so they’re not as predictable in the playoffs.

He popped a 15-yard run in the third quarter, and his leap for a touchdown in the fourth quarter made it feel like 2013 again. Or 2014, except for that one thing.

The chaotic delay of game penalty late robbed us all of a chance to relive that play, as Lynch was headed in. It’s OK to feel cheated.

3. The Seahawks injuries obviously aren’t limited to offense.

When linebacker Mychal Kendricks left the game, it underscored how thin of a margin they have there as well.

There was an obvious difference in the defense without safety Quandre Diggs, who played well since coming over from Detroit in a midseason trade. He was inactive because of an ankle injury, and if he doesn’t return, they could struggle against teams that actually have healthy players.

4. As well as the 49ers have played on defense this year, there’s a chance they’ll get better.

If pass-rusher Dee Ford can return for the playoffs, he adds a speed element to a defense that can muscle opponents out of their game plan.

Ford has played just one game since Week 11 because of hamstring problems, but there’s some hope he’ll be back.

Having the bye week only helps with some needed time to rest everyone.

5. The 49ers are impressive in so many ways.

But coach Kyle Shanahan’s hat is ridiculous.

Wearing a bad hat is worse than having no hat on at all.

85 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: 49ers clinch top seed in NFC

  1. You just knew it would be something wild with the Seahawks. You can just never count them out.

    But man… 8 plays inside the 10 yard line, and can’t get into the end zone? That’s incredible.

  2. Before Seattle fans start crying yes it was obviously pass interference. That said I dont feel sorry for you at all. Perfect that it happened to Pete Carroll. You reap what you sow. No sympathy here.

  3. It’s really starting to look like that the second half and especially the fourth quarter is Kyle Shanahan’s weakness.

    But more importantly and I’m saying is someone that is not a Seahawks fan, what was the point of the NFL implementing the whole every play is reviewed after 2 minutes along woth Replay Review, when they obviously just don’t do it. that was an obvious hold on third down and it wasn’t cold and I’m not saying that that screwed the Seahawks or anything however there’s been way too many games this season where replay review or the lack of it has been a problem. It seems this whole NFL season has been people complaining about the refs missing obvious penalties, how challenging rulings has essentially been a sham, or replay review just being a failure.

    Don’t make this thing about how you’re implementing a new system and then just don’t do it which is basically been the NFL in the last 10 or so years.

  4. Great 100 Years of Football!

    They had it pegged as a “cardiac” game and it lived up to the billing. What a way to end the season, to win a division and start the playoffs.

    Everything that has lead to the Niners earning the NFC West has been hard fought and anything afterwards is simply playing with house money. We have been the cellar dwellers since Harbaugh was kicked to the curb and to return in such fashion can only be described as surreal.

    Hats of to Seattle, I can respect a formidable opponent. I hate them, with a passion BUT that’s because no matter what they go down swinging. It only makes the division stronger. And hey if you make it past Philly then we’ll see you again!

    GO NINERS!!!!!!

  5. No PI in the end zone??? Warner looked liked he was going to take him down by the neck while the ball was in the air. Very sad to see the officials blow a call that makes the difference in the biggest game of the year. That was as bad as the PI in the Rams-Saints championship game last year.

  6. Wow what a great goalline stand. 1st and goal at the 1 yd line! And the niners stopped them four consecutive plays for the win! WOW!!! The niners are battle tested. And have lots of experience playing close games in the finals minutes that can go either way, and against great teams in the last half of the season. The niners are clutch on offense and defense.

  7. Delay of game with no timeouts under two minutes is automatic 10 second runoff? Refs not paying attention again?

  8. Considering how many times Seattle has benefited from bad calls at home in Prime Time games over the years (Fail Mary, Battle Ball against Detroit to name a few) I feel no sympathy for them. They need to feel this pain.

  9. golfer4900 says:
    December 29, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Delay of game with no timeouts under two minutes is automatic 10 second runoff? Refs not paying attention again?

    ————————————————————————————-

    The game clock was stopped.

  10. Wow what a great goalline stand. 1st and goal at the 1 yd line! And the niners stopped them four consecutive plays for the win! WOW!!! The niners are battle tested. And have lots of experience playing close games in the finals minutes that can go either way, and against great teams in the last half of the season. The niners are clutch on offense and defense.

    If you consider mugging recievers great defense then you must be a Seattle fan.

  11. The case for PI at the end wasn’t helped by Hollister running squarely into the stationary defender before turning to attempt the catch. If you watch the play start to finish, he’s already interfered with the defender before he turns to the ball.

    Waiting for the highlights to show up online to confirm.

  12. Say what you want about the PI that unnecessary roughing call on Garner was a freaking joke! Besides the fact that Seattle didn’t get called for holding, which happened every other play. Niners won this game fair and square, and are the BETTER TEAM. Have fun on the road in the Wildcard hawk fans.

  13. Not sure how New York doesn’t review that PI with seconds left? Oh well, can’t win them all. Bad clock management by Seattle at the end. Were they expecting N.Y. to review? Missed a game winning TD by inches at the end.

    Congrats S.F. Both teams won on the road against each other. Both were good games. Maybe they’ll meet again but, who knows.

  14. What luck does the Seahawks have at the Goal line to win the Game.First the Maclom Butler interception in the Super and Now this short inches.Next time bring a priest to do a blessing something before a Big Game.

  15. move over cynical rovers, and let Jimmmy G. Take over. If there is one Legit MVP candidate in this game it is Jimmy G. He played well in all 16 games this season. Not even Lamar Jackson can say that. From this point forward, it will be one and dones for Seattle.

  16. I hate the thought that they could have gone to the booth for PI when it wasn’t called on the field. I can understand that Seahawk fans that thought it was a foul but after the Fail Mary that went their way, I have a hard time feeling sorry for them.

  17. Outside of playing an extra game, I think if I was Seattle, I would have rather lost this game. Being the #2 seed and waiting on New Orleans most likely since Cousins is probably going to choke next week would not be preferable to going to play a pretty bad Eagle team.

  18. Ok, a few things:

    1.) Russel Wilson is seriously legit. Probably should be MVP
    2.) Seattle fans call Niners fans “whiners”? LOL! Typical of a region home to a Microsoft though…lol
    3.) If they have a problem with the supposed no call PI, than surely they would have an issue with the ridiculous unnecessary roughness call on the niners just minutes prior.
    4.) Hawks are a force to be reckoned with. But, Niners won the game fair and square. Stop the whining and show some class.

  19. 38lightpole says:
    December 29, 2019 at 11:38 pm
    Seahawks got jobbed on that missed PI call, but no matter your consolation prize is getting to face my Vikes. Congrats on your wildcard win.
    ————-
    If your Vikes are the Eagles, then yes. If not, your “Vikings” are going to need some luck to get past the Saints. No miracles this year.

  20. The Seahawks will play SF again, in all likelihood. They should beat Eagles. The Saints will beat Vikings, unless they completely collapse for some reason. Saints then play in GB and Seattle heads to SF. Both conference games will be fun to watch. I think Saints beat GB. The 49ers will be rested and still can be upset by Seattle. For purposes of my sanity, I’m saying that will happen. The Saints then host the Seahawks for right to meet Ravens in SB. I wish I could say the Seahawks go to the SB, but I have little confidence that will occur, even in my dreams.

    Happy New Year, All!

    Go Hawks!

  21. MortimerInMiami says:
    December 29, 2019 at 11:37 pm
    Another Pete Carroll debacle from
    the 1-yard line??

    LOL💃🍕

  22. whatjusthapped says:
    December 29, 2019 at 11:51 pm
    I hate the thought that they could have gone to the booth for PI when it wasn’t called on the field. I can understand that Seahawk fans that thought it was a foul but after the Fail Mary that went their way, I have a hard time feeling sorry for them.
    +++
    I get what your saying but, you can’t blame a team for referees ineptitude. Every team has been affected, positively, or negatively, by bad calls from refs.

  23. Why did the Seahawks need to call a timeout in order to prompt a booth review on a potential 49ers fumble? It wasn’t overturned but that isn’t the point. A team shouldn’t need to call timeout so the booth has more time to decide if they’re going to review a play under 2 minutes. If it’s close then they should stop for a review regardless.

  24. I wish Philly was as health as Seattle is right now. Philly is missing it’s top 4 RB’s, top 3 WR’s, top TE, whole pro bowl starting right side of their offensive line, top 3 CBs

  25. I love how 49er fans act so tough when the margin against a massively undermanned team was literally an uncalled and obvious PI.

    See you in two weeks.

  26. Cry all you want Seattle. Roughing call on Garner was just as bad or worse. Seattle has been getting the benefit of bad calls forever. Surprised they didn’t call something ridiculous on the last play of the game. God forbid they call holding on Seattle which happened every other play. Good night Hawk fans!

  27. Congrats niners. What a great game. Lets not cry about bad calls. The refs have been horrible all year and missed calls are part of the game. Hopefully we win next week and we can meet again but with a way better result than tonight..
    GO HAWKS!!!

  28. ClogginTheToilet says:
    December 29, 2019 at 11:53 pm
    Ok, a few things:

    1.) Russel Wilson is seriously legit. Probably should be MVP
    2.) Seattle fans call Niners fans “whiners”? LOL! Typical of a region home to a Microsoft though…lol
    3.) If they have a problem with the supposed no call PI, than surely they would have an issue with the ridiculous unnecessary roughness call on the niners just minutes prior.
    4.) Hawks are a force to be reckoned with. But, Niners won the game fair and square. Stop the whining and show some class.
    +++
    Okay, a few things:
    1.) Wilson has been legit for a long time.
    2.) Whiners rhymes with Niners. That’s one reason. The other? They like to talk about the previous Super Bowl wins. Personally, that’s great but, they don’t guarantee future Super Bowl wins. If they did, Pittsburgh and Dallas would win most of them.
    3.) Missed calls happen all the time. We don’t mind when it happens to opposing teams but, complain when it happens to our team. That’s part of the ‘fan’ creed.
    4.) Yes the Niners won fair and square. Not many, if any, are complaining.

    Also, related to item number four, since lots of Niner fans have complained about Niner losses over the years, do they have to adhere to your rules, or are they immune to them?

  29. Don’t want to hear Seahawks fans complain about a PI when the 49ers got nailed on an outlandish personal foul call that allowed Seattle to get the ball back in the first place. 15 yards for a center with his back to the play continuing to block while in a stadium so loud that he can’t even hear the whistle is laughable. There was nothing dirty and no intent to give a cheap shot. Refs blew that one badly.

  30. 3.) If they have a problem with the supposed no call PI, than surely they would have an issue with the ridiculous unnecessary roughness call on the niners just minutes prior.

    Ridiculous unnecessary roughness? He dove at a players knees way after the play was over. It was obvious, as obvious as the PI.

  31. chawk12thman says:
    December 29, 2019 at 11:57 pm
    The Seahawks will play SF again, in all likelihood. They should beat Eagles. The Saints will beat Vikings, unless they completely collapse for some reason. Saints then play in GB and Seattle heads to SF. Both conference games will be fun to watch. I think Saints beat GB. The 49ers will be rested and still can be upset by Seattle. For purposes of my sanity, I’m saying that will happen. The Saints then host the Seahawks for right to meet Ravens in SB. I wish I could say the Seahawks go to the SB, but I have little confidence that will occur, even in my dreams.

    Happy New Year, All!

    Go Hawks!>>>

    One Year Dynasty.

    You will be one and done in Philly.

    Happy New Year.

  32. The NFL rigged that game to give the Eagles the weakened Seahawks.

    No way Seattle can best the EAGLES in Philly twice in a season especially as banged up as they are. The NFL wants the Eagles in the Super Bowl.

  33. imthatguyx2 says:
    December 29, 2019 at 11:48 pm
    Not sure how New York doesn’t review that PI with seconds left? Oh well, can’t win them all. Bad clock management by Seattle at the end. Were they expecting N.Y. to review? Missed a game winning TD by inches at the end
    _______________

    The NFL wants the Seahawks Eagles game because the Seahawks cannot beat the Eagles in Philly again and the league wants Wentz to have a deep playoff run. This season has been rigged from jump. And now the game scheduling makes it even more apparent.

  34. The reason no PI was called and the NFL did not review it was because the Saints would get a bye week.

  35. Seattle didn’t get robbed on the PI. The Refs didn’t call it because they had already thrown a big charity penalty to Seattle earlier.

    Regarding the Delay of Game penalty. Never would’ve happened with any of the great QBs at the helm. That was classic choke stuff there.

  36. Al Riveron is an idiot and has no morals. If I didn’t know better I’d say he is a politician. Trying to defend that call as no PI defies all common sense.

  37. And no chance Wilson gets MVP. He hasn’t done much the last like 6 wks to earn it and no way he would be more deserving than Lamar Jackson. Jackson had the best season by a QB, possibly ever. And number two should be Christian McCaffrey, though he gets little recognition bc of the team he’s on. And James Winston could be third because he rewarded every team he was against with picks, fumbles and tds in historic fashion!

  38. No dog in the fight but that was blatant Pass Interference in the End Zone. Riveron continues to show how unintelligent he is by not reviewing it. It’s one thing to miss the call. Its another to not review it under 2 minutes. How a billion dollar company just cant seem to get it right is beyond me.

  39. Game is the game. This one had all the thrills. Bad result for one fanbase. Like any other game ever.

    Seahawks fans have endured a lot of humiliation. We had our noses rubbed in it when (for some INSANE, UNBELIEVABLE, BIZZARO-WORLD REASON, BRIAN FREAKING BOSWORTH RAISED THE 12 FLAG). The Brian Bosworth fiasco is literally the most shameful thing in Seattle sports history. Worse than the 1 seed Sonics losing to the lowly Nuggets. Worse than the Malcom Butler Experience.

    We’re still here. And we are happy to see one more game.

    See you next week

  40. “1. It’s probably appropriate that the Seahawks are playing the Eagles in the wild card round next weekend.
    Because both teams are out of dudes”
    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    Then you rattle off all of the Seattle injuries without mentioning 1 of Philly’s???
    Let’s see who’s practice squad & street FAs are better!!!!

  41. Have a nice trip to Philly Seattle. Hope your flight isn’t delayed

    ———————

    Going to Philly is the best scenario any team could hope for.

  42. “But coach Kyle Shanahan’s hat is ridiculous. Wearing a bad hat is worse than having no hat on at all.”

    Amen.

  43. Listen to me:

    NO SEAHAWKS FAN SHOULD EVER BE ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN ABOUT PASS INTERFERENCE NOT BEING CALLED, because for YEARS, Pete Carroll has told his defenders to hold and be physical on every play, that they’re not going to call them all. I cannot even begin to cite all the examples when people playing the Seahawks have been jobbed. And now SEAHAWKS FANS want to complain?

    To quote Ric Flair, “HA!”

  44. The 49ers are this years Rams. They have benefitted from non PI calls all season. They are good but not nearly as good as their record or seed. Call a fair game and there’s a sizable gap between them and the elite nfc teams.

  45. Does anyone want to talk about Wilson being over the line of scrimmage when he tossed aTD?????? Nobody?????

  46. samapoc says:
    December 30, 2019 at 12:04 pm
    The 49ers are this years Rams. They have benefitted from non PI calls all season. They are good but not nearly as good as their record or seed. Call a fair game and there’s a sizable gap between them and the elite nfc teams.
    ———————————————

    Niners are the best team in the NFC and it’s not even close.

  47. I agree with the pass interference “review” that took place. If you watch the play again it is quite obvious that the tight end initiated contact and tried to push off. It is also quite obvious that the defender held him. Good no call.
    The 49ers were the best team in the West and only heroics by Russel Wilson made these two games epic.

  48. raideralex99 says:
    December 30, 2019 at 2:00 am
    The reason no PI was called and the NFL did not review it was because the Saints would get a bye week
    ======

    Hawks were collateral damage

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.