It’s ‘Revenge Week’ for the SB Nation flagship, where both our NFL site and the team sites will be looking at revenge games for the 2019 schedule as well as some of the best revenge games in history. The flagship went over a Deion Sanders and Joe Montana revenge game this morning.
The San Francisco 49ers need to get revenge on the division in 2019. If the team is going to be taken seriously, or make a playoff push, they have to do better against the NFC West this upcoming season. The Niners finished 2-4 last year. Of the 12 teams that made the playoffs in 2018, the Baltimore Ravens had the worst divisional record at 3-3. Health has a lot to do with it for the 49ers. No matter who is under center in this year, you can’t get swept by the Arizona Cardinals. Those are the games you must win. Ideally, you sweep the Cardinals, then split with the other two teams. 4-2 is where you want to be.
Against the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks, the challenge for the defense will be limiting the chunk plays and turnovers. That killed them a year ago. Turnovers always seem to happen at an inopportune time. Big plays are how Seattle won the first matchup. Their first scoring driving included a 45-yard pass that was a coverage bust and a 15-yard run. Then on third and goal, Russell Wilson had over five seconds to throw the ball. Touchdown. The Seahawks next scoring drive found Tyler Lockett on Malcolm Smith. You’ll never guess what happened. After that 52-yard touchdown, Jeff Wilson fumbles it back to Seattle. Before the first half ended, Richie James muffed a punt, and the Seahawks make it 20-0.
A modest goal for the division would be 3-3. The 49ers need to keep the divisional games close, and hope their offensive execution leads them to victory at the end of games. That’s assuming things change with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. Things are sure to be different in 2019, but it all starts with winning the divisional games, especially the ones you’re supposed to win.