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Kyle Shanahan Says NFC West Crown Isn't 49ers' 'Final Goal' After Win vs. Seahawks

Adam WellsDecember 16, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 16: Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers leaves the field following the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan isn't satisfied with just winning a division title.

Speaking to reporters after the Niners clinched the NFC West with a 21-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night, Shanahan said this "isn't our final goal by any means."

"I'm very proud of our team and what we accomplished throughout the year to get to this," he added. "Our goal is to get into the tournament, and we accomplished that today, but now it's all trying to set that up to be the best situation we can and hopefully get some of our guys back, too, in the process."

The 49ers were something of an unknown coming into this season, despite reaching the NFC Championship Game last year.

Trey Lance was set to take over as the starting quarterback, though they did have Jimmy Garoppolo as the No. 2 signal-caller on the roster. It was unclear what the offense would look like with Lance at the helm.

A fractured ankle ended Lance's season in Week 2. Garoppolo had some struggles initially as he was getting back up to speed against opposing defenses, but he was in the midst of arguably his best season with 2,437 passing yards and 16 touchdowns.

Garoppolo suffered a broken bone in his foot against the Miami Dolphins in Week 13. While it remains unclear if he will be able to return this season, Brock Purdy has kept the offense playing at a high level.

The final pick in the 2022 NFL draft, Purdy is completing 69.1 percent of his passes for 612 yards with six touchdowns and one interception in the past three games. Christian McCaffrey has been incredible with 880 yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns in eight games since being acquired from the Carolina Panthers.

San Francisco's defense, meanwhile, leads the NFL in points allowed (15.0 per game) and yards allowed (286.1 per game).

Shanahan's attempt to downplay winning the division title makes sense. This 49ers have had a Super Bowl-caliber roster for the past four seasons. They advanced to the Super Bowl in 2019 before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Injuries derailed San Francisco's 2020 season, but it rebounded with a run to the NFC title game last season.

Since a 3-4 start this season, the 49ers have rattled off seven consecutive wins to clinch their second division title in the past four years. They are certainly capable of being the NFC representative in Super Bowl 57 if Purdy and the defense keep playing at a high level going into the postseason.