The San Francisco 49ers continue their modest two-game road trip with a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. While the 49ers are looking for a rare second straight road non-division win, this upcoming three game stretch is arguably as tough as any on the schedule. They travel to face Eagles, head home for a game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and then wrap it up with a trip to face the Detroit Lions. Fittingly enough, that is followed by a bye week.
If you didn't check, that's two first place teams and an Eagles team that is both tough and likely kind of pissed off. Even if Michael Vick is unable to play, the Eagles defense alone creates enough problems to make for a tough game.
I was chattering a bit on Twitter last night about this upcoming slate of games and I found myself stating that really I'd be plenty happy if the 49ers could win even one of these three games. They are probably going to be underdogs in all three, even if Vick sits on Sunday. The Eagles remain dangerous. The Bucs are looking like they're going to give the Saints all they can handle in the South. And the Detroit Lions? They're playing extremely well but also showed they can fight back as they did against the Minnesota Vikings.
This has developed into a bit of an unpredictable stretch of games given injuries, locations and so forth. Even ranking them becomes tough. I think Detroit is the toughest of the three opponents given their play and the fact that it's a road game. Philadelphia would be up there as well but there are a lot of question marks for them and we likely won't have answers for a few days. And the Bucs? They're showing last year was no fluke and will likely be 3-1 heading into that game.
Can the 49ers come through that stretch with more than one win? Can they even get one win out of it? If they can secure one victory, they'll be 3-3 at the bye, with the bulk of the divisional schedule remaining to be played. They could very well blow those games, but if they're 3-3 at the bye the 49ers will have put themselves in a position to legitimately fight for a playoff spot. A 2-4 record doesn't knock them out, but it does increase the degree of difficulty. How do you see the next three games going?