Week eight of the NFL season kicks off in just a few short hours and once again, the San Francisco 49ers find themselves in a position where they can get a lot of work done this week in their efforts to earn their first playoff berth in nine years. In reality, all that matters is if the 49ers keep winning. As long as they win their games, it really doesn't matter what the rest of the division does.
At the same time, scoreboard watching can still be a fun past time when things are going well. This week, the entire NFC West is on the schedule, but only one game matters aside from the 49ers. The Seattle Seahawks host the Cincinnati Bengals in a week eight game that is as close to must-win as I can imagine. They face a Bengals squad that is playing some surprisingly solid football. At the same time, Seattle brings a strong 12th Man presence at their stadium. They have played inconsistent football to date, so it will be interesting to see which Seahawks squad shows up today.
The Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams are playing as well, but with Arizona traveling to Baltimore and St. Louis hosting New Orleans, the odds have to be pretty slim for either to win. I've got to think the Ravens are fired up and could destroy Arizona. And the Saints might be in place for a trap game against the Rams, but the Rams just don't seem good enough to do much with that opportunity. They would need an absolutely monster performance from Steven Jackson. I don't quite see it this week.