The San Francisco 49ers are the top seed in the NFC with a 10-3 record after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-16 on Sunday afternoon. As teams approach the home stretch of the regular season, the Niners have a wide open runway to secure a BYE week in the playoffs and home-field advantage.
Brock Purdy was erratic and inaccurate early, struggling to get on the same page as his receivers, which resulted in an ugly interception. It seemed like the Seahawks had rattled him by daring him to take the top off the defense. However, as we’ve seen throughout Purdy’s young career, he adjusted quickly. Purdy broke from his progression to find Deebo Samuel on a 54-yard touchdown and that was far from the only time he found success downfield.
Running backs: A+
While Purdy took some time to get going, Christian McCaffrey started things off with an explosive 72-yard run that setup Jordan Mason for an easy touchdown and bought San Francisco some time. McCaffrey’s compelling MVP case continued, racking up 153 yards on just 17 touches.
Tight ends: A-
George Kittle capitalized on a solid throw from Purdy on a 44-yard touchdown reception in the second half, which highlighted an otherwise quiet day on the receiving end for Kittle. That said, he had plenty of fun creating massive holes for McCaffrey.
Wide receivers: A
Deebo Samuel benefited from a beautiful throw from Purdy, but he was the one who got open in the first place. Samuel got another score on his lone rushing attempt, racking up 150 total yards on eight touches. Brandon Aiyuk was exceptional in his own right for most of the game, but committed a costly fumble (knocking the group from an A+ to A). Aiyuk finished with 126 receiving yards on six receptions (nine targets).
Offensive line: A-
Purdy’s early-game struggles were accentuated by an offensive line that took some time to consistently provide him clean pockets, but they also created massive holes for the Niners’ rushers all game long. Once they quelled the opposing pass rush, Seattle’s defense had no real answer.
Defensive line: B
Nick Bosa and Clelin Ferrell combined for 2.5 sacks and three tackles for loss off the edge while Javon Kinlaw made some big plays in the backfield as well. The 49ers defensive line was probably hoping to wreak more havoc with Drew Lock under center, but they had a solid overall performance.
Fred Warner made a play stopping a screen in the first half that was one of the most unlikely tackles you’ll see this season.
It helps when facing a quarterback unable to consistently hit open targets, but the 49ers secondary was able to hold their own against a formidable receiving corp despite missing Mooney Ward leaving the game early.
He may not be Talanoa Hufanga, but Ji’Ayir Brown continues to emerge as a legitimate above-average starting safety.