San Francisco 49ers fans were probably sweating a bit at halftime with their team down in Santa Clara.
But the Niners proved in the second half Saturday why they were huge favorites against the Seattle Seahawks.
The 49ers dominated their NFC West rivals in the second half en route to a 41-23 win in the wild-card round.
It was San Francisco’s 11th straight win, and quarterback Brock Purdy is now 6-0 since taking over for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Niners offense got rolling almost immediately, scoring on each of its first two drives with a Robbie Gould field goal and a Christian McCaffrey touchdown. Seattle got on the board in the second quarter with a Kenneth Walker score.
After Gould kicked another field goal, Geno Smith found DK Metcalf for a 50-yard touchdown. Suddenly, the Seahawks were up 14-13 with just over five minutes left in the first half.
Gould kicked his third field goal with 13 ticks remaining in the half, and the 49ers decided to squib the kickoff. A 49ers’ personal foul put the Seahawks in field goal range. Jason Myers drilled a 56-yard field goal to put the Seahawks up 17-16 heading into the locker room.
But Seattle didn’t hold the momentum for long. The Niners answered quickly in the second half with a one-yard rushing touchdown by Purdy to take a six-point lead.
The Seahawks were again driving and inside the red zone. But on third down, quarterback Geno Smith lost a fumble, and the Niners pounced and did not let up.
A seven-play, 70-yard drive ended with Purdy scrambling to find Elijah Mitchell for a touchdown, and the ensuing two-point conversion made it a 31-17 lead for San Fran. Deebo Samuel added a 74-yard touchdown shortly after.
The Niners outscored Seattle 25-6 in the second half.
Purdy finished with 332 yards on 18-for-30 passing, throwing three touchdowns and running for another. McCaffrey added 119 yards on the ground on his 15 carries, while Samuel finished with six receptions for 133 yards. Brandon Aiyuk added three catches for 73 yards.
Smith was 25-for-35 through the air, throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns, along with a pick and a fumble. Metcalf caught 10 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the losing effort.
The Niners now wait to see who their opponent is in the divisional round.