Guess which team suddenly has a pulse as we head down the season's home stretch?
Unfortunately for the rest of the NFL, particularly teams in their own conference, it's the reigning NFC champion San Francisco 49ers (9-4). With a strong display of offense, defense and special teams, the 49ers were able to derail the 11-2 Seattle Seahawks, who were riding a seven-game win streak.
This was a validating moment for coach Jim Harbaugh's squad and their never-say-die mentality.
As the team continues to take shape late in the year, and player chemistry and game flow develop all over the roster, the Niners are proving they're not out yet and could even still emerge as one of the favorites entering the postseason.
They've got it all—they're tough, balanced and well-coached. With the season they've had, they've got something to prove and now have the tools to do it.
Based on how its season has played out, there was an idea early on that San Francisco could mature into some sort of monster of a contender late in the season with all the additions. With a colossal statement win over the 'Hawks in Week 14, the 49ers appear to be justifying that notion.
Let's take a look at the most important takeaways from their latest win.