We have just over a month left of the NFL season. Some fans are already all-in on the draft, while others are still hoping for the San Francisco 49ers to make a run in December. If the Niners are going to make the playoffs, they’re going to need some help. Come Week’s 15, 16, and 17, if the team can reel off a couple of wins, their playoff scenarios would read something along the lines of “if the 49ers win, plus teams X, Y, and Z lose.”
The four NFC divisional leaders are the Packers, Saints, Seahawks, and Eagles, who are crushing it at 3-5-1. The two wild-card spots belong to the 6-3 Rams and the 6-4 Cardinals, who fell to Seattle on Thursday night football. The Bears, Vikings, and Lions hold the next three spots above the 4-6 Niners. The Vikings have an easy schedule and have the best chance to reach nine or ten wins out of all of the non-divisional winners.
What the 49ers need for playoff position
- A Panthers win over the Lions
- A Cowboys win over the Vikings
- A Buccaneers win over the Rams
The Panthers are one of those teams that make you earn a victory. It’s not a stretch to imagine them beating Detroit. The same cannot be said for Dallas. Ideally, the hope is the NFC West cannibalizes itself, and there’s a giant cluster heading into the final weeks. The closer each team is, the more.
What the 49ers need for a better draft pick
- A Falcons win over the Saints
- A Texans win over the Patriots
- A Washington win over the Bengals
- A Broncos win over the Dolphins
A Dallas win helps here, but it doesn’t seem like the Cowboys are capable of doing anything right this year. A Falcons win feels more plausible than it did earlier in the week, as New Orleans is reportedly starting Taysom Hill. There is plenty of bad blood between those two teams. Washington over Cincy since the Bengals already have their quarterback. Speaking of, Drew Lock will start for Denver, though I’m not sure how good that is.
A higher draft pick doesn’t bode well for the team if you’re in the camp that San Francisco should trade a quarterback in the first round; it means a higher pick for each round. Plus, the closer you are to the top, the less draft capital you have to trade. With that said, knowing everything this front office has done, if they want to trade up for a player, they’ve shown they have zero qualms doing so.