Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
We break down some of the Week 9 afternoon matchups, and provide an open thread for discussion.
The morning session of football is done and the 49ers have added a half game on their two game lead over the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals were handled by the Green Bay Packers, who held off a modest late surge to secure the victory. The Cardinals drop to 4-5 and have now lost five straight games.
Panthers Watch took a hit as the Panthers grabbed a pretty big road win over the Washington Redskins. The Panthers playoff hopes are pretty limited, but the win snaps a five-game losing streak for Carolina. They host the Broncos next week.
As we head into the afternoon, there are three games, with two being of particular pertinence to the 49ers. The Seattle Seahawks host the Minnesota Vikings, while the New York Giants host the Pittsburgh Steelers. I will be rooting for Minnesota and Pittsburgh to help boost the 49ers playoff possibilities. The 49ers are in control of the NFC West, but a Seahawks loss would put the 49ers in position to take a 3 1/2 game lead on Arizona and Seattle next week. The Giants hold the head-to-head tiebreaker edge on the 49ers, so every win helps in potential playoff seeding.
And then the Raiders are hosting the Bucs. It has no bearing on the 49ers playoff chances at this point, but it should be an entertaining offensive display.