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San Francisco 49ers win NFC West, earn first-round bye

The San Francisco 49ers got the best revenge possible after last week's humbling loss to the Seattle Seahawks: They clinched the NFC West title.

Michael Crabtree caught eight passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 27-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. The win was a typical one for the 49ers, who finished the regular season with an 11-4-1 record.

San Francisco's defense controlled the action, and the mostly conservative offense took time to pull away from Arizona. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick bounced back from a rough outing against the Seahawks with 276 yards and two touchdowns on just 28 passes.

This 49ers team is one of the toughest to prepare for in the NFL. They have proven they are capable of beating absolutely anyone, and they are capable of the occasional stinkbomb. Coach Jim Harbaugh's decision to roll with Kaepernick will be judged on playoff results, but the second-year pro deserves credit for his play.

Kaepernick finished off the 49ers' run to a division title. Now the fun stuff really starts.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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