49ers look to wrap up NFC West title in Seattle once again

Kyle Shanahan celebrated his Division 1 title as coach of the 49ers in the Seattle locker room after a Sunday night game in the last snap in 2019.

SEATTLE (AP) — A few years ago, Kyle Shanahan celebrated his Premier League title as San Francisco manager in the visiting locker room in Seattle after a Sunday night game on the last day of the season that was decided almost at the last moment.

Shanahan and the 49ers can repeat what they achieved in 2019 and win another NFC West title against the Seahawks Thursday night in Seattle, but this time with far less stress.

San Francisco (9-4) is the hottest team in the NFL, with six straight wins, the longest active streak in the league. The 49ers have won each of their last four games by double digits, including last week’s 35-7 win over Tampa Bay.

Since their last loss at Kansas City in Week 7, the 49ers have not allowed an opponent to score more than 16 points, and a win Thursday would be the earliest in the season they have clinched a division title since 2011.

“If we win the game and just do our job and just look at it like it’s another game and do our thing, then we’re going to be fine,” said 49ers QB Brock Purdy. “Kyle (Shanahan) made some points, like Like where we are in terms of rankings and stuff like that, but it’s not something we talk about all the time.”

Still, there are some uncertainties for the 49ers, starting with Purdy. The third starting QB for San Francisco this season suffered an oblique strain in the win over Tampa Bay and played through the injury for a significant portion of the game. Purdy has been listed as questionable, although it’s likely he will try to play.

Purdy threw 210 yards and two touchdowns on his first action against Miami, and last week against the Bucs he threw 185 yards and two TDs.

“He’s the same guy every day and he’s the same guy on the field, whether he’s making a good game or a bad game, he believes in himself and he’s going to keep hurling and tearing at what he sees,” Shanahan said.

A month ago, Seattle (7-6) seemed on course to win the division. But a significant defensive setback and some offensive struggles have left the Seahawks losers in three of their last four games.

Seattle’s throwback revolved around the running game. The Seahawks couldn’t run the ball effectively, putting more strain on Geno Smith and the passing game. And Seattle was woefully inadequate at stopping the run, giving up more than 200 yards that rushed to Las Vegas and Carolina last week with losses.

“These guys happen to be number one in the division and they’re playing great. If you’re going to have a good year, you have to win games like this,” said Seattle coach Pete Carroll. “You have to win them. You have to find your way through the big challenges.”

RUN TO DAYLIGHT

The Niners had their most prolific running game of the season with 209 grounded yards against Tampa Bay. Now they have a chance to face off against a Seattle defense, which has the second most yards on ground this season at 160.5 per game. San Francisco had 189 grounded yards in the first meeting but still expect a tough matchup.

“No matter what the numbers say, no matter what’s going on, our matchup with these guys is always a little bit different,” said tackle Mike McGlinchey. “They will bring it. They will be a talented group.”

NOWHERE TO WALK

The Seahawks haven’t seen a running back rush for more than 37 yards in a game in more than a month, and Seattle has failed to rush 100 yards as a team in five of their last six games.

Getting well would help. Rookie Kenneth Walker III is expected to play after missing last week with an ankle injury.

BIG GAME DRE

San Francisco linebacker Dre Greenlaw is attracting attention because he regularly makes big plays. After teammate Fred Warner and former teammate-turned-analyst Richard Sherman recorded 15 tackles and one interception against Tampa Bay last week, they made the case for Greenlaw considering Pro Bowl. Greenlaw has 102 tackles on the season and three consecutive weeks of takeaways.

“Dre is playing with a lot of confidence, he’s playing fast, he’s physical, and I love the enthusiasm that he’s playing out there with because he’s making a lot of plays, which creates that enthusiasm,” said defense coordinator DeMeco Ryans.

INCLUDED MEDALLION

Seattle WR Tyler Lockett has a touchdown catch in a franchise-record six straight games. He may become the first NFL player with a TD catch in seven straight years since Davante Adams in 2020. In the past 10 seasons, only three players — Adams, Antonio Brown, and Allen Hurns — have had a streak of at least seven consecutive TD catchers.

Passing might be the only area Seattle can capitalize on against the 49ers, provided Smith gets enough throwing time.

https://www.king5.com/article/sports/nfl/seahawks/49ers-look-to-wrap-up-nfc-west-title-in-seattle-once-again/281-cb715cd2-3095-4b5a-bb85-683ea9b7f913 49ers look to wrap up NFC West title in Seattle once again

Emma Bowman

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