7 winners from 49ers division clinching win: Christian McCaffrey impresses again

The 49ers extended their winning streak to seven games with their 21-13 win over Seattle on Thursday night. The win marked the first time the 49ers had defeated the Seahawks in a season since 2011 and the first time they had won back-to-back games against their division rivals since 2012.

The 49ers also clinched the NFC West with the win, making the team the first winner of seven as of Thursday night.

Winner: the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers

For the second time in four years and the second time in the Kyle Shanahan era, the 49ers have won the NFC West in Seattle. While the 49ers won by just an eight margin, their smallest margin since Week 10, it was a game that never felt like it was out of the 49ers’ control. Things got tight towards the end, but a scramble from Brock Purdy before the two-minute caution and a 55-yard run from Jordan Mason ended the game to win the division.

The 49ers will likely be either No. 2 or No. 3 in the NFC Playoffs, and they’ll be playing for the seed from that point forward. With Philadelphia leading by six wins with NFC and Tampa Bay, 49ers fans should keep a close eye on the Vikings, who have just a half-game lead over the 49ers for the No. 2 going into their Saturday game against the Colts.

Winner: TE George Kittle

Kittle finished Thursday with Jauan Jennings for the second-most goals but made the best of it with four receptions for 93 yards and two touchdowns, just the third multi-touchdown game of his career.

His two touchdowns were about what you’d expect from George Kittle, the first coming on a double wrong screen that saw Kittle lick down the middle. Brock Purdy hit Kittle at the 19-yard line, where Kittle then turned up and dodged Quandre Diggs for a 28-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead.

Kittle’s second touchdown was the highlight of the game for the 49ers offense. On the opening drive of the second half, Purdy again found Kittle about 20 yards wide open with plenty of room for Kittle to run. He avoided a tackle attempt by Diggs on the touchline and reduced towards center field while avoiding a tackle attempt by Cody Barton en route for the 54-yard touchdown to put the 49ers on 18 and the game essentially to end.

Winner: Interceptions caught

With the 49ers down to a 7-3 lead in the second quarter with two minutes remaining, Diggs missed Seattle’s best chance to get back into the game. Instead, it became the game’s greatest string of plays, resulting in a 49ers touchdown.

On a third and eleven, Purdy unleashed his worst throw of the night and didn’t see Diggs step in front of a Jauan Jennings on the way. As a result, Diggs dropped a safe interception that would have at least put Seattle’s offense in midfield. Instead, Mitch Wishnowsky pinned Seattle back with a 45-yard punt at the 19-yard line.

Four games later, Geno Smith hit Travis Homer with a short pass when Dre Greenlaw forced a fumble that was recovered by Charvarius Ward and returned to Seattle’s 6-yard line. Christian McCaffrey scored his only touchdown on the goal line to give the 49ers a 14-3 lead before halftime.

It might not have completely changed the game in Seattle’s favour, but Diggs’ drop stopped Seattle from staying in the game.

Winner: DL Arik Armstead

The 49ers’ defense dominated again, but these four players stood out and were the pillars of the defense’s success.

Armstead excelled on the inside of the defensive line, although he ended up with just one tackle. Not only did he play a role in keeping Kenneth Walker under 50 rushing yards in his fourth straight game, but he’s also hit the quarterback for the third straight week and is credited for multiple pressure points. His big plays never quite translate to boxing scores, but there’s always an impact when Armstead is as dominant as he was Thursday night.

Winner: DE Nick Bosa

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Nick Bosa had a pretty good game. His third-quarter sack was No. 15.5 on the season, which gave him 15 straight sack seasons, and he’s just 0.5 sacks from setting a new career high. He ended with the sack, two tackles, one for the loss, three quarterback hits and was in the backfield all night.

Bosa was likely deprived of an even bigger night thanks to a literally raucous passerby call. A push from Bosa forced Smith to get rid of the ball, but Deommodore Lenoir was there for an interception that was returned for a touchdown that would have put the 49ers 27-6 ahead. However, Bosa was ordered to beat up the passerby for failing to defy the laws of gravity and holding his body weight off Smith.

Outside of the penalty shootout, Bosa once again dominated on the edge of the 49ers’ line.

Winner: LB Dre Greenlaw

Greenlaw’s year continued Thursday night with an eight tackle performance that brings him to 111 tackles in the season. His biggest play was the aforementioned forced fumble in the second quarter, which Ward returned inside the Seattle 10-yard line, setting up the 49ers’ second touchdown of the game. Greenlaw also played well in the passing game, with two demolished passes and a batted ball at the line.

Greenlaw has made his mark on many games this season, but none is bigger than his forced fumble on Thursday.

Winner: CB Charvarius Ward

Rarely does Ward follow a receiver, but he did with DK Metcalf on Thursday night. Metcalf was targeted nine times with seven receptions for 55 yards, but his longest play of the game was just 13 yards. His receiving average was 7.86 yards, his third lowest in a game this season and his lowest since Week 9.

Ward bonded closely with Metcalf all game, interrupting two passes and even nearly intercepting him had Metcalf not grounded him and drawn a pass interference flag.

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