Well, Sunday didn't work out quite as well as we all would have hoped, yeah? Obviously, it was good to see Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs get a win, but both the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks were victorious, as well. I had a late night Saturday, so I ended up falling asleep during the Seattle-Houston game, but when I passed out the Texans had things well in-hand.
So much for that. Here's the reality of the NFC West currently: the 49ers are tied with the Cardinals and the Seahawks are undefeated at 4-0. That's not at all where 49ers fans hoped to be at this point in the season. I could see 1-1 given the Green Bay Packers and Seahawks back to back, but nobody expected them to lose to the Indianapolis Colts.
More than that, nobody expected them to lose in the way that they did. The way in which the 49ers looked terrible in Weeks 2 and 3 are more significant than the fact that they lost, I think. But there's still plenty of football left to play, and for all we know, the 49ers can finish at 14-2 with the division well in-hand.
That's not entirely likely, but the 49ers are still in a desirable position. They've a talented roster with talented coaches and while they've got a difficult schedule, they're probably up to the task. I think we should talk about where they stand and what's to come...
Some have suggested that the 49ers have an easy or favorable schedule going forward. I'd call those people a little foolish, honestly. How can you have a schedule that includes the teams that the 49ers have coming up, and call it favorable? I think people are simply looking at records through the first four weeks and extrapolating that out as meaning they're not good teams.
The 49ers will face several good teams this year. They're 1-2 against actual good teams thus far this season, but a schedule doesn't have to be favorable for there to be positivity surrounding it. The 49ers are a good team themselves, and a couple bad games shouldn't shake the confidence. Let's take a look at each game ..
The Houston Texans will probably finish with a very solid record this season. But they have been struggling lately, and it's one of those good teams that we can mark down as catching at a very good time (for the 49ers). San Francisco should be counted on to win this one, though a loss wouldn't be shocking given that roster.
The Arizona Cardinals are better than expected, but they don't belong tied with the 49ers in the NFC West. The 49ers should and will win this game. They will!
This game could be deceptively tough, but who knows if Jake Locker will be back? Locker was actually looking really good this season and Mike Munchak was giving it a solid go at saving his job, but that may have gone up in flames with Locker's health. This one should be a win for the 49ers.
Ahahahahahaha. AHAHAHAHAHA. Aaaaah. Moving on.
Sure, the Carolina Panthers can hang 38 points on the winless New York Giants, but I never was a believer in Cam Newton and I think Ron Rivera is kind of a mess. The Panthers will probably finish 8-8 this year and outside of a trap game, one of those wins shouldn't be against the 49ers.
@ New Orleans
OK, I'll be the first to admit that Drew Brees scares the football hell out of me. That guy is way too good at what he does and it literally does not matter who his supporting cast happens to be. If gush about Drew Brees about as much as John Madden gushes about Brett Favre. I do think that if you took Brees and you cut off all his limbs you could still put him under center and he'd be the best torso in pro football. It's tough to call this game a win. Let's call it a loss.
Robert Griffin III isn't who we thought he was thus far, but he might be by the time this game rolls around. I don't think anyone thinks that Griffin is "done for," I just think he was rushed back and hasn't performed up to expectations. The Redskins will be a good team this season, but I don't think anybody can agree on whether or not they'll be playoff good or just "win the really pathetic NFC East" good. Let's put it down as a win.
vs. St. Louis
The 49ers handled the St. Louis Rams in their stadium, and there's no reason to believe they won't handle them again at Candlestick Park. 0-1-1 still lingers in the back of my mind, but not enough to put this down as a loss.
I hate your stupid face, Pete Carrol. I hate it. But I know that if I were a fan of the Seattle Seahawks, I'd love you in all your laid back creepiness and despise Jim Harbaugh. I'd probably use the word "douche" a lot when talking about Harbaugh as well. But I'm a 49ers fan. This game is tough. Seattle is good, even if they've been pretty underwhelming for a 4-0 team thus far. I have no idea how this team will look later on in the season, but if the record shapes up the way I've suggested, the 49ers might have the momentum here and could win. But a loss would not be shocking.
@ Tampa Bay
Mike Glennon does not inspire fear in me. Doug Martin is pretty good, but the 49ers aren't afraid of running backs. The Buccaneers are a team that I thought would be good, but I think all chances of that are gone at this point. It's a win.
San Francisco showed they can beat the Falcons last season, but it was a very close game. And right now, the Falcons don't look like a great team. But making the mistake in believing that they'll look the same in Week 16 as they do in Week 4 is a little silly. But what we do know is the 49ers have home field advantage again and could be fighting for a high seed or even the division. Call it a win?
I'm not sure the Cardinals will be starting the same quarterback in Week 17. I'm not sure, given their current rate of injury, that they'll even have 53 players on their roster in Week 17. They should be waaaay worse off than they are right now. I see that catching up with them as the season goes on. It looks like a win to me.