Brock Purdy leads 49ers to dominating win over Seattle; Five burning questions answered

Nick Bosa recover’s the fumble after Charles Omenihu strips the ball away from Geno Smith.

The San Francisco 49ers blew out the Seattle Seahawks 41-23 at Levi’s Stadium to advance into the second round of the NFC Playoffs. Except for the second quarter, it was all 49ers.

San Francisco opened the game with scores on its first two offensive possessions to take a ten point. The Seahawks responded with a pair of touchdown scores in to take a 14-13 lead.

After the 49ers kicked a field goal to retake the lead, Geno Smith took off for a scramble. As the Seattle quarterback began to slide, he was hit by Jimmie Ward resulting in a personal foul on the veteran defensive back. The 15-yard penalty allowed Seattle to attempt a long field goal and take a 17-16 lead into the half.

San Francisco’s offense opened the second half with a 13 play, 75-yard drive. Brock Purdy picked up the final yard to give the 49ers a 23-17 lead.

On the ensuing Seattle drive the Seahawks moved the ball into the redzone. With Seattle threatening to score defensive lineman Charles Omenihu got to Geno Smith forcing a fumble. Nick Bosa jumped on the ball for the turnover.

San Francisco took advantage. Purdy led the offense on a long drive, hitting Elijah Mitchell with a touchdown to give the 49ers a two score lead and the route was on.

Here are five things to watch for during the game:

1.) Is Brock Purdy ready for the moment? YES

Brock Purdy did something that neither Joe Montana nor Steve Young could. The rookie became the first 49ers quarterback since at least 1980 to not record a turnover in his first playoff start.

Purdy finished the game 18-30, 332 yards, with three touchdowns through the air and one on the ground.

It was a tale of two halves for Purdy. The seventh-round draft pick looked shaky on the opening possession, missing several throws. Despite the uneven start, Purdy was able to connect with Christian McCaffrey for the 49ers lone touchdown of the first half.

The second half was a thing of beauty as Purdy hit nine of eleven pass attempts for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored on a one-yard sneak.

One of Purdy’s two incompletions was highlight reel worthy. The quarterback escaped pressure from his left, made a defender miss and fired a perfect pass to Brandon Aiyuk in the back corner of the end zone but the receiver was unable to hold on. Saying this play was reminiscent of Patrick Mahomes would be an understatement.

2.) Is the 49ers offensive line up to the task? YES

Aaron Banks returned to make the start at left guard leading to Spencer Burford and Daniel Brunskill splitting reps on the right side.

The San Francisco offensive line was solid, creating running lanes and protecting the quarterback throughout.

San Francisco finished with 181 yards on 33 rushing attempts, including gains of 68 and 22 yards on the opening two possessions of the game. Solid pass protection led to only three hits and one sack of Purdy.

3.) Will Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle stay hot? YES

It was another stellar performance for Christian McCaffrey as he finished with 136 total yards and a touchdown on 17 touches.

The running back opened San Francisco’s second offensive possession with a 68-yard sprint down the left sideline. Four plays later he finished it off with a three-yard touchdown reception.

Although Kittle did not reach the endzone for the first time in four weeks the tight end had a pair of big receptions for a total of 37 yards. He also caught a two-point conversion to give the 49ers a 31-17 lead.

Saturday also saw a breakout performance for Deebo Samuel. Samuel had 165 total yards and a touchdown on just nine touches. In addition to a 74-yard touchdown grab, Samuel also had a 22-yard run to help set up the 49ers first points of the game.

4.) Will the 49ers front seven force Geno Smith to beat them? YES

Kenneth Walker gave the 49ers defense trouble in the first half picking up 54 yards on 13 carries. San Francisco caught a break when Seattle went away from the run in the second half, running the ball only five times.

After completing nine of ten attempts for 104 yards in the first half, Smith struggled after the break.

With the game put more on his shoulders in the second half Smith completed just 16 of 25 passes for 136 yards, most of that coming in garbage time.

In addition to the previously mentioned strip sack by Charles Omenihu, Deommodore Lenoir also came up big for the 49ers defense. After struggling the last couple weeks Lenoir was solid in coverage including a second half interception, just the second of his career.

5.) Can the San Francisco secondary keep D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in front of them? NO

D.K. Metcalf made his first big play of the season against San Francisco when he beat Charvarius Ward on a go route down the left sideline for a 50-yard touchdown. Although he finished with 136 yards and two touchdowns on 10 receptions, Metcalf was able to get behind the 49ers defense just the one time.

Tyler Lockett did not fare as well. The receiver had six grabs for 39 yards and a long of only ten. Although he couldn’t get deep Lockett was able to move the sticks on several occasions.  

Bonus question: Who wins the turnover battle? San Francisco

The forced fumble by Charles Omenihu which was recovered by Nick Bosa and Lenoir’s interception helped San Francisco improve to 23-3 since the beginning of 2021 when they don’t turn the ball over more than their opponent.


49ers 20 Seahawks 16


This article has 50 Comments

  1. This is why data don’t tell the whole story.
    Brock had a lousy 1st half (jitters?) and almost had 2 easy interceptions
    The final score makes it seem SF ran over SS, that was only true in the 4thQ
    Exciting game though.
    Who’s next?

  2. Lately the D has not started well, then Ryans makes his usual great 2nd half adjustments and they kick butt in the 2nd half. He needs to get his D ready to start games. As they face better and better teams in the playoffs he will eventually face a team that will get up on us in the 1st half by so much the O will not be able to make it up. If this team does not make the SB it will be because of the D not the O.

    1. Yes, like the Ravens and Niners in the Harbaugh Brothers Super Bowl 10 years ago. The Ravens jumped to a 28-6 lead before the Niners staged the comeback that fell short. We’ll have to see how this all plays out over the coming two weeks and whether they advance under Purdy or not.

    2. ” If this team does not make the SB it will be because of the D not the O.”
      To paraphrase Bill Walsh, the offense will have done its if it scores 4 TDs on road games. This defense is good enough to hold the AFC champion to less than 28 points if the offense can continue putting up 30+ points as it has done with Purdy.

  3. I think as 49ers fans we tend to want perfection. Just remember no team is perfect in this league. All teams have some weaknesses. At one point Buffalo seemed like they might be it, but I think we’re easily in that league of top teams now. Brock Purdy has been a game changer and a great example of what good quarterbacking can do for this team. The defense no longer needs to be perfect. That’s the difference between the 2019 team and now.

  4. Great game. And Very exciting. Not only do we have a heck of a defense again, but now we have an offense to match. With a little luck this team can go all the way.

  5. Shaky first half on both sides of the ball for the Niners, but dang if the 49ers put on a symphony of dominance in the 2nd half, with Brock Purdy as their conductor!

    I get no joy in comparing the postseason version of Jimmy Garoppolo, with that of Brock Purdy, but after watching Brock’s 2nd half masterpiece, in only his 1st NFL postseason start (6th NFL start), I feel like some closure needs to be had for those of us who have been 100% convinced that Jimmy has actually been holding this team back over the years, particularly in the postseason. Jimmy Garoppolo certainly deserves some credit for winning as many regular season starts as he did for the Niners, dating back to 2017, but the fact is …. Jimmy has been almost solely responsible for the 49ers recent postseason heartache during the Kyle era (although Kyle does deserve some portion of the blame), so I simply cannot let this opportunity go to waste as I bid farewell to the handsome Italian QB with the happiest feet I’ve ever seen out of a “franchise QB”.

    Here we go:

    Jimmy Garoppolo is a walking contradiction. On one hand …. he wins a lot of games as a starter. On the other hand …. as far as I can tell, he never improved his game after his impressive stretch of starts at the end of 2017. He never learned how to read middle linebackers, and he seemed oblivious to his mechanical shortcomings. Jimmy has never been a good at attacking CB’s and Safeties down the field, because his mechanics in the pocket – happy feet and poor weight transfer – simply don’t translate to downfield accuracy on his throws. I don’t blame Jimmy for being so slow-footed athletically, moving around the backfield like he’s wearing ankle weights, but I DO blame Jimmy for having a pair of the “happiest feet” that I’ve ever seen! It’s such a fixable flaw, but it’s fatal when he caught throwing off the wrong foot because of it. And to allow his fixable mechanical flaws to turn him into a gun-shy downfield thrower of the football, is incredibly maddening to me, and something I find to be absolutely intolerable! And when you combine these annoyances with the worst statistical postseason career in the modern Super Bowl era (especially in the 4th QTR), I can’t help but focus on the fact that Brock Purdy was able to ….. in one start, match Jimmy’s entire postseason TD total!

    Postseason comparison:

    Jimmy Garoppolo4 TD’s, 6 INT’s, 74.1 Passer Rating through 6 postseason starts | Brock Purdy4 TD’s [3 pass/1 rush], 0 INT’s, 131.5 Passer Rating through 1 postseason start. And if you guys need any more proof that Jimmy Garoppolo is the worst 4th QTR QB in the Super Bowl era, consider this – Brock Purdy just scored twice as many 4th QTR points (18) in his first start, than Jimmy G. has scored in his entire 6 game – postseason career (9)!

    Goodbye Jimmy Garoppolo. Thanks for everything, but please …. don’t let the door hit you in the a_s on your way out!

    1. i dont get the attention still being paid to JG…..the comparison or whatever. There is no comparison! We all knew JG was limited with what he could do physically. We all knew that we could do a lot worse at the qb position as well. This roster is so stacked…..that the focus finally was upgrading the qb position..see; Trey Lance.
      Well….the football gods work in mysterious ways! Lance goes down, BP comes in and takes the league by storm!
      Anyone watching the games these past couple months knows BP is superior to JG. BP is playing great football, but still has room to improve……JG is still a solid starter in this league and will be an upgrade to whatever team he plays for next. I can name 10 teams that regret not getting him last offseason and a couple former HCs who directly lost their job by not doing so. To continue going after JG just seems mean spirited……
      The real question now ……is weather BP has taken the job from TL! Its not a question i want to ponder just yet……because BPs story is still being played out. What happens in this next month will set the stage for what happens this offseason and into the 2023 season. I plan to enjoy this ride before i give much thought to next season. JGs final chapter is not yet finished either……. if we win one more game…..i expect JG to return as our back up for the final 2……who knows, maybe he’s called on once again………but once this season concludes… will be time to thank JG for his service and wish him well……..and just remember……it could have been a lot worse over these last 5 years.

  6. Very good win. I felt that the 49ers were sleep-walking in the 1st half and came alive in the 2nd half after the seahawks DB twisted Deebo’s knee while he was down. The 49ers def showed some fire after that dirty non-penalty play.

    Purdy checked the final box for me. I wondered if he could win a playoff game. He did!
    After a sluggish start he had the resiliency to lead the team back in the second half for the big win.

    Seattle has some nice young talent and may once again become the 49ers best rival for years to come. But that’s for future consideration, right now the 49ers own Petey’s team.

  7. I dont really agree with everything you wrote. It felt like the Seahawks were winning in the trench for stretches in the game. Seahawks controlled the interior of the 49er O line. Seemed like the successful run plays were misdirection or off the ends. Elijah Mitchell had 2 yards on 9 carries. It looked like he was getting those interior run calls and they were all stuffed. But the great thing in this game was the winning mindset where the interior o-line getting dominated really didn’t matter. This team has that “It” attitude that you can’t really explain. It’s the winning contagion where everyone is all in. Truly a pleasure to watch. I’m becoming a believer in Purdy. Forgets the bad first half and is great in the 2nd half. All indications are he’s a playmaker in crunch time which may be the most important trait for any QB.

    1. I feel the same way, 1.6….to me, it looked the middle of Seattles D line was moving Brunskill, Banks, Brendle and Burford off the line and closing off the running lanes in the first half..there were couple of plays where Aaron Banks looked like he was lost..all in all, the O line played well…if the 9ers play Philly, hits and misses aren’t gonna make it..this O line will need to dominate

    2. I’m on the same page, 1.6…to me, it looked the middle of Seattles D line was moving Brunskill, Banks, Brendle and Burford off the line and closing off the running lanes in the first half..there were couple of plays where Aaron Banks looked like he was lost..all in all, the O line played well…if the 9ers play Philly, hits and misses aren’t gonna make it..this O line will need to dominate

    3. Per NBCsports Bayarea,
      “The 49ers racked up an astonishing 505 total yards — 324 passing and 181 rushing — against the Seahawks, marking the third playoff game in franchise history San Francisco reached the 500-yard milestone.”

      Not sure if we watched the same game. But 500 yrds of offense is pretty doggone good. Especially when it falls into a historical category.
      This game reminded me of last week’s game with the Cardinals. A close first half game and then a dominant performance in the 2nd half.
      181 yrds rushing is also nothing to sneeze at. Sure CMC covered most of that on one run, but if the final tally shows 181 yrds and a win, I’m a happy old man!
      I too, saw John Bodie, Matt Hazeltine, Gene Washington, Ken Willard and many other 49ers players at Kezar. So at least, we have a common thread on something 😉

      1. Every football game I have ever watched had 4 quarters. Win easy, win barely, win big, JUST WIN. I am a glass 1/2 full kinda guy. For me, no matter what happens the rest of the season, this has been an incredible season to watch.

      2. Too many people get fixated on a couple plays and don’t see the forest thru the trees. While not perfect and sometimes struggling against other professional players, I thought the O line did a very good job and as they say, proof are in the pudding (results).

      3. I’m happy too. You kind of restated my point. It was a game of 2 halves. 49ers interior O-line got manhandled but the team overcame that in the 2nd half. There was one facet that wasn’t working so well but the team overcame that to win by 18 points. That’s why I’m so optimistic about these playoffs. You can take away one facet of the game but you’re still going to get your butt kicked somewhere else. Last year in the NFCCG, the Rams shut down the run game and that’s what won them the game. This year if a defense shuts down the run game, they will pay for it in the pass game which will then reopen the run game. There really is a pick your poison feel to this 49er offense.

        1. I hear you, 1.9.
          But in the 49ers vs Rams NFCCG last year the biggest issue was stopping Cooper Kupp who had 11 catches, 142 yrds and two TDs. Hence, resulting in the 49ers signing C. Ward in the off season.

          There are no perfect games in the NFL. We (me included) want to see complete domination of all our players over the opposing team, but it doesn’t work that way.

          Dating back to my youthful Kezar games to the current Levi’s venue, I’ll take a win anyway it comes.

  8. Without Omenihu‘s strip sack that shifted the momentum, the game would be closer. The outcome could be either team. The game opened with exciting 10-0 lead, then the 49ers D again, as always, showed signs of trouble stopping attack from mobil QB + good RB. The D line was totally confused and gave the QB time for big plays. Both Ebukam and Greenlaw didn’t contain the edge that led to Walker III walked into end zone and built up the Hawks confidence. Thanks to Carroll for stopping his running attack. The 49ers D is good but not as dominant #1 as advertised. They were battling the 9-8 Hawks not the Eagles, Bills or Chiefs.

    1. Each of those three teams you mentioned is also equally capable of having a less than perfect game.

      I don’t quite understand this premise that the 49ers must play perfect for us to believe that the team is in the conversation as the best in the NFL right now.

      And the defense- they gave up 1 chunk play. One!! I think we are stuck back in 2019 when the defense had to be perfect for this team to have a chance at the trophy. I don’t believe that is the case now. I’m taking our chances against all three of those teams. One only needs to see what fans of other teams are saying about this 49ers squad. It almost seems unfair the level of talent we have on both sides of the ball.

      The offense is now capable of carrying the defense if it has an off day, which it really didn’t. I think we’re expecting the defense to be the ‘85 Bears but that’s not needed because our offense is more than capable of carrying this team when needed.

      It will certainly be a tough matchup to play against the Eagles in Philadelphia, or the Chiefs, Bills and Bengals in the Super Bowl. But I still think the fans of all those teams are equally worried about playing this current 49ers team. We’re that good all around.

      But first thing’s first- beat the team in front of you next week!

        1. I usually don’t like to comment on other posters on here but I find you to be quite tiresome. I guarantee you I’ve been a 49er faithful fan for as long as you and maybe longer than you’ve been alive. I go back to Kezar probably just like you. Posting legitimate criticism or just your thoughts about performance on a 49er blog is not “Doom and Gloom.” That is called engaging in conversation with fellow fans. Your post is just a dishonest attempt to shut down someone who is honest about their thoughts on the game. The truth is Joe Montana was good but not great in the NFCCG in 1981. When it mattered at the end of the game, Walsh called 2 double reverses to move down the field. He didn’t pass the ball. Montana threw 3 picks with a rating of 81 in that game but he was great on the play when it mattered most. Montana became consistently great in the playoffs after that year. Montana is my favorite NFL player and in my opinion the greatest football player of all time. It’s ok to acknowledge facts even if those facts amount to critiques against the 49ers.

          1. Yeah I don’t agree with the “Doom and Gloom” comment either. Your opinions are valued. A difference in opinion is healthy for a debate. Certainly not looking to attack the person behind the opinion. If everyone agreed, what’s the point of even commenting here?

            1. Everyone is free to state their opinion. RedNGold stated his opinion about the 49er defense. Hacksaw stated his opinion about RedNGold. I find making personal assumptions about a poster and labeling them as “Doom & Gloom” because they state a football opinion to be exceptionally tiresome. I’m free to have that opinion too. People can say whatever they want. Others are free to critique. Just like you critiquing me – pura vida amigo.

              1. 1.9,
                Yo soy de aquedo con usted.
                But, the term doom and gloom used in a football context (not everyday life) is not to be taken serious.
                But, if you find it offensive, I respect that. Some people here have used the term “glass half empty half full” which probably would have gone over a little less edgy. But at the end of the day, you are right, everyone should be able to express their opinions.

                Cowboys or Bucs tonight?

              2. Aes,
                I disagree with the posts of many here, thats part of the fun of being here. I try to disagree in an agreeable fashion. I will tell you that I disagree with you but I never describe someones opinion as dumb, doom and gloom or any other negative adjective. I think the vibe of the blog has gotten better since Jack has taken over but I think it is still a place that all 49er fans can come to and post their opinions positive or negative on how the team/coach/players/ownership are doing.

              3. Coach,
                It could be a touchy subject. There should be no name calling when disagreeing with someone’s opinion.
                But many of us are guilty of it. How many of us have critiqued Shanahan’s play calling over the years? He’s been called immature, stubborn, incompetent and a coach who is guilty of calling plays that lead to players injury. It’s football, not life.

                Sure, it behooves us not to put labels on anyone. I guess, that I’m just too old to be bothered by this (because I don’t take a football blog seriously), but if others are bothered, they are to be respected.
                Someone once said, know your audience before you speak. That certainly carries truth and wisdom.
                I agree that Jack has done a tremendous job in righting the ship. He’s the reason why I came back.

  9. Kudos to the coaching staff for the half time adjustments. Both offense and defense were more solid in the second half, and while the Seahawks made a mistake by limiting their running game the Niners took over and were responsible for the one-sided second half. However, I agree with Old Coach that Ryans needs to prepare the defense for an opponent; the scheme he had this time was faulty in the first half.

  10. I’m surprised that people already are done with Purdy and say that he checked all boxes.
    As far as I am concerned he has to check 3 more
    1) can he get us to NFC championship game
    2) can he win the NFC championship game
    3) can he win the SuperBowl!
    If he wins the SB he will be ……

  11. After watching the Bills squeeze out a win against Miami, I’m more than convinced that the 49ers could beat them if they meet in the Superbowl.

    As I’ve said before, the 49ers could beat any of the teams in the playoffs.

    My perfect SB scenario is the Chiefs and 49ers. This possible game has “classic” written all over it.
    Plus, the 49ers have some unfinished business with the Chiefs.

  12. The biggest difference in yesterdays game………Welcome back Deebo. He looked like last years Deebo for the first time this season.

    1. For some reason the Giants seem to be (for lack of a better term) giant killer’s in the playoffs and Superbowls. They are definitely trending up at the perfect time. They might be 49ers biggest test in a NFC Championship scenario.
      We’ll see.

  13. So now its either Dallas or TB. I believe that means we will play Sun. That would give us a day extra to prepare and a short week and road game for Dall/TB

  14. I don’t care. If the magic finally comes to an end Sunday and the Bucs or Cowboys prevail over the 49ers, so be it. It’s been one hell of a ride and I for one say on to the 2023 season under Purdy and/or Lance. That is something to really look forward to.

  15. The inside of the 49ers’ offensive line was dominated by the Seahawks. The runs that were successful seemed to be the result of misdirection or tipped passes. On 9 attempts, Elijah Mitchell gained just 2 yards. It seemed that he was receiving requests for runs through the interior, and they were all full. The inside o-line was dominated, but the beautiful thing about this game was the winning mentality.

  16. Demeco Ryans has four HC interviews scheduled this week. These interviews can take up to five hours each. I hope this isn’t taking time away from game planning. He needs to improve his first half game plans over his recent ones. It shouldn’t affect his usual great halftime adjustments.

    1. Coach,
      I agree. There needs to be better defensive game planning for the first half.
      Fortunately, he’s shown his good coaching wares in being able to make very good half time adjustments.

      I think that he will take a head coaching job after the playoffs.
      I believe that the 49ers (John Lynch) are already in search of their next Dcord.
      Do the 49ers hire a retread Dcord or a fresh face like Demeco?

      1. AES,
        It will be interesting who Ryans brings with him as O and D coordinators. I could see him asking Anthony Lynn as his OC and 49ers LB coach Johnny Holland as his DC. Then KS will have to decide whether he gets into a bidding war over them or he goes else where. Rumor has it that Fangio is going with Sean Payton so he may be out of the mix.
        On a completely different subject, did anyone notice C. Ward struggling with his balance or leg strength Sun? To me he didn’t look right. I know there was a virus going around the team but he looked like his legs were giving out. It also could have been the field or his choice of cleats but it sure looked like leg weakness to me.

        1. If Ryan brings 49ers asst. coaches with him (just hypothetical at the moment) I believe that the 49ers receive some draft picks, but not really sure on that.

          Yes, CW didn’t look right, but Metcalf can do that to CBs.

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