The San Francisco 49ers played better than anyone could have expected as they rolled to a 40-21 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park. The 49ers entered the game needing a win to avoid being eliminated from playoff contention. With the victory, the 49ers now find themselves a mere one game out of first place courtesy of their win and the Saints victory over the Rams.
The 49ers won this game in large part due to capitalizing on Seahawks mistakes. Matt Hasselbeck threw four interceptions and fumbled once and the 49ers were able to put together 20 points off those turnovers. The back-breaker was probably the pick-six by Dashon Goldson on the second play of the third quarter. That put the 49ers up 37-7 and seemed to cement the victory. The Seahawks managed two second half touchdowns but never could slow down the 49ers enough until it was too late.
The biggest upside to this victory in the short term is that they could rest some of their starters in the fourth quarter. The 49ers head down to San Diego for a battle with the Chargers on the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football. That leaves 3+ days of rest for both teams, which could mean potentially sloppy play. Given the Chargers home field advantage and traditional December advantage, a sloppy game might be what the 49ers need to spring what would be a key upset.