49ers wrestle away 1st place in NFC West by smashing Cardinals

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

42. 10. 32. Final. 38

The 49ers could take advantage of the Seahawks’ Week 11 bye by beating the Cardinals, which is exactly what happened to shake up the NFC West standings.

The San Francisco 49ers had one simple objective heading into their Week 11 matchup in Mexico City against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.

Pull off a win.

Yes, that’s cliche. But a victory over the Red Birds would do so much for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad in addition to simply improving the Niners’ record to 6-4 on the season.

For starters, given the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks entered Week 11 on their bye, San Francisco could wrap up the week’s action with an identical record. Combine that with getting yet another victory within the division after beating the Hawks in Week 2 and knocking off the Los Angeles Rams twice already, and the 49ers could find themselves in first place within the NFC West by the time the night was out.

After the Niners dominated the Cardinals 38-10 on Monday night from Estadio Azteca, that’s exactly how things panned out.

NFL standings: 49ers now possess 1st place in NFC West after beating Cardinals

San Francisco remains undefeated within the division after knocking off Arizona on Monday. The next time Shanahan and Co. face off against an NFC West team will be versus the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football in Week 15 from Lumen Field in Seattle.

Until that point, though, the 49ers can take comfort in knowing they hold the top spot within the division:

  1. San Francisco 49ers (6-4)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
  3. Arizona Cardinals (4-7)
  4. Los Angeles Rams (3-7)

That perfect divisional record is the key tiebreaker the Niners hold over the Hawks, too, and another divisional win over Seattle in a few weeks could essentially make San Francisco NFC West champions this season.

But there’s more.

Entering Week 11, the 49ers were clinging to the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoff picture. With the victory, combined with the other goings-on within the league over the weekend, the Niners climb to the No. 3 seed in the conference standings and would get a home game in the Wild Card round if the postseason started now.

It doesn’t, but San Francisco can still feel pretty good about being first in the division after such a dominant win.

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