In the win, the 49ers overcame a sluggish first half, marked by red zone struggles, to win by double digits, as they forced turnovers defensively, while executing well on long, sustained drives in the second half.
The 49ers will now head to the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, where they’ve reached at least the NFC Championship game every time.
Reflecting after the game, Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin praised the sustainable success that the 49ers have, acknowledging that’s something he hopes to partake in.
“It’s definitely tough. I mean, you want to be a part of something that sustainable, and you’re winning and competing at a high level,” McLaurin said, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post. “You know, they’ve got a great staff over there. They’ve got great players. You can tell they love playing together.”
Not only is the product on the field good, but McLaurin sees the pure joy that the 49ers play with, which he got a deeper look into at the Pro Bowl last year.
“They do a great job of getting everyone involved. Defense is flying around. They have fun. You know, I got to spend some time with a lot of those guys, like six or seven of them made the Pro Bowl last year. I really got to be around them and it kind of reminds me a little bit at Ohio State,” McLaurin said. “You know what I mean, the kind of culture that they have and everything. You see why they have the success that they do.”
This season, it’s been extremely tough to face the 49ers, given how talented they are on both sides of the ball.
That makes the margin of error that much slimmer when playing San Francisco, be it execution-wise, opportunity-wise, or in whatever facet of the game.
“When you’re going against teams like that, you got to play, not perfect, but you got to make the most of every opportunity. You can’t turn over the ball. You got to extend drives and score in the red zone,” McLaurin said. “I think, top to bottom, they have All-Pro players at every level. You got to give them credit for building that team and for the players going out there and executing.”
“Hopefully, I can be a part of something like that, but I’m just focused on myself, my world, and my journey, and I’m going to keep working to be the best player I can be.’’
The Commanders will be packing it up and heading home after Week 18 for the seventh time in eight years. In fact, they haven’t made it past the wildcard round of the playoffs since 2005.
Meanwhile, the 49ers will look to win their first championship since 1994, although they’ll be seeing a familiar ground in the playoffs soon.