This isn't a predictions post. Rather, it's a ... what do we have to do, post.
It's rare that you see a team lose to a middling team and yet hear so much enthusiasm from that team's fans, but that's the situation we're in. All of a sudden, a lot seems possible. Maybe it'll be a mirage ... but maybe not.
That being said, we're also in a pretty deep hole. Arizona beat the Giants yesterday. That gives them three wins outside the division against decent-to-good teams ... against the Niners' zero. And they still have Detroit and Tennessee to play. Meanwhile, we still have to play Philly, while they get Carolina.
I watched a lot of the Monday Night game last night, and Zona looked really good. A lot better than they looked against us in the opener.
Leaving aside the game against us, it looks like Zona will be favored in 7 of their other 9 games - potentially putting them at 11-4 pending their result against us. I think that makes our game against Zona a must-win, so let's say we win it, putting them at 11-5, but we have the tiebreaker. So 11-5 gets us the division. 10-6 probably does not.
That means we need to win eight more games. Sweep the division, that's three. Detroit and Tenn, that's five. And this is where Zona's win last night really hurts ... because last week we could say, "Okay, we need to win two of Jax/Chi/Hou" ... but now winning two of those is no longer enough, but, of course, only two remain on the schedule.
That means we're going to need to, in addition to sweeping the division, in addition to sweeping Detroit and Tenn, in addition to sweeping Chicago and Jacksonville ... find another game to win. We will need to beat Indy, Green Bay, or Philly.
And it gets worse. Zona gets GB on the last day of the season, when GB might have nothing to play for. So we might need to win TWO of indy, Green Bay, and Philly.
Kind of intimidating. On the other hand, if we can make a run of it, it should put a dent in the "NFC West is weak" talk for a while. And it's worth remembering that Arizona has been nothing if not inconsistent the last two years, so they may fall apart. Yeah, I know, that's kind of wishful thinking on our part, so I wouldn't count on it.
So the margin for error has shrunk to just about nothing.
On the plus side, though, we might have an offense for the first time in a long time.