Heading into yesterday's game, I wasn't completely confident the team would win, but I figured a win was possible and the team would be able to stay in the thick of the playoff race. Instead, the team stumbled to defeat and find themselves in less than ideal position for the wild card. We'll still keep track of the wild card race (as seen in our new Rooting Guide), but I'm certainly not holding my breath. Al Michaels mentioned a stat that since 1990, of the teams that have started the season 4-6, only 7% have made the playoffs. That stat gave me the perfect excuse to roll out a Dumb and Dumber clip I've been waiting to use for a long time.
The Falcons loss certainly helped (given the head-to-head loss), while the Eagles win over the Bears did not help. In the end though, the 49ers loss in Green Bay made the Falcons loss matter less and the Eagles win matter more. There are three teams tied at 6-4 (GB, Philly, NY), and then the Falcons at 5-5. The Falcons and Green Bay own the tiebreaker over San Francisco, and given the way the team is playing, I can't imagine the 49ers will win at Philly.
HOWEVER....it's time to call in the optimists. I realize people are demoralized after yesterday's loss, but I'm going to roll out a little bit of optimism. Laugh at me, call me crazy, but I like having something to root for beyond just a draft choice. We can root for the Panthers draft choice. Why not root for a chance to win the NFC Worst? And if this gets your hopes up, only to see them dashed in the coming weeks, well I'll take the blame for that.
The 49ers face Jacksonville at home and Seattle on the road the next two weeks. Given recent struggles, both potential losses, but of course, also potential wins if the team can figure out something on offense, and learn how to tackle on defense (easy enough right?). The Cardinals on the other hand travel to Tennessee next week, and host Minnesota the following week. Two 49ers wins, two Arizona losses, and suddenly Monday December 14 is a battle for first place.
I'd imagine the chances of it playing out this way are not exactly inspiring, but who wants to live in reality, when I can set myself up for even more disappointment?!