Seahawks Stumble, 49ers Clinch NFC West

Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers clinched first place in the NFC West with a dominant performance over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday evening, winning 21-13 on their way to securing the team’s first division title since 2019.

Even without star wide receiver Deebo Samuel, the 49ers’ offense moved the ball at ease against the Seahawks’ defense. San Francisco tight end George Kittle scored two touchdowns, including a 54-yard score in the first quarter, where quarterback Brock Purdy found Kittle wide open on a blown defensive coverage by Hawks rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen.

The pivotal moment of the game came at the end of the first half. After safety Quandre Diggs dropped what should’ve been an interception, the Seahawks’ following possession resulted in a fumble, which led to a 49ers’ touchdown to put San Fransisco up by two scores. 

Geno Smith and the offense struggled to move the ball downfield for the Hawks, scoring only 13 points against the 49ers’ stout defensive unit. Smith managed 238 yards and a touchdown, which came as the game was out of hand, and also had a pick-six called back on a defensive penalty. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett also suffered a broken finger late in the game, putting the rest of his season in jeopardy. 

Recent trade acquisition Christian McCaffrey operated as the workhorse for the 49ers, handling 26 carries for 108 yards and one touchdown while tacking on six catches for an additional 30 yards. He was in total control of a leaky Seahawks defense which has been among the league’s worst against the run. 

For the Seahawks, it was their fourth loss in their last five games, bringing the team’s season record to 7-7. With their hopes of winning the division now gone, the Hawks will look to keep their wild card hopes alive Saturday, Dec. 24 when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs with kickoff at 10 a.m.