49ers news: Wild Card opponent set, JJ Watt thanks SF, and more
In 49ers news, the Wild Card Round is set
It came down to the wire on Sunday night, but the San Francisco 49ers finally learned who they’d be meeting in Santa Clara for the Wild Card Round: the Seattle Seahawks.
After the Seahawks won earlier in the day, eliminating the Detroit Lions, it was a win-and-you’re-in game for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
And … they did not.
Rodgers went 17-for-27 for 205 yards and threw a late-game interception that all but sealed the Packers’ fate. The Lions controlled the clock well for the final minutes after that and got a little revenge on their rival.
So it’s the 49ers will face the Seahawks for a third time this season.
San Francisco won both prior games, 27-7 in Week 2 and 21-13 in Week 15.
Mike Tanier took an early look at the game for Football Outsider and had this to say:
"It’s hard to beat an opponent three times in one season. It’s even harder to imagine the Seahawks finding a way to beat the 49ers. 49ers-Packers would have been a more compelling matchup, but the Packers proved unworthy of even getting the chance to be humiliated by the 49ers this time around."
Winners of 10 straight, with an offense scoring 30 or more points seemingly in five of its last six games, along with the league’s best defense in yards or points allowed per game, the 49ers seem like a team no one’s going to want to meet in the playoffs.
The full playoff schedule can be found here.
More 49ers news:
J.J. Watt thanks 49ers, fans
Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt thanked the 49ers for their treatment in the final game of his career.
Winner of three Defensive Player of the Year awards in his 12-year career, Watt announced earlier this season he planned to hang up the cleats, making SF the last team he’d ever face.
He went out on top, sacking 49ers QB Brock Purdy twice and exiting the field to a standing ovation.
"“I want to thank the 49ers. That was very classy, and their fans. You don’t have to do that for an opposing player in your stadium when you’re going to the playoffs, and I just appreciate them doing that,” Watt said. “That was better than I could have expected it to be, certainly from that standpoint.(Via CBS)"
Watt finished his career with 114.5 sacks.
49ers’ 2023-24 opponents announced
The NFL released the 2023 schedule opponents over the weekend. Get ready for the AFC North! San Francisco will host the Bengals and Ravens and travel to the Browns and Steelers.
For the 49ers, the opponents line up like this.
"Home: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, Cowboys, Giants, Bengals, Ravens, BuccaneersAway: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, Commanders, Eagles, Steelers, Browns, Vikings, Jaguars"
49ers make odd history
Here’s something unique: San Francisco made history Saturday after every opponent they faced went winless the following week.
That odd record became official when the Raiders fell to the Chiefs on Saturday.
- On Saturday and Sunday, teams around the league honored Damar Hamlin, who nearly died on the field on Monday when the Bills faced the Bengals. Hamlin has made a strong recovery since, and like everyone else tuned into the Sunday action and tweeted about it.
- There’s still a chance the AFC Championship will be played at a neutral site.
- The Texans fired Lovie Smith after the Texans’ game Sunday.