The San Francisco 49ers are NFC West champions.
San Francisco clinched the NFC West title after defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 21-13, on Thursday night. It’s the 49ers’ first division championship since 2019. The Week 15 victory also extended the 49ers’ winning streak to seven games.
The 49ers were led by their stout defense. San Francisco’s defense held Seattle to just 13 points and 277 total yards. The Seahawks didn’t score a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter.
San Francisco swept the season series over Seattle for the first time since 2011. The 49ers are now 5-0 in the NFC West.
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Here are the winner and losers from the NFC West battle:
Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Azeez Al-Shaair and the 49ers defense
The 49ers probably have the best trio of linebackers in the NFL, and they were on display in primetime. Warner, Greenlaw and Al-Shaair were all over the field attacking whoever had the football.
Greenlaw had a forced fumbled that was picked up by cornerback Charvarius Ward and returned to the Seattle 6-yard line.
The trio combined for 19 tackles, one tackle for loss, two pass deflections and a forced fumble in the win.
The 49ers defense entered Week 15 with the No. 1 defense in the NFL. San Francisco allowed the fewest yards per game (286.8) and the least number of points per game (15.2).
Warner, Greenlaw and Al-Shaair are a huge reason why San Francisco has the league’s top-rated defense.
49ers offense playing without star Deebo Samuel
Samuel is expected to miss about three weeks due to knee and ankle injuries. The 49ers offense did a solid job without the versatile wide receiver thanks to running back Christian McCaffrey and tight end George Kittle.
McCaffrey’s usage rate was noticeably high in the first half. The running back had 19 touches, 87 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the first half alone.
McCaffrey finished with 26 carries, 108 rushing yards, one rushing TD, six catches and 30 receiving yards.
49ers TE George Kittle scores twice
On Thursday night, Kittle became the fourth fastest tight end in NFL history to reach 5,000 career receiving yards, per NFL research. Kittle had nine catches, 93 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his 79th career regular-season game. The three-time Pro Bowler came into the game with 4,989 receiving yards.
Kittle’s 54-yard touchdown catch and run broke the game open in the second half.
Brock Purdy wins again
Purdy started the game a perfect 11-for-11 passing.
Purdy isn’t asked to do a lot. But the rookie quarterback managed the game well and didn’t commit any turnovers. He was 17-for-26 passing for 217 yards and two touchdowns in the win. He made very few bad passes.
Purdy has three consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes. His three consecutive games with at least two touchdowns are the longest such streak by a 49ers rookie QB since at least 1970.
49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans
The 49ers defensive coordinator is getting more and more head coaching buzz, and deservedly so. Ryans is in charge of the 49ers’ No. 1-ranked defense and the unit had another impressive game.
Ryans succeeded Robert Saleh in 2021 when Saleh left to become the New York Jets’ head coach.
Roughing the passer
Another week, another egregious roughing the passer call. This time, Nick Bosa was penalized for finishing the play on Seahawks QB Geno Smith. The flag negated a 49ers pick-six.
The Seahawks offense had a rough night at home against the 49ers’ stingy defense. The 49ers overwhelmed the Seahawks and played a step faster. The 49ers’ four down defensive linemen had Smith under duress almost every single Seahawks possession.
Seattle was kept out of the end zone for three quarters and were forced to punt seven times.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.