The San Francisco 49ers are going to be spending the playoffs at home this year, but everybody is excited heading into the 2018 offseason. The 49ers closed out the season with five straight wins, and the final three were over playoff teams. The Los Angeles Rams benched many of their starters, but wins over the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars were quite nice.
Joe Staley spoke to the media on Monday as part of end-of-year player availability, and he talked about how well the team was performing.
"I mean, 6-10 at the end of the season, but I don't think there's a team in the NFL that would want to see us right now in the playoffs."
ESPN’s Mike Sando polled four NFL coaches and evaluators to have them rank all 12 playoff teams. They ranked the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers at the top, followed by the fourth-seeded New Orleans Saints, second-seeded Minnesota Vikings, and fifth-seeded Carolina Panthers.
In considering the 12 playoff teams, I find myself wondering how many of them the 49ers could beat. They beat the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars at home. I don’t know what to make of a road game against either team, but I suppose we can think of this in terms of neutral field games. It’s up to you!
There is enough parity for anybody to beat anybody on any given Sunday — well, except for the Browns). But realistically, where would you rank the 49ers among the 12 playoff teams? I’d say above most of the wild card teams, but they did get thumped by the Carolina Panthers. Would Jimmy Garoppolo have meant a win instead of a 23-3 loss in Week 1?