The 49ers were involved in fun matchups throughout 2022. We’ll discuss the five best. Here’s number three.
December 15, @ Seattle, 21-13
Seattle has been a house of horrors for the 49ers for many years. Aside from Dre Greenlaw’s goal-line stop in 2019 (which won the division also), Seattle found a way to get the best of the 49ers. Seattle had won eight straight home games over the 49ers and 15 out of the last 17 meetings heading into 2022.
Brock Purdy was coming off his first NFL start and dismantling the Tampa Bay Bucs and Tom Brady. Purdy was also dealing with an oblique injury that limited him throughout the week. The stage was set, on Thursday Night Football, win and become NFC West champions.
The energy was palpable from the 49ers as they walked through the tunnel onto the field. Jimmie Ward ripped a Seattle fan's sign in half, Trent Williams flipped fans off, and Fred Warner gave an impassioned speech about hating the Seahawks.
This 49ers team wanted to win for past teams, players, and their fans. The history of the rivalry was not lost on this group. While Russell Wilson was the face of many defeats suffered at the hands of Seattle. Pete Carroll remained, and that’s enough.
Seattle was a nice story in 2022, Geno Smith bounced back and proved to be a worthy NFL starter. The 49ers took care of Seattle in Week 2 in a game that saw Trey Lance go down for the season and Jimmy Garoppolo return.
Purdy had a chance to sweep the Seahawks AND win the NFC West title on national TV.
Lumen Field has a reputation for being loud and disruptive to opposing offenses. Purdy looked like a quarterback playing in his 15th game in Seattle, as opposed to his first.
George Kittle high-stepped into the end zone off a beautiful double fake pass from Purdy to kick off the scoring with 3:49 left in the first quarter. The 49ers’ defense was as stout as it’s been limiting Seattle to two field goals before a garbage time touchdown with 3:35 left in the fourth quarter.
Kittle would score a second touchdown as his connection with Purdy grew. Christian McCaffrey would add a one-yard touchdown and 138 scrimmage yards. Jordan Mason sealed the victory with a long run that nearly resulted in his first NFL touchdown.
A score of 21-13 isn’t a blowout, but the score doesn’t indicate how far apart both teams were in this game. For one night, it was the 49ers celebrating a sweep and division title in Seattle.
The 49ers got their hats and t-shirts and went home to enjoy their mini-bye week.
I struggled with the Las Vegas game for number three, but when you consider the rivalry, the stakes, and the history, it felt right at home at number three on the list.