Before the game on Christmas Eve, Patrick Willis stood in a circle of playoff-bound 49ers and motivated his men with some violent but timely words: “Real men don’t throw punches while backing up; real men throw haymakers while moving forward!”
In an attempt to remind his team that they must continue moving aggressively onward, Willis—who sat out again in Seattle — still managed to lead his team with his words.
The 49ers' rivalry with the Seahawks was clear on Saturday night. It was a hard-fought game, filled with detest and rough play. The Niners would ultimately prevail with a final score of 19-17 and continue on their path into the postseason.
The Niners are now just one victory away from home-field advantage and a bye week in the playoffs. Assuming they win against St. Louis this week, the 49ers will only have to leave the comfort of Candlestick in the event that the Packers defeat their first-round opponent in the playoffs.
That scenario is very likely, as the Packers regained their championship form on Christmas night while punishing the Chicago Bears.
A Packer vs. 49ers matchup has seemed inevitable for quite some time now. If things continue on this trajectory, the 49ers will have to beat the defending champs — in their house — in order to have the chance to become champions again themselves.
A long road lies ahead. The 49ers still have many obstacles to overcome. However, for the first time this season, I truly believe that this team is capable of going all the way.
After sweeping the Seahawks in the “Battle in Seattle,” this Niners team has impressed me. This whole season has been impressive and the great thing about it is, “it ain’t over yet baby!”
Make sure you watch the game this weekend and check out the 49ers as they wrap up what has been a pleasantly surprising regular season.
This article was originally published in the Benicia Herald.