SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Discount San Francisco 49ers Jerseys‘ playoff drought is over. But it didn’t happen how they wanted.
For the first time since 2013, the 49ers are headed to the postseason, but they needed some help to get there after a 29-22 loss to the Discount Atlanta Falcons Jerseys on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.
Atlanta quarterback Discount Matt Ryan Jersey drove the Falcons 70 yards in the closing moments to throw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Discount Julio Jones Jersey with two seconds left. Jones caught the ball at the goal line and was initially ruled short, but a review overturned it for a touchdown. The score put the Falcons ahead 23-22, and Atlanta scored again as time expired when Olamide Zaccheaus returned a failed lateral attempt by the 49ers for a touchdown.
Despite the loss, the 49ers clinched a playoff spot by virtue of the Los Angeles Rams’ 44-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. The Seattle Seahawks (11-3) and Green Bay Packers (11-2) also clinched playoff spots with their victories Sunday combined with the Rams’ loss.
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The defeat dropped the 11-3 Niners into a tie with the Seattle Seahawks atop the NFC West division, with Seattle holding the tiebreaker because of its win against the Niners earlier this season. The Niners currently sit in the fifth spot in the NFC playoff picture and would have to go on the road to open the postseason if the season ended Sunday.
Fortunately for the Niners, the season didn’t end Sunday.
After finishing 2018 at 4-12 and picking second in last year’s NFL draft, San Francisco still remains in control of its playoff positioning. The 49ers close out the season with games at home against the Rams on Saturday followed by a potential clash for the NFC West and the NFC’s No. 1 seed against the Seahawks on Dec. 29.
To earn their spot, the 49ers needed some help from the Cowboys. Coming off a 48-46 win against New Orleans after which five key players were ruled out this week because of injuries, the Niners were noticeably sluggish on Sunday, and the end result reflected it.
Tight end George Kittle was one of the few bright spots, doing most of the heavy lifting. Kittle set a career high for catches in a game with 13, coming on 17 targets, to go with 134 yards. In the process, Kittle moved into first place for most receiving yards by a tight end in his first three seasons, passing Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Mike Ditka. Kittle now has 2,780 receiving yards for his career.
When Kittle wasn’t providing the offense, the Niners struggled to get much of anything else going. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk’s 2-yard touchdown catch gave the Niners a 19-10 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Niners coughed it up on the ensuing drives.
Despite the loss, if the 49ers win their final two games, they would not only win the division, but also wrap up the NFC’s top seed and home-field advantage through the conference final.