At some point during the San Francisco 49ers' win over Washington, I realized how crazy it was that we spent the better part of this past week discussing various playoff scenarios and rooting interests. We talked a great deal about the Seattle Seahawks and their game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The NFC West divisional race and the wildcard race are both pertinent topics of discussion, but given San Francisco's week play of late, I couldn't help but wonder what we were all doing focusing on the playoffs. But that all has a lot to do with actually watching the 49ers live and caring about what happens -- it's always a roller coaster and it's never good for one's health. It allows my natural pessimism to foster and I'll admit, it's calmed down slightly now that some time has passed.
Thus, I deem it acceptable that we resume playoff discussions (I know you were all waiting for my approval). Obviously, one of the biggest games of the season just occurred alongside San Francisco's win -- the aforementioned showdown between the Cardinals and the Seahawks. Before the game, we talked about how the 49ers are definitely still in the running for the division lead, and Sunday's results keep them right there.
The Seahawks took down the Cardinals (and played some of their best football of the year), handing them their second loss of the year in their 19-3 victory. If you were hoping that the division was still in reach, it definitely is. There's still a long way to go, as the Cardinals still have nine wins, which is why some people were hoping Arizona would win.
In other words, a Seahawks loss would have helped the 49ers immensely when it comes to the wild card race, something that might actually be a more realistic goal. Obviously, San Francisco can only hope to win all of its games, but the battle with Seattle for the wild card is probably the more likely scenario than Arizona losing more and more games. Given the way the 49ers played today, it's hard to imagine them winning out, either.
So pessimistically and realistically, this wasn't a perfect day when it comes to the 49ers' playoff chances, but a win is a win is a win, and that's all we need to focus on for now. Go Niners.