49ers the rest of the way

Well, expectations certainly change in a hurry when your team seems to be going in the toilet on offense.  I finally got around to watching that game and am just happy I could hit the fast-forward button.  

As you can see, I've thrown up a new poll to see how people feel the team will finish out the year.  5-6 wins seems to be where people are settling in at.  I put up that poll because I also wanted to do a brief overview of the schedule the rest of the way and see what presents itself.  There were some games we had down as wins that suddenly don't look like such sure things:

11/4 - @ Atlanta
If we can't beat the Falcons, I might just have to give up.  It's been a brutal season for the Falcons in that they've only had 2 blowout losses and otherwise have hung tough in a bad situation.  Joey Heisman hasn't made that leap and things have just been generally bad.  Of course, we're generally bad also, so I'm not sure what to expect, besides some rather ugly football.  Maybe a 6-3 victory?  It's entirely possible considering we couldn't put up double digit points against 11 old ladies in wheelchairs right now.  However, I will chalk up a WIN. 3-5

11/12 @ Seattle
Monday Night up in Seattle and this could get really ugly really quick.  I think the Seahawks are the safe play to win the division and barring a change in performance, the 49ers don't look like they have much of a chance.  What do you think it would take to pull this one out?  I'll go LOSS.  3-6

11/18 - vs. St. Louis
If the Rams can get healthy enough, I certainly wonder whether the 49ers can hang with the former Greatest Show on Turf.  Jackson should be healthy by then and Bulger is looking recovered.  Of course, when he sees Willis out of the corner of his eye he might wet his pants.  I could join the growing ranks of pessimism and just say no W, but I think the 49ers pull this one out.  I'm not bullish on the 49ers, but the defense can keep them in this, and maybe Alex Smith is completely on his game at this point.  I'll go WIN. 4-6

11/25 - @ Arizona
I really have no idea what to expect from the Cardinals.  They've put up huge point totals some weeks, and then been shut down other weeks, with home and road games making no difference.  I'm curious to see how Fitzgerald and Boldin do the second time around against Clements and Willis.  I think road game equals LOSS.  4-7

12/2 - @ Carolina
I used to think highly of the Panthers, but David Carr and Vinny Testaverde just don't quite do it for me.  I'd say the Panthers should win at home, but surprisingly, Carolina is 0-3 at home and 4-0 on the road...What gives?  I'm thinking LOSS.  4-8

12/9 - vs. Minnesota
The Vikings are 2-5, but they've put up some fight, thanks in part to Adrian Peterson and also in part to the Vikings defense.  I see a low-scoring matchup here and eagerly anticipate the Willis-Peterson head to head battle.  They're your likely Offensive and Defensive ROYs, so it should be fun.  As it's a home game, I'm gonna go with 49ers WIN.  5-8

12/15 - vs. Cincinnati
On the one hand, the Bengals are in an absolute tailspin.  On the other hand, they can put up points like nobody's business.  This was the game I most anticipated and now both teams are wildly under-performing.  I say by Week 15, the Bengals have all turned on each other, Marv Lewis is either fired or hanging on by a thread an the 49ers TCB it and get the WIN.  6-8

12/23 - vs. Tampa Bay
The return of Jeff Garcia should be interesting, but not too fun, as I don't portend good things from this game.  This was another one I thought was winnable, but the 4-4 Buccaneers are a feisty team that should be able to handle their business out here.  Much can change between now and then, but based on my current thoughts, I'm not feeling so good about this, so we'll go LOSS  6-9

12/30 - @ Cleveland
This was chalked up as likely the easiest game of the year.  Suddenly, the Browns are looking feisty and have an upset of the Ravens under their belt.  There last two games were versus Miami and at St. Louis though, so I'm going to need to see more before declaring them a Cinderella.  So for now, just because I can, and for no real legitimate reason, I say 49ers WIN.  7-9

Based on how this season has gone so far, I'd honestly take a 7-9 finish.  While I did think it was possible before the season to go 7-9, it was not because of the way they've played so far, so much as the talent of other teams.  Other teams certainly are talented, but if the 49ers offense could raise its level of play they would obviously be more competitive.  Of course that 7-9 record could still end up 5-11 or 6-10, but let's hope not.

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