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49ers pound Cardinals, earn No. 2 seed in NFC

Sean McDermott reflects on how he and the players navigated competing against a division rival in the first game since Damar Hamlin's collapse.

The 49ers are the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs after a dominant win today over the Cardinals.

Today’s 38-13 win improves San Francisco to 13-4 on the season, meaning they’ll be at home for a wild card game against the No. 7 seed next weekend. The only time the 49ers would go on the road before the Super Bowl would be if they met Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game.

Brock Purdy continued to play the kind of efficient football that no one could possibly have expected from a rookie third-string quarterback who was the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft. And running backs Elijah Mitchell and Christian McCaffrey both played well.

The Cardinals started the game with a great trick play 77-yard touchdown pass from David Blough to A.J. Green, but other than that they couldn’t do much of anything. J.J. Watt, playing the last game of his Hall of Fame career, had two sacks, and that was about the only good thing to say about the Cardinals, who finish the season 4-13.

But the 49ers look like one of the best teams in football. They’re Super Bowl contenders.