Rookie Brock Purdy delivered two touchdown passes to George Kittle, and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-13 on Thursday night for their first NFC West title since 2019.
Despite using their third starting quarterback this season, the 49ers (10-4) continue to show that they could play alongside Philadelphia. San Francisco’s seven-game winning streak has allowed Seattle to make countless mistakes with its suffocating defense.
The Niners got some big plays from their rookie quarterback. On the road for the first time in his career, Purdy was successful on his first 11 pass attempts, including a 28-yard TD to Kettle in the first quarter when Purdy was in his near End made two feints before the wide open.
Purdy and Kittle connected again early in the second half as Seattle’s defense blew up coverage, allowing Kittle to open a 54-yard TD and give San Francisco a 21-3 lead. Purdy finished 17-for-26 for 217 yards, joining Aaron Rodgers as the only quarterbacks since at least 1950 to score at least 115 passers in their first two starts.
Kittle had four catches for 93 yards and Christian McCaffrey rushed for 108 yards, including a 1-yard TD run in the final minute of the first half after a Seattle turnover.
Seattle (7-7) lost for the fourth time in five games, another blow to playoff hopes. Geno Smith threw for 238 yards and was Seattle’s first offensive touchdown against the 49ers this season, but he has been under pressure.
Seattle cut it to one point late in the fourth quarter after Robbie Gould missed a 43-yard field goal and the Seahawks went 67 yards with 1:25 left. Smith hit Noah Fant 10 yards with 3:35 left. But Purdy converted to 3-and-1 with a scramble before a 2-minute warning, and Jordan Mason sealed the win with a 55-yard dash with 1:02 left.
Smith was sacked three times and hit nine. When he does get time to throw, the window opens for his pass-catchers to be small. Seattle had one play over 20 yards.
Seattle missed an opportunity to capitalize on a 49ers error late in the first half.
Seattle scored its first offensive score in two games against the 49ers midway through the second quarter on a 38-yard field goal by Jason Myers. Seattle’s only score in Game 1 of Week 2 came on a blocked field goal that returned for a touchdown.
But the Seahawks then made two serious mistakes. Quandre Diggs gave up an interception that would have allowed Seattle to catch the ball on the San Francisco side of the field. Travis Homer was hit by Dre Greenlaw with 1:08 left in the second quarter for the Seattle 41s. Charvarius Ward returned the fumble from 35 yards and McCaffrey scored to give the 49ers a 14-3 lead two plays later.
The 49ers have scored 17 points or fewer in each game of their winning streak.