By Charlie Erdman
The NFL regular season has concluded and the San Francisco 49ers are primed for a playoff push after conquering the NFC West title with a record of 13-4. After finishing their regular season with a convincing win over the Arizona Cardinals this past Sunday, the 49ers are set to host west coast rivals the Seattle Seahawks in an elimination Playoff Wild Card game this upcoming Saturday, January 14th.
Entering Saturday’s pivotal Wild Card matchup, the San Francisco 49ers are looking to win their 11th consecutive game. After losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in week seven of the regular season, the 49ers have not been beaten. In large part to their historically dominant defense, San Francisco captured the NFC West title for the second time in the last five seasons. Led by star defensive end and current NFL sack leader Nick Bosa, the 49ers defense has terrified it’s opposition and has allowed their own offense to flourish.
Quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo both went down with significant injuries but 7th round pick and rookie Quarterback Brock Purdy has come into his own and helped the 49ers remain undefeated in their last 10. As the final pick in the NFL draft, precisely pick number 262, Brock Purdy was given the “Mr. Irrelevant” label donned to each year’s final pick. Purdy has not only ditched the “Mr. Irrelevant” label but has helped propel the 49ers into the playoffs and has become a relevant revelation. In addition to the rise of Brock Purdy, San Francisco acquired superstar running back and Stanford alum Christian McCaffrey in a mid season trade with the Carolina Panthers. McCaffrey has bolstered the 49ers prolific running attack and gives head coach Kyle Shanahan another weapon to utilize in an already potent offense containing stars Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk.
The opposing Seattle Seahawks are seeking to defeat the 49ers after losing their first two games of the regular season to San Francisco. Led by star receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, the Seahawks passing attack is their best bet at beating the 49ers. Veteran quarterback Geno Smith hasn’t looked back after taking the reigns from former Seahawk and current Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. Smith has rebuilt and redefined his career in Seattle and most recently broke multiple Seahawk passing records. This past Sunday, Smith set a franchise record in season passing yards, completions, completion percentage, and pass attempts in the final game of the regular season. His completion percentage which stands at 69.8% is the 2022-23 NFL season best. Smith will need receivers Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, and rookie running back Kenneth Walker III to perform at their best in order to beat a 49ers team and defense that has the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy on their mind.
The 49ers will try to make it 11 wins in a row against the rival Seattle Seahawks in a win or go home elimination game this coming Saturday, January 14th, at 1:30 pm PST. Feel free to tune in and enjoy a highly entertaining matchup which pins two talented teams against each other with both of their respective seasons on the line.