San Francisco 49ers Prove Why They Should Be Super Bowl Favorites in Wild Card Win Versus Seattle Seahawks

The San Francisco 49ers are the team to beat in the NFL. They blew out the Seattle Seahawks, and Brock Purdy didn't even play particularly well.

The score wasn’t close, but the game was close for a half. The San Francisco 49ers ran away and hid in the second half, proving why they’ve been the most dominant team in the league over the past three months. The 49ers got help from the zebras that they probably didn’t need, but they used that opportunity to step on the Seattle Seahawks’ throats as great teams do.

The San Francisco 49ers’ Dominance Isn’t New

The 49ers team DVOA sat at 51.6 from Week 8-18, when they won 10 straight games to end their regular season. The 20.9% difference between them and the Kansas City Chiefs, who were second through that time, is the difference between the fifth- and 18th-best teams over that same period.

In layman’s terms, nobody could hold a candle to San Francisco in the back half of the season. They accomplished that dominance despite being on their third QB of the season and did so without their best offensive player for a few weeks late in the season.

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Over that time, they ranked first in opponent points per game, second in points per game, and had the best turnover differential in the league. They also ranked second in offensive EPA and first in defensive EPA over that time.

They’re the best team in the league, and somehow Kyle Shanahan has found a way for QB play to be a limited factor in their offensive success.

Brock Purdy’s Imperfect Night Is Hidden By Near-Perfect Production

Brock Purdy was not good against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. He looked uncomfortable in the pocket, often defaulting to a common tactic used by young QBs who feel pressure and roll out to their left. He was forced to throw passes away and was nearly intercepted multiple times by linebackers in the quick game.

But none of that matters because Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey, and Brandon Aiyuk exist. John Lynch and Shanahan have built a roster full of YAC monsters that can take a four-yard crossing route with a draping defender for 17 yards after breaking two tackles. And they all block their rear ends off downfield, too.

Purdy had an inconsistent day at the office, but it didn’t matter because the weapons at his disposal are outrageous. If Purdy gets his feet underneath him in the coming weeks, it’s hard to imagine a team that’ll be able to compete with the 49ers’ talent and depth on each side of the ball.

The 49ers Took Advantage of Advantageous Officiating

Two ineligible men downfield penalties, a curious holding call, and an egregious no-call on a CB Charvarius Ward hold very well could have been the turning points of this game.

And while the 49ers were the beneficiaries of the officiating, they did what the truly great teams do: They took advantage of the help they received and ran away with a dominant win.

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The first ineligible man call took a third-and-two and made it a second-and-14. That then turned into a third-and-14 strip-sack of Geno Smith that was recovered by Nick Bosa at the 49ers’ 30-yard line. The game was 23-17 in favor of San Francisco at that time.

A holding call on Stone Forsythe made a 10-yard run a 10-yard penalty instead. And after a false start from Charles Cross, the referees missed a blatant hold on Ward against Metcalf that would have given Seattle a first down following a 1st-and-25 situation.

That was the game. Seattle was forced to punt, and a 74-yard Deebo Samuel touchdown on the 49ers’ first play of the next drive sealed Seattle’s playoff fate.

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