Ever since they returned from their bye in Week 10, the San Francisco 49ers have pummeled through each of their last five opponents with strong performances on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
The 49ers’ dominance continued on Sunday when they defeated the division-rival Seattle Seahawks by a final score of 28-16.
During the matchup, San Francisco and Seattle got into a bit of a scuffle on the field after Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf grabbed 49ers linebacker Fred Warner’s facemask.
Apparently, frustrating Metcalf was part of the game plan of San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan, and he even jokingly promised a Christmas present if any of his players could get under the receiver’s skin, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Silver (via OurSF49ers on Twitter).
#49ers Kyle Shanahan is a legend for this motivational tactic against DK Metcalf 😅
— OurSF49ers (@OurSf49ers) December 11, 2023
Getting wins in the NFL is just as much about winning the mental challenge on the field as it is the physical challenge, and Shanahan knows that.
Metcalf is one of Seattle’s best players, and if getting under his skin was going to take his head out of the game, then that was something the 49ers were willing to do.
Something like this just goes to show how much further ahead San Francisco is to a number of other teams around the NFL when it comes to approaching each week.
The 49ers not only have the talent on the field to defeat their opponents, but their coaching staff is going to do their best to attack the biggest weaknesses of their opponents as well.
This combination is part of the reason why they have been dominating their opponents during the last few weeks.