49er’s Win Sets Playoff Tone

The 49ers end the season on a high note.  Tonight’s win marks their 10th straight win this season.  Brock Purdy threw three touchdowns.  Brandon Aiyuk topped 1000 reception yards for the season.  Elijah Mitchell shows he is ready for the playoffs as he ran for two touchdowns.  Christian McCaffrey collected 79 total yards and a touchdown.  Tashaun Gipson Sr. grabbed two interceptions.  The defense forced four turnovers and three sacks.  Nick Bosa added another sack to his tally.  Finally, Jordan Willis managed his second sack/forced fumble this year.

The game didn’t start well.  David Blough came in and hung the ball out for a 67-yard bomb to AJ Green who stumbled and bumbled into the end-zone for a touchdown.  Green out jumped Deommodore Lenoir who was going for the interception.  Lenoir would have been wise to just knock the ball down.  Hopefully he gets coached up on that this week.

San Francisco 49ers safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (31) reacts after intercepting a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

The 49ers immediately answered with a touchdown drive of their own.  Then their offense went stagnate.  The Cardinals pass rush consistently found its way to Brock Purdy, sacking him four times.  JJ Watt sacked him twice over the course of the game.  Notably, early in the game JJ Watt was finding his way to beat the double team of Spencer Burford and Mike McGlinchey.  When he wasn’t defeating the double team, he was looping around from the edge to the center of the offensive line forcing Purdy out of the pocket.  Eventually Coach Shanahan started scheming around the problem.  However, before Coach Shanahan solved the pass rush issue, the 49ers went three and out, three possessions in a row.  Finally, Tashaun Gipson Sr. woke the team up with an interception and the 49ers drove the short field for a go-ahead touchdown.  Though the Cardinals scored another touchdown the game was over.  The 49ers offense was finally awake and humming.

Tonight’s game was a complete team win.  The defense and special teams gave the offense short fields to work with.  When the offense finally woke up, they ran and passed the ball well.  The Niners offense is poised to do well in the playoffs.  They have all their playmakers available.  All of them impacted tonight’s game.  They were all able to rest in the fourth quarter once the 49ers put the game away.

It was nice to see Levi’s Stadium honor JJ Watt’s final game of the season.  He walked off the field for the last time to a standing ovation.  He went out with a bang, collecting two sacks and multiple quarterback pressures.  Now we watch to see if we play Green Bay or the Seahawks in round one.

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (99) waves after an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)




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