49ers finally overcome their Seattle curse, clinch No. 1 seed in NFC

49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers finally overcame their woes in Seattle as they defeated the Seahawks on a last-second defensive stand and clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

The San Francisco 49ers clinched the NFC West and the No. 1 seed in the NFC with their thrilling 26-21 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night.

But by doing so, they accomplished much more than that.

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The 49ers managed to overcome their previous failures. They were able to free themselves of a seven-year curse that had tortured the franchise for far too long. As many are putting it, they exorcised their demons.

And they did so by just a couple of inches.

Truth be told, rookie fifth-round pick Dre Greenlaw — the hero of Sunday night’s game — will never be able to comprehend just what this victory means for the 49ers organization. What it means for the city of San Francisco.

His last-second, game-sealing tackle of tight end Jacob Hollister is easily the signature play of his young career, but the weight that hit carries with it is beyond imaginable.

The 49ers hadn’t won in Seattle since 2011. They hadn’t scored 20 points there since 2008. On Sunday, both of those streaks were snapped.

Now, the 49ers find themselves set up in a perfect position to make another run at a Super Bowl title. They’ve already beaten the New Orleans Saints. The same goes for the Green Bay Packers.

The Seahawks were the final test — and they passed. And for a Seattle team that had won so many one-score games this season, perhaps this was a case of karma.

After last week’s late-game defensive meltdown against the Atlanta Falcons, things seemed to be setting up for yet another repeat performance. Russell Wilson marched the Seahawks down the field and when he found Hollister on that now-infamous fourth-down play, everyone held their breath.

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After all, they were burned on a similar play last week when it was ruled that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones had broken the plain to give the Falcons the upset victory.

But this time, the game of inches was on the 49ers side.

They’re now just two home victories away from a trip to the Super Bowl with a week off to rest and heal up in between. That’s a far cry from a road playoff game in the Wild Card round a week from now.

It’s hard to put into words what this victory means for the city of San Francisco and for 49ers fans. For years, the city of Seattle and CenturyLink Stadium had been the home of plenty of nightmares for the 49ers.

The team’s dreams would come to die in Seattle and even with their resurgence this season, it remained the burden on their shoulders just waiting to be uplifting.

And now, they’ve done it.

The 49ers path to the Super Bowl now appears much easier and they’ll head into the playoffs rested, playing at home, and with a ton of momentum on their side.

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This was their final challenge before the postseason arrived and it’s safe to say that the 49ers overcame that final hurdle.