SAN FRANCISCO -- Team owner John York was among a group that included quarterback Alex Smith and tight end Vernon Davis who donned "49ers NFC West Championship" hats in the winning locker room.And several team employees were seen wearing T-shirts to celebrate the organization's return to the top of the division."It feels great," 49ers team presidentCEO Jed York said. "I don't know that it's sunk in for everybody, yet. But I (said to) the guys today, 'You know this isn't the last hat and T-shirt that I want.' There's a long way for us to go and there's a lot of work that we need to do if we want to get there."The last time there was this kind of interest to speak with York in the locker room following a game, he answered questions after the 49ers were officially eliminated from the playoff picture with one game remaining.York stood in the locker room after a loss to the St. Louis Rams. Just hours later, he would fire Mike Singletary as head coach. He would eventually hire Jim Harbaugh to a five-year, 25 million contract.York, who was a junior at Notre Dame the last time the 49ers won the NFC West, said he and Harbaugh did not discuss when he believed the 49ers would be able to turn the 6-10 team from a year ago into a playoff squad."When you start setting timelines and things like that, I don't believe that's a healthy relationship and a healthy form for success," York said. "What we wanted to do was to make sure that our general manager (Trent Baalke) and our head coach were on the same page and make sure that trickles down. I think that's where we are right now."But, again, there's a long way for us to go."One of the major offseason decisions was the club's willingness to bring back quarterback Alex Smith for a seventh season. Smith had his career-best passer rating of 142.3 on the day in which the 49ers clinched the division with a 10-2 record."When you have coach Harbaugh here and somebody believes in your quarterback, I support our coach," York said. "And he's been working with Alex like a coach should -- supporting his player and making sure he has every opportunity to be successful."York echoed the sentiment of several players, saying the division-clinching victory was not the end of the journey for this season's team."We won (with) a nice score today," York said. "There's still a lot of plays that we missed out there. There's still a lot of things that we need to do to get better, and that's what we have to instill in our guys."We haven't won anything, yet. We're two games behind the conference leader (Green Bay Packers) right now. There's a long way to go if you want to be the No. 1 seed. There are a lot of great teams in the NFC, and you have to keep your head down and keep working every day or else this doesn't mean anything."
The Atlanta Falcons had the highest scoring offense during the 2016 regular season, averaging 33.8 points per game, and they racked up 6,653 total yards.
In two playoff games, they've scored a combined 80 points.
The architect of that high-powered offense is Kyle Shanahan, who is the presumptive head coach of the 49ers.
So what makes Shanahan's scheme so effective?
Falcons starting center and former Cal Bears star Alex Mack answered that on ESPN's Mike and Mike show on Tuesday.
"He does a really good job of just having a very balanced offense. We want to run outside schemes. we want to run outside zone, we want to be really effective at doing that. And when a team stops you from doing that, when they put people over there, or they slant out or whatever they do to stop that, he has the backup plan," Mack said.
"He knows exactly when they bring that safety down to make it really tough to run outside zone, well that's going to open up some throws later down the field. And then when they put someone out there on the throws, well, there's a bigger cutback lane, so he calls a different run for that. So our offense is really built around being balanced and having an answer for what the defense wants to do to stop us," Mack continued.
Mack, Shanahan and the Falcons are set to put their No. 1 scoring offense to the test against the Patriots' No. 1 scoring defense in Super Bowl 51 in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017.
The 49ers on Tuesday informed season ticket holders that ticket prices will not increase for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
"We are announcing that 49ers season ticket pricing will be frozen through the 2018 season," the team wrote in an email to its season ticket holder. "Invoices for your 2017 season tickets will be made available to view and pay online in the coming weeks, including the option to enroll in a multi-month payment plan."
"Thank you for your valued and continued support as a 49ers Season Ticket Member. We look forward to serving you this season!"
The 49ers will enter the 2017 season with a new general manager and head coach after firing both Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly following their 2-14 2016 season.