The San Francisco 49ers are facing the toughest stretch of their 2019 schedule and in many ways, the toughest stretch of any NFL team, ever. Game one went about as smoothly as you could ask for as they embarrassed the Green Bay Packers and won 37-8.
On a personal note, this pleases me.
The 49ers hold that coveted NFC West lead and that No. 1 seed. The sad part is, they received no help in cushioning things for the West by the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s get to it.
Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1)
The Cardinals had a bye. Because not all teams get byes in the fourth week.
Seattle Seahawks (9-2)
What an ugly, ugly win. The Seahawks went to Philadelphia, who have their own set of issues and broke out some key plays to win 17-9. The 49ers had a streak of ugly wins to start the season, so commenting on this is a bit hypocritical, but it just looked, well, off.
Russell Wilson went 13-24 (52 percent completion) one touchdown and an interception. The Eagles just couldn’t execute anything (and we mean anything), and when you do that against good teams, you are going to lose — end of story.
The win keeps the Seahawks behind the 49ers, but that might be changing. The Seahawks aren’t doing The Gauntlet (yes, we refer to this as The Gauntlet), but they have their difficult stretch with the Minnesota Vikings traveling to Seattle for Monday Night Football. That game is no gimmie for the Seahawks, and the Vikings are playing to keep pace and maybe take the NFC North. The Vikings have turned around what has been a terrible start to the season, so we’ll see what Seattle can do but don’t dismiss the Seahawks either. Especially with the controversy that seems to follow them in every game.
While the 49ers are becoming darlings of the NFC (and maybe the NFL if not for the Baltimore Ravens), it seems like we’ve forgotten the Seahawks loss from two weeks ago. If the 49ers had George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders for the entire game, and also not dropping passes, and also not whiffing go-ahead game-winning kicks, we would be telling a different story. Regardless, the Seahawks won, and until the 49ers prove otherwise, they will be in the conversation, and the Seahawks need to win this game to keep pace. If they lose—it gives the 49ers some padding in The Gauntlet.
Yes, The Gauntlet. Remember that term.
Los Angeles Rams (6-5)
Another Monday Night Football bore...well unless you were a Ravens fan.
When you aren’t hearing Booger McFarland talking about how Lamar Jackson, you get to watch the Rams get diced up by that quarterback mentioned above. Or was that scheme? I don’t know. I know Jalen Ramsey and the rest of that defense didn’t have much luck against that offense engineered by former 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
We’re here talking about Jimmy Garoppolo and Tevin Coleman going Al Bundy in their contests, Jackson is outgoing...well...whatever five or more touchdowns makes you (Jackson five, I guess)The Rams have issues. Still, the Ravens are nothing short of impressive, and the 49ers will have their hands full in a few days.
Back to the Rams. They are all but out of contending for the division. As much as we want to say that loss puts them out of the playoffs entirely, that final seed is a tricky one. Right now, the Dallas Cowboys have it locked up with six wins, but if they and the NFC start hitting the tank, the Rams have a shot at slipping in. There’s plenty of football left for the playoffs, and crazier things have happened.
Into Week 13
We could get a potential Super Bowl preview and a broadcast resetting the Super Bowl XLVII, where the 49ers lost to the Ravens 34-31. If these two do wind up playing against each other in the Super Bowl this year, I only hope Ravens’ offensive coordinator Greg Roman calls three fades on the goal line.
The Rams and Cardinals will be squaring off in what I hope is a fun divisional matchup. The game is in Arizona, and the Cardinals are returning from a bye. The Cardinals are all but out of this thing for 2019, but they have glory to play for and could knock the Rams down a peg in the wild card race with a win.
The Seahawks will be on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings. Get ready to hear more quarterback analysis on Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson. I’m sure everyone is ready for that. Beyond the commentary headache, some get from the MNF crew, this game is no gimmie for Seattle, despite being at CenturyLink. The Vikings are in many ways much better than their division rivals the Packers at this point (and if you factor in the mental game and shellacking on Sunday, the Vikings are even better). Seattle has been pulling out win after win, but the Vikings are much different. That ugly winning against Philadelphia won’t work, and their luck has to run out on flubbed kicks and injury reports. If the Vikings can pull this off, the 49ers will have some much-needed cushioning in case things go awry.
1st: San Francisco 49ers; Next: at Baltimore Ravens
2nd: Seattle Seahawks; Next: vs. Minnesota Vikings
3rd: Los Angeles Rams; Next: at Arizona Cardinals
4th: Arizona Cardinals; Next: vs. Los Angeles Rams