With their nail-biter win against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night, the Niners are headed to the playoffs as the Number One seed in the NFC West — the first time that's been the case since 1997.
It was a classic late-season game by any standard, and Seattle could have taken it were it not for tight end Jacob Hollister getting tackled just inches short of a touchdown in a fourth down try with nine seconds left in the fourth quarter. 49ers linebackers Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner were responsible for that dramatic turn, handing their team a 26-21 victory on the road in Seattle — the first time the Niners have bested the Seahawks in Seattle since 2011, as the Associated Press notes.
Now San Francisco is on the road to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2012, and it's the team's the first time as division champs with home field advantage for the duration of the playoffs in 22 years, per the AP.
As the Mercury News' Dieter Kurtenbach writes, recently signed Seahawk Marshawn Lynch made a touchdown but still "looked like he was running in quicksand." He adds that the Seahawks had a better quarterback in Sunday's game in Russell Wilson. But the 49ers did everything else better. "San Francisco ran the ball better. They played better defense, even though they faded late in the game. The 49ers were more creative and executed those plays better, too. They had better players on both lines of scrimmage and the better skill position players away from the fray, too."
Niners quarterback, who played very well, was naturally pretty psyched after the victory.
The AP also notes an interesting stat tidbit: The 49ers played the very first NFL game of the decade on January 3, 2010, which was Week 17 of that season. And on Sunday, they played the very last game of the decade as well.
The 49ers don't play again until January 11, when they will take on the lowest remaining seed in the divisional playoffs. The team has only two more home games before a possible Super Bowl appearance to kick off the new decade.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, have their work cut out for them. They will need to do what no other West Coast team has ever done, as the Merc notes: win three post-season games on the road in order to head to the Super Bowl.