It’s not all that bad. The San Francisco 49ers have to play a tough schedule; they just happened on the best team in the NFL... in that best team’s stadium. No shame in that. The fact the 49ers have lost both of their games by three points should tell you just how good this team is. There are still a lot of questions, but a deep postseason run shouldn’t be one of them.
But of course, there’s the division at large and those pesky Seattle Seahawks. They don’t get to participate in The Gauntlet. Unless you count hosting the Minnesota Vikings as a gauntlet. In any case, the Seahawks are again in control of the West, and if you didn’t hear about it, you will through the week. Let’s check out the division:
Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1)/Los Angeles Rams (7-5)
The Cardinals got the living daylights beat out of them on Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams came to town. Considering this is the Cardinals and the Rams, I’m often questioning exactly why the 49ers had so many problems with the Cardinals.
Kyler Murray went 19 for 34 for 163 yards and an interception. No touchdowns. Wow.
The Rams get another win, and they just won’t go away. They still have offensive line issues, but Jared Goff had a better day going 32 for 43 and 424 yards. Again, the 49ers are a better team, but why they can’t do this to divisional opponents does make you raise an eyebrow.
The Cardinals are now eliminated from playoff contention, so we don’t need to worry about them doing anything. The Rams are still in the hunt for that last wild card spot.
Seattle Seahawks (10-2)
Note to the Monday Night Football crew: I respect Russell Wilson, I think he’s an MVP candidate, I think he’s legit, but please, for the love of football gods, never, ever, ever put the microphone on him for a prime time game. Again. Ever.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way. The Seahawks did what Seattle Seahawks do: let the Vikings come in, get a lead, then came back to win. This included the usual shenanigans of the Vikings having a fumble on the first play after a kickoff and losing running back Dalvin Cook on the same play. They then lost their left tackle shortly thereafter. I know people are ticked, but we all knew how this game would go. I tried telling all of you.
The win puts the Seahawks into first place in the West, and the 49ers fall back to the fifth seed in the wild card. If the 49ers want any chance of hosting a playoff game, they will have to win out.
Into Week 14
This a huge week for everyone in the NFC West. The 49ers complete The Gauntlet with a game against the New Orleans Saints, a team where a loss can have some large impact on the playoffs. The Saints are fighting for that precious first-round bye, and the 49ers need to keep pace with the Seahawks if they want any chance of winning the division.
The Seahawks and Rams face off in Los Angeles. If there ever was a time to root for the Rams, now’s the time. The Rams lost to Seattle by a field goal in Seattle, and they seem to be getting some momentum, so hopefully, they can do the 49ers a favor. But don’t count on it.
And the Cardinals have the Steelers. The Pittsburgh Steelers. If that’s the only game on in your market, I’m sorry.
1st: Seattle Seahawks; Next: at Los Angeles Rams
2nd: San Francisco 49ers; Next: at New Orleans Saints
3rd: Los Angeles Rams; Next: vs. Seattle Seahawks
4th [Eliminated]: Arizona Cardinals; Next: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers