The San Francisco 49ers have lost four straight games through Week 6, and they now face a Los Angeles Rams team that is a double digit road favorite in Week 7. Expectations are relatively low, but the team’s performance in Green Bay has people feeling at least a little better about the team as the midway point of the season approaches.
The 49ers went into Green Bay as near double digit underdogs, but C.J. Beathard put together a great game, and the 49ers defense made plays in stretches to give the team a chance to win. Things fell apart in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter, but we saw a team that did a lot of good things for an extended portion of the game.
It is not entirely surprising that we are seeing a small roller-coaster of emotion in our weekly FanPulse confidence survey. Heading into Week 3, the 49ers were 1-1 and confidence was sitting at 93 percent. A Jimmy Garoppolo injury later, confidence plummeted to 44 percent. Since then, it’s been an up-and-down performance tied closely to how close the 49ers have lost games. After nearly upsetting the Los Angeles Chargers, confidence jumped to 60 percent. After an ugly loss to the Arizona Cardinals, confidence dropped to 38 percent. After Monday’s near win over the Packers, confidence shot back up to 58 percent.
I think this says less about how people feel big picture, and more how emotions are rocketing up and down with each week’s performance. This week could prove to be an interesting test. If the 49ers win, obviously confidence will shoot up. If the 49ers lose a close one, I imagine it goes up again, although probably not the same 20 percent as this week. But what if the Rams thump the 49ers pretty badly?
The next three weeks after that offer another test. The 49ers travel to face the Arizona Cardinals, then host the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants before their bye week. If they come out of that any worse than 2-1, I suspect we see confidence plummet.
For the time being, a chunk of people are not going to be confident with the direction regardless of how close some of the games are and another chunk will be confident with the direction regardless of wins and losses this year. It’s the sizable majority of probably 60 or 70 percent that will be swinging this poll on a week-to-week basis.
Oh, the joy of playing out the string with the hope of Jimmy Garoppolo’s return in 2019!