We have one game left to wrap up Week 5, but before Falcons-Jets goes down, there is plenty to take away from the Sunday that was. The most important result was the 49ers 34-3 win over the Houston Texans. While it is fun to keep an eye on other games that impact the 49ers, as Colin Kaepernick said after the game, the 49ers can only be concerned about their own wins and losses. If the 49ers keep winning, things will settle themselves accordingly.
That being said, it certainly won't stop us from breaking down how the rest of the action impacts the 49ers. Whether it be draft picks or playoff implications, there is plenty to consider from Week 5.
Chefs Watch is fun to track, but the team that really matters for the 49ers is Seattle. The Seahawks dropped their first game of the season, losing 34-28 to the Indianapolis Colts. We saw some cracks in the Seahawks defensive veneer, but I also think we can agree the Colts deserve a ton of credit. They have now beaten the 49ers and Seahawks, and sit at 4-1 in the AFC South. This team is legit, and will be making some noise into January.
As for the Seahawks, they have beaten Houston and lost to Indianapolis, matching the 49ers. The Seahawks reversed home/road roles, and they still maintain their one-game lead over the 49ers (and the Arizona Cardinals!). They host Tennessee this week before heading on the road to Arizona and St. Louis. They have the talent to sweep those three games, but it will be interesting to see how they perform in the divisional road games. They are an incredibly talented team, but they have had their struggles on the road. That Week 14 contest at Candlestick Park looms large.
So, yea, the Cardinals are now 3-2 and tied with the 49ers! The Cardinals haven't exactly wowed on offense in their wins, but that defense is looking tough. The Cardinals head north to Candlestick Park this weekend in what is suddenly a rather interesting divisional game. The 49ers are 11 point favorites, but that Cardinals defense seems like it could keep them in the game.
The Chiefs just keep chugging along, improving to 5-0 with a 26-17 road win over the Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs defense and special teams, along with a solid ground game secured this win. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Alex Smith was 20 of 39 for 245 yards. It wasn't a bad game, but it was one of those Alex Smith performances that left some folks biting their fingernails even as the 49ers were getting wins.
The Chiefs five wins keeps them on pace with the Denver Broncos. It seems safe to safe the 49ers will be securing that second round pick (bumped from third rounder with eight Chiefs wins), but the question now is what to really make of this Chiefs team. They are 5-0 and their next four games include three straight home games against the Raiders, Texans and Browns, and then a road game at the Bills. That is followed with a bye week and then a road game against the Denver Broncos.
As things currently stand, the Chiefs have an excellent chance of being 9-0 heading into that game. I don't think many people would have bet on a potential matchup of two 9-0 teams. The Chiefs are looking very similar to the 2011 49ers, a squad that got to the NFC title game and came up just short of the Super Bowl. They defeated a strong New Orleans Saints offense in the divisional round, but these Broncos are putting together one of the greatest offenses of all time. Can the Chiefs defensive hang with these Broncos?
The lesser sibling to Chefs Watch, the 49ers hold the Titans third round pick this year. The Titans were 3-1, but their loss to the Chiefs drops them to 3-2. They are without quarterback Jake Locker for upwards of six weeks. They were hanging close with Ryan Fitzpatrick this past week, but came up just short. They now travel to the Seattle Seahawks and then host our 49ers before heading into their bye.
New Orleans Saints might be pretty good
The Saints improved to 5-0 with a 26-18 road win over the Chicago Bears. The Bears have been solid this season, so I'd say this qualifies as a very solid win. The Saints will now travel to Foxboro to face the New England Patriots before getting a bye week. Whatever the outcome against the Patriots, the Saints are looking legit. Getting Sean Payton back apparently is kind of a big deal.
The Saints are officially running away with the NFC South. If the Falcons win, they will be three games back, only five weeks into the season. The Falcons could very well bounce back, but with the way this division is playing, the Saints are heavy favorites to win it. And given the way the NFC East and North are looking, the Saints are an early favorite to claim one of the two first round byes.
The 49er travel to the Superdome for a Week 11 matchup against our 49ers. Last season, the 49ers claimed a 31-21 win in New Orleans, but the 49ers will be seeing a different team this time around. Week 11 is still a good ways off, but it is a matchup to look forward to.