The San Francisco 49ers fell to 4-4 on the season following their 13-10 loss to the St. Louis Rams. They looked atrocious on offense, and sacrificed a pretty quality defensive performance. Naturally, this brought folks out with the pitchforks, with some proclaiming the season finished.
If the 49ers continue to perform like this on offense, the season will in fact be over without a playoff appearance. And if you don't see the 49ers improving on offense, then so be it. However, as inconsistent as this group has been, we have seen them show themselves to be capable of putting together more than just a few good passes here and there.
But the key is the 49ers do have time left to still turn this thing around. They currently sit at 4-4, a game back the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers for the final wild card spot, and a game and a half back of the Dallas Cowboys for the first wild card spot. The 49ers actually need to find some ways to win games, but the wild card is very much in the picture. The NFC West is still an option as well, but being three back with eight to go is a little tougher to work with.
The 49ers remaining schedule consists of @ New Orleans and NY Giants, vs. Washington and Seattle, @ Oakland and Seattle, and then home against San Diego and Arizona. None of those games are gimmes by any stretch, with even Washington and Oakland giving teams some fits. For the 49ers, it starts this coming weekend when they head to New Orleans. The 49ers will at least need a split of the Saints/Giants road trip. After that, they will likely need to roll off a 5-1 stretch, which would potentially finish the season at 10-6.
A 10-6 record does not guarantee them anything, but it at least keeps them in the discussion. And considering how the NFC is shaping up, anything is possible. The 49ers hold the tiebreaker edge over the Cowboys and Eagles, and can work toward a split with Arizona and Seattle. That could put them in the kind of position they need to at least secure a wild card berth. They actually need to figure out their game plan and execute better, so this is not exactly a walk in the park.
This next week against New Orleans is just the first in many tests coming up, but all is not lost. I don't think it is entirely unreasonable to be a glass half empty type, but I prefer a little more glass half full. At least, for now.